Getting Around During the Opening and Closing Ceremonies
The Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies in downtown Vancouver on February 12 and 28, 2010 will be two of the busiest days of the 2010 Winter Games and will bring 100,000 participants into the downtown core including performers, athletes and officials, ticket holders, workforce, media and broadcasters.The Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) is responsible for transporting these groups to BC Place stadium from various locations in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky regions. These groups are being transported over a period of 12 hours using roughly 1,500 cars and 500 motorcoaches.
There will be a full dress rehearsal on February 10, during which time the comprehensive transportation plan will be tested. The same plan will also be implemented for the Opening Ceremonies of the Paralympic Winter Games on March 12.
Transportation DetailsTo ensure successful Ceremonies, some specific temporary changes to the road network in downtown Vancouver will be put in place, in addition to the extensive plans shared publicly since November 2008.
§ The following streets will be closed from noon to midnight on February 10, 12, 28 and March 12:
§ Cambie Street bridge (all lanes closed to vehicle traffic, however pedestrian and bike access will be maintained via the east and west sidewalks)
§ Beatty Street (between Smithe and Georgia)
§ North sidewalk of the 1100 block of West Hastings, in front of the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel (4 pm to 5:30 pm)
§ On February 10, 12, and 28 there will also be a significant amount of motorcoach activity including loading, unloading and staging on Coal Harbour Quay, Canada Place and West Cordova from noon to 11 pm.
§ Pedestrian access for all businesses and residences on these affected streets will be maintained.
§ The Olympic flame will pass through more than 50 Lower Mainland and Sea to Sky communities between February 5 and 11, 2010. It will travel throughout Vancouver, including downtown, on February 12, 2010.
§ Vehicle travel to or in downtown on February 12 is not recommended. The OPTT strongly recommends choosing walking, cycling or transit and preparing for traffic delays. Rolling road closures of roughly 10 to 20 minutes will be in place as the torch travels through the downtown core.
§ The torch relay route can be viewed at vancouver2010.com/torchrelay. The exact route for each day of the relay is posted two week in advance. Come out and enjoy the torch in your community!
§ With more than 100,000 people living downtown, 13,000 hotel rooms and 150,000 downtown employees, all are encouraged to come out and cheer on the torchbearers in the final leg of the flame’s historic journey. But please, do not drive downtown!
What You Can Do to TravelSmart During the 2010 Winter Games
§ The Opening and Closing Ceremonies in Vancouver (Feb 12, 28 and March 12), and associated dress rehearsal (February 10) are special days where vehicle travel downtown is strongly discouraged. Choose a sustainable mode, such as walking, cycling or transit. If driving is absolutely necessary, plan to leave downtown by noon, or wait until the ceremonies are underway after 5:30 pm.
§ If you must travel in downtown Vancouver while the torch relay is underway on February 12, please do not drive.
§ Plan ahead and allow additional travel time. The afternoon peak period for leaving downtown Vancouver – between 2 pm and 7 pm – is expected to be the busiest for all modes of transportation. Of all modes, driving will be the slowest and most challenging.
§ Where possible, avoid using the Metro Vancouver transit system for commuter travel between 7:00 am and 9:00 am and between 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. This will assist in spreading out the demand during the morning rush hour and also allow the system to handle the volumes of spectators going to the venues between 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
§ Dress warmly and know before you go. Some transit stops may experience longer than normal wait times. Consider purchasing FareSavers or transit passes in advance, to avoid line-ups at ticket vending machines. Once you are on the transit system, your travel times will be reliable.
§ In the Sea to Sky corridor, the need for transit service northbound from Squamish to Whistler will peak at
8:00 am. While BC Transit has significantly increased services in the area, the OPTT recommends avoiding this busy period, or leaving earlier to get to work, and giving yourself plenty of time.
§ Participate in the TravelSmart 2010 Challenge (January 8 to February 12). As road closures begin to take place, residents and businesses are encouraged to try out one of the TravelSmart options every Friday in the lead up to the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
§ Visit travelsmart2010.ca for information on transportation changes and options to help you get around.