London’s Olympics Transportation System: A Well Oiled Machine?

Even before the 2012 Games, London was seen as a city with a premier mass transit system. The Tube and double-decker buses are universally well-known. But even with that reputation, how did the city stand the Olympic test?

According to the BBC’s Richard Westcott, the transportation system preparation process “actually worked” to ultimately move the many athletes, IOC commissioners, and fans to and from Olympics activities and competitions.

Some 6.5 billion pounds ($10,277,150,000) was spent patching up wounds on Tube and train lines and people just went another way. The Tube kept smashing its own record for carrying passengers, with four and a half million journeys on the busiest days. There were also record numbers using the Docklands Light Railway, which was 70% busier than usual.

The Tube may have served the commuters well during the Games. However, one must consider other components of a city’s transportation infrastructure. As for the roads, it was assessed that:

There were some problems, of course. The main roads coming into London were bad because of all the changes to the way the traffic lights were phased.

All in all, though, the Olympics reserved lanes and flow of traffic was quite smooth. We can say that the London Olympics transportation game plan was a victory of sorts. Next up…the Paralympics. Will London’s infrastructure be conducive to those with special needs? We are positive that it will!

Olympic lane signage near the Tower of London