2010 Olympic tickets will include free transit
Tim Lai, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, September 26, 2008
Public transit fares will be included in the price of a ticket for an Olympic event, 2010 organizers announced late Friday, but they remained silent on what costs TransLink will incur to provide the additional services that will be needed.
Vanoc, the Olympic organizing committee, will release its Olympic Ticketing Guide today, providing information on the ticketing timeline as well an the venues, sports and special events. Someinformation began to leak out Friday.
Vanoc said the average service fee that includes transportation rolled into Olympic tickets will average less than $10 per ticket, and will range from $4 to $18, depending on the price of the ticket.
Vanoc also revealed prices for transportation to mountain venues, saying they will be about half the price of existing options. Spectators going to Whistler will need a $25 round-trip transportation pass.
Those going to Cypress Mountain on the North Shore will be paying $12 for a pass on the Olympics bus network.
"We want to make public transportation as affordable and enticing as possible, thereby reducing the number of vehicles on the road, saving spectators parking costs and reducing emissions from heavy vehicle traffic," said Caley Denton, Vanoc vice-president of ticketing and consumer marketing, in a release.
TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie could not say how much it would cost to provide extra transit service during the Games.
But he added: "It's safe to say that this is cost-recoverable to TransLink."
Hardie was unable to specify how many extra buses and additional manpower will be required to deal with the large crowds expected at Olympic events. He said discussions between Vanoc and TransLink have been ongoing for "a while" and that they have detailed plans in place for 2010 that factor in location of venues, timing of events and expected attendance.
"A lot of detail work had to go in before we could determine the level of transit that would be needed," said Hardie.
Hardie added that much of TransLink's previously announced transit expansion will be place for the Games.
"It will include Canada Line and 200 more buses available on the system by then," said Hardie. "We'll have an additional 150-200 buses on stand-by. We'll have the third SeaBus and most of the 48 SkyTrain cars that have been ordered."
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, who chairs the Mayor's Council on Regional Transportation, said she was unaware of the costs associated with extra transit service during the Winter Games.
"It's slim to none that TransLink would have that money available to cover that cost," Watts said, noting that by the time of the Games, TransLink will be starting to incur annual deficits even without additional Games costs.