Pan Am Games organizers rely on HOV lanes, extra public transit to ease traffic woes
Subway service to begin at 6 a.m. on Sundays during the Games
Pan American Games officials revealed this morning that high-occupancy vehicle lanes and added public transit are at the core of their strategy to keep people moving during the multi-sport event.
They're also hoping that people work from home, carpool and work flex hours to limit congestion on GTA roads during peak commuting hours.
As part of a so-called "transit-first" approach, people will be able to ride public transit for free to venues if they have tickets to an event.
Unfortunately for drivers, there will be no parking at the Rogers Centre during the opening ceremonies or at the Pan Am Park at Exhibition Place on Toronto's waterfront. Ticket holders can, however, reserve parking for soccer games at Tim Hortons' Stadium in Hamilton.
The sweeping transit plan, which was revealed this morning at a Toronto news conference, includes 235 kilometres of HOV lanes on parts of Highway 401, Highway 404, the DVP, Lake Shore Boulevard, the Gardiner Expressway and the QEW.
Anyone using the lanes between June 29 and July 27 will need to have three or more people in their vehicle, while vehicles using the lanes from July 28 to August 18 will need to have two or more people. The lanes will also be used by buses, taxis and official Pan Am vehicles.
Every <a href="https://twitter.com/TO2015">@TO2015</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PanAmGames?src=hash">#PanAmGames</a> venue will have transit access, & event ticket gives you free transit that day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcTO?src=hash">#cbcTO</a> <a href="http://t.co/MPewK58jMU">pic.twitter.com/MPewK58jMU</a>—@CBCQueensPark
The OPP say there will be a "significantly increased police presence" to help ensure motorists get the message about staying out of the HOV lanes. Officials said there will be ample signs outlining the HOV lane rules.
There will be extra TTC service and GO trains during the Games, including new bus routes to venues and subway service starting at 6 a.m. on Sundays. There will also be "TTC Ambassadors" at transit hubs across the city to help people get to where they are going.
If you're unsure about the best route to take to an event, there is a mobile app designed to help plan effectively.
The Pan Am Games run from July 7 to 26. The Parapan Am Games run from August 7 to 15.
With files from The Canadian Press