Last night John was looking over street closures during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and trying to figure out his new public transit route to work. I would imagine many who work in or around downtown Vancouver are also going through this phase of planning their commute (if they haven’t taken two weeks holiday during this time).
Here are some transportation options you’ll need to consider over the next two months, according to TravelSmart2010.ca.
Taking Transit in the Lower Mainland
The West Coast Express, Canada Line and SkyTrain lines will have expanded hours of service. You will still be able to take transit around the Lower Mainland (it’s encouraged as opposed to driving) so you’ll want to explore all options with regards to times of service, routes and fares.
There will be a third Seabus in operation and the free streetcar line from Olympic Village Canada Line Station to Granville Island will be available as well.
Transit buses will have extended day and night service although with road closures and pedestrian-only lanes, here are a few routes that will change to skirt them around the security zones:
Fare wise, souvenir 6-week monthly passes are available from Translink and will be valid February 8th until March 21st, 2010. If you’re in Whistler, Squamish or Pemberton you can also buy a souvenir monthly fare pass from BC Transit. If you have an Olympic event ticket, it serves as a day-pass for transit services such as buses, SkyTrains etc.
Taking Buses to and from Olympic Events
If you have tickets to an Olympic event and would like to book your transportation you will need to get your tickets ASAP. You can do so online and take note of the shuttle bus departure hub locations:
Tickets to Cypress are $12 while Whistler is $25 and you may only pay by Visa online. NOTE: Prices will increase to $25 for Cypress and $50 for Whistler if purchased on or after January 11, 2010. All tickets are valid for a round-trip.
It is highly recommended that you take public transit to get to these departure hubs. If you would like to “park & ride” there is no cost but you’ll require a parking pass to leave your car there. This pass can be obtained online when you book you bus tickets. You can contact the Olympic Bus Network by phone Monday through Saturday from Canada and the USA for more information.
You can read about one blogger’s experience in purchasing Olympic Bus Network tickets here.
If you need to come into work downtown (and cannot telecommute) see if you can carpool or take transit. Should you choose to carpool, make sure you can get to a parking space that is not in a locked down security zone or closed street / pedestrian corridor.
Transit alerts will be available online and if you’re traveling up to the Squamish / Whistler region remember they are serviced by BC Transit.
For more information refer to TravelSmart2010.ca as they have plenty of resources available. There is also a guide to getting around on the City of Vancouver website.
With all that being said, it’s best to leave the car at home and plan your transportation options well in advance. My best bet right now it to rely on my own two feet to get me around.