For the five Fridays leading up to the 2010 Games, Olympic organizers want people to ditch their vehicles and explore different ways of getting around town.
The TravelSmart 2010 Challenge, which begins in the new year, is an opportunity for people to try out different travel options, said Terry Wright, an executive vice-president with VANOC.
“It’s an opportunity for us and partners and the public to begin to experiment on how they plan to move in the Games window,” Wright said.
VANOC’s transportation plan, which includes road closures, lane and parking restrictions, calls for a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle traffic during the Games.
VANOC also wants people to consider shifting their work hours, to avoid commuting between 7 and 9 a.m. and between 2 and 7 p.m.
“We don’t expect (the challenge) to mimic Games time, because all of the transit capacity will not yet have come on stream and the road closures won’t be there,” Wright said.
“More than anything it’s about awareness and to get people to start to move in that direction.”
VANOC will measure and report the amount of vehicle reduction each week.
TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said transit ridership during the Games is expected to increase to a million people a day, 250,000 more than current ridership levels.