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Olympic transportation plans broken down in numbers

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Event ticket-holders coming up from the city will not be able to drive their cars. Instead, each event ticket will include a ticket for some form of public transportation.

"As residents of the corridor, you will have access to the corridor," she said.

But instead of commuting in private vehicles, the transportation committee would prefer residents take free Olympic transit during the Games, to ease congestion along the highway.

They are also hoping local Whistler spectators will take public transit to the events.

Whistler Transit, which currently operates 25 buses, will need roughly 125 buses to handle the Olympic traffic within the municipality.

"A lot of people going to the (Whistler) events will be based here and will need to travel within Whistler," said Bill Murray, chair of the 2010 Bid Whistler Transportation Work Group.

Spectators coming from Vancouver will be encouraged to stay on the bus or train that brought them into Whistler in order to prevent added pressure on the Whistler public transit.

One interested resident asked Murray how the bid committee plans to ensure locals will take the bus rather than their own cars.

His response was that the buses will be free and frequent, and it will be very difficult to park at any of the events. There will be no parking for spectators or volunteers at any event site.

He admits that if locals are going to Nesters to pick up groceries during the Games, they will still most likely drive there rather than take the bus.

"It's more of an issue encouraging them rather than coercing them," said Murray.

For those locals who do not want to take the bus, there will be another option other than their car.

As part of its sustainability initiative, the Olympic sites in Whistler are projected to have cross-country lock ups for those who want to ski to the competitions. Likewise, in Vancouver, there will be bike lock ups for commuters who prefer to ride there.

TransLink, the public transit system in Vancouver, currently moves 400,000 people per day. That traffic is expected to dip by 15 to 20 per cent during the Olympics as people stay at home or find alternative modes of transportation.

"Hopefully we can reduce commuter traffic so we can put on Olympic traffic," said Coward.

Olympic traffic in Vancouver is estimated to be around 195,000 each day.

Again, spectators and volunteers will be strongly encouraged to take public transportation, as the Olympic venues in the city will not have parking.

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