In order to shuttle athletes and bureaucrats around town in a timely fashion during the Olympics, London has established controversial VIP-only lanes.Many feared that these “Games Lanes” would only further clog London’s already backed-up streets.
But a few days into the Olympics, a funny thing is happening — the upper crust is opting to take public transportation just like the rest of us.
As a result, London has reopened many “Games Lanes” to the public.
Here’s what London mayor Boris Johnson told the Independent:
“[IOC President] Jacques Rogge himself today took the DLR, I’m proud to say, and was conveyed in stately style and comfort he’d expect on the DLR, and a lot of them are doing that and that is good news.”
The “DLR” is the city’s light-rail system.
Transportation is one of the big challenges of holding an Olympics in a densely-populated urban area.
In the lead up to the Games, organisers were doing everything in their power to encourage visitors to take advantage of public transportation. New stations and lines were built, and US News & World Report says that more than $1 billion was spent to upgrade the East London Line — which services the Olympic Park area that was itself resurrected from its days as a industrial wasteland.
The London 2012 website also has a pretty exhaustive live travel page where spectators can get advice on how to navigate to the events.
The emphasis on public transit accomplishes two goals: keeping London’s car traffic situation under control, and also making the Games as green and sustainable as they can be.
The VIPs in London choosing to ride the buses and trains is a positive step toward both of those goals.
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