Istanbul vows traffic-free Olympics
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the chief of the IOC evaluation commission for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Craig Reedie, chat during a dinner in Istanbul on March 26. Erdoğan gave a special dinner for the IOC delegation, which is conducting a four-day inspection to evaluate Istanbul’s bid for the 2020 Olympics. AA photo
Istanbul, one of the three candidates to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, promises to solve its traffic problem if its bid is successful, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım has said in a meeting with the visiting IOC [International Olympic Committee] delegation yesterday.
“The Games Transport Directorate has been established to take responsibility for the operational planning and delivery of Games transport services. This transport model leverages Istanbul’s existing and planned transport infrastructure. Our transport projects will leave a tremendous legacy for Istanbul and will be executed, irrespective of whether we are awarded the honor of hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Yıldırım said in a speech to the IOC Evaluation Commission.
Istanbul will ensure an exceptional transport experience for all Olympic client groups, spectators, and city commuters through the implementation of its “five I’s” transport strategy, according to the minister.
The “five I’s” promise intelligent transport and traffic management schemes, integrated approaches for systems and plans, interoperable systems to ensure a seamless transport experience, inclusive transport solutions to all Games clients, and immunity to incidents or unforeseen events.
The 2009-2023 Integrated Urban Transport Master Plan has already invested $3 billion in transport infrastructure and has committed a further $6.8 billion of investment over the next 10 years for the Marmaray rail tunnel line and the Eurasia Bosphorus road tunnel.
The transport plan intends to increase the high capacity of the city’s existing and planned metro, tram, and metrobus networks. On average, stations will be less than one kilometer from the venue front-of-house, guaranteeing that 91 percent of athletes’ trips will be 30 minutes or less and ensuring an average travel time of just 16 minutes.
Erdoğan hosts IOC delegation during dinner
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan flew from Ankara to Istanbul to host the IOC delegation at a dinner in the historic Esma Sultan Mansion next to the Bosphorus in Ortaköy in an effort to show his support for Istanbul’s bid to land the 2020 Olympic Games. A semah dance performance was made during the dinner, which was served behind closed doors.