Monday, March 01, 2010

With Olympics over, Vancouver ponders transit residuals

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Transit officials in Vancouver are evaluating various transit services set up in part to handle Winter Olympic crowds, trying todetermine which pieces should remain in operation to handle the city’s residents and workers.

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TransLink may embed the price of transit into ticket prices for one-day sporting events, such as Vancouver Canucks hockey games, to help maintain the TravelSmart program established during the winter games.

During the 17-day Olympic activities, which formally ended Sunday, record numbers of people used transit, with 280,000 boarding the Canada Line on Feb. 18 alone. During the first week of the Olympics, an average of more than 1.6 million people a day used buses, SkyTrain, the SeaBus, and the West CoastExpress.

But most roads closed during the Olympics will reopen Tuesday and Wednesday, possibly undercutting any trend toward public transit established during the games. "We've had more people using transit for a variety of reasons, including the daily commute," TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said. "It'll be interesting to see if the cars are still there."