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Transport system 'safe and efficient'

China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-21 09:00
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The official transport service for the Beijing Winter Olympics is undergoing final tests, with shuttle buses on standby at the Main Media Center situated to the north of the iconic Bird's Nest. XINHUA

A safe and efficient transport system is in place for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, despite challenges presented by the geographic differences of the three competition zones and the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing 2022 organizers say.

"After almost three years of effort, now we are ready to provide a reliable service at the upcoming Winter Games," said Liu Shu, deputy director of the Transport Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG).

In an interview with Xinhua, Liu said:"Since the establishment of the department two-and-a-half years ago, we have set up an Olympic Traffic Command Center and have stayed in close contact with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and local governments to improve transportation service standards.

"We have compiled the transportation guide, which will soon be released."

"The whole mechanism features a point-to-point, clean and safe transport system, which means all the Games' participants can undergo security and health checks at their departure points, and there is no need to do the same thing at the destinations. Of course, no one is allowed to alight during the journey," Liu explained.

Discussing epidemic prevention, Liu said: "Every high-speed train, shuttle bus and taxi will be disinfected before and after carrying passengers. During journeys, the drivers and passengers are socially distanced. Everyone must wear masks."

Vehicles have been prepared to meet the needs of all the Games' participants, and all the drivers have received five rounds of training, Liu noted.

According to Liu, 33 venue transport teams, 11 transport service teams, 16 operation and maintenance support teams and four high-speed rail support teams have been set up.

"Now all the personnel know what to do and how to do it," he said.

As for the drivers' English-language skills, Liu said:"Some drivers are bilingual, and BOCOG has provided language training courses and timely assistance. Furthermore, we have given drivers a set of cards with frequently used English words and sentences. Then they can communicate without any direct contact.

"Olympic lanes on the roads are for vehicles with Olympic certificates only."

Reflecting on the years of preparation work, Liu said: "The geographic differences of the three competition zones have presented difficulties."

Citing the Yanqing competition zone, which will host Alpine skiing, luge, skeleton and bobsleigh, Liu explained: "It is a mountainous area. Some roads are narrow and steep. The No 2 road in Yanqing has 14 U-turns and steep slopes, and there is a high probability of heavy snow and strong winds during the Games, which increases the possibility of challenges.

"To solve the problem, we have tested the local roads many times and set up teams to shovel ice and sweep snow to ensure that the roads will not be frozen or covered with snow during the Games," said Liu.

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games will take place from Feb 4-20, followed by the Paralympic Winter Games, from March 4-13.


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