Monday, February 22, 2010

Environmentally-friendly Winter Games (II)

The environment is the third pillar of the Olympic Movement and, as such, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) places considerable importance on the environmental and sustainable management of the Games. The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games are a leading example of how respect of and commitment to the environment have been embraced and integrated into planning.
Travel Smart: Vancouver 2010 is also trying to use the Games to change people’s travel habits for the better by encouraging them to travel smart. TravelSmart options include transit, ride-sharing, vanpooling, cycling, walking and teleworking. During the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, TransLink and VANOC have introduced a number of initiatives to make it easier to travel smart:
  • For Local Residents: TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority and Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) have asked local residents to reduce their vehicle trips by 30 per cent during Games time. A number of initiatives have been introduced to make it easier to local residents to travel smart and in a more environmentally friendly way and make the changes permanent once the Games are over. TransLink will expand transit services during Games time with the new Canada Line, more cars on the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines, more buses and three SeaBuses will be in service. NightBus services will expand to offer more routes and travel times to early morning commuters and late night celebrants.
  • For Businesses and Employers: Businesses and employers are invited to take the TravelSmart Olympic Pledge to help reduce the number of vehicles that travel to worksites. Strategies include taking advantage of expanded transit services, shifting travel times to avoid peak periods, or eliminating travel through teleworking or a modified work week.
  • For Games Spectators: All Olympic and Paralympic athletic event tickets include unlimited access to all of TransLink’s transit services for the day of the event, right through to the end of service the following morning. There is no public parking at any Games venue. Spectators must take public transit or the Olympic bus network.
    Another sustainable travel initiative that will be showcased during the Games is the BC Hydrogen Highway, which will highlight hydrogen and fuel-cell technology such as fuel-cell vehicles and fuelling stations. Some of the buses that spectators will use to get around will use this technology.
  • For Persons with a Disability: TransLink’s entire transit fleet (including buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express) is 100% accessible to people in wheelchairs, scooters or with other mobility devices.
  • TravelSmart Resources: The best way to get around during the Games is to plan ahead, avoid peak travel times and know the transportation options before stepping out the door.