The biggest Olympic and Paralympic games ever staged attracting more than 15,000 athletes from 205 countries

A team of 2,500 customer focused front-line colleagues, including 600 specially trained drivers and 500 operational and co-ordination staff.

Operating a fleet of 1000 buses

The challenge

London 2012 was at the time, the biggest Olympic and Paralympic games ever staged attracting more than 15,000 athletes from 205 countries. Over 10 million fans attended events across London and the UK from the end of July to the middle of September 2012.

It was the biggest multi-sport event the UK has ever hosted, and First Travel Solutions (FTS) were awarded the contract by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to design, plan and operate the whole spectator bus and coach network.

This involved providing a total of 26 bespoke park and ride operations to the Olympic Park and numerous other venues across the capital and the country.

Ultimately it meant providing specialist transport for close to 1.5 million event attendees and making sure that their experience was pleasurable, stress-free, seamless, safe and world class.

The solution

FTS recognised that this was much more than just a mega-scale bus operation but was a critical element of a successful ‘games’ delivery and a key component of building and enhancing the UK’s reputation as a world class event ready destination.

FTS appointed a specific project lead and management team and employed a team of 2,500 customer focused front-line colleagues, including 600 specially trained drivers and 500 operational and co-ordination staff.

More than just operating a fleet of 1000 buses the team were selected and trained to represent the Olympic movement and acted as ‘games makers’ for guests and attendees.

They were briefed in detail on safety and security, customer service and international relations and delivered pop up bus stations, park ride sites and specific traffic management operations.

A dedicated and specialist bus control centre was set up and operated by FTS in Barking, ensuring there was real time information and expertise on hand throughout the events to make sure spectators got where they needed to be when they needed to be there.

The result

FTS successfully contributed to the organisers ambition for 100% of spectators to use public transport for the final legs of their journeys to all venues and events. The ‘Games’ were hailed a public transport success.

Unprecedented demand for park and ride usage was delivered via an advance booking system with every passenger guaranteed a seat to and from Olympic sites. Accessibility was massively important, and FTS used their experience and expertise to ensure the right vehicles and trained staff were available to assist those with special mobility needs.

The operation was delivered in strict accordance with the ODA’s and Government specifications and was delivered to budget and plan.

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