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Volume 25 No. 88
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POCOG Says It Will Spend $2.77M To Solve Transport Problems

Bus delays have impacted 55,000 workers and volunteers who have been forced to wait in freezing weather

POCOG today said that it would "spend an additional" $2.77M in a bid to "solve transport problems" at the Pyeongchang Games, according to Tim Hart of REUTERS. POCOG Dir General of Transportation Kang Hee-up said that the "demands placed on the bus system outweighed the resources." Kang: "We have thoroughly prepared the transport system but it is true that there are some problems as we are operating them and implementing the plans on site. And I would like to apologize." Kang added, "We have limited resources and there were also the mountainous areas here in Pyeongchang and the shortage of infrastructure in this region was all of the factors we had to deal with. We have prepared accordingly but now as we are operating on site, some of our plans are going over our capacity" (REUTERS, 2/12). The AP's Stephen Wade notes there have been up to "two-hour bus delays impacting 55,000 workers and volunteers who have been forced to wait in cold, freezing weather." Buses have been "irregular, slow moving and there have been too few for some of those working the Olympics." POCOG said that transportation for dignitaries and athletes had been "going off without a hitch." Officials added that they are using 1,800 buses at the Olympics, and "hope to add" about 10% more to "meet the demand." IOC President Thomas Bach: "I cannot remember any games when we did not have transportation problems in the beginning. You cannot rehearse an Olympic Games in regard to transport" (AP, 2/12).

SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE: In DC, Chelsea Janes wrote she "expected the language barrier to be a primary cause of misadventure here, but it hasn’t caused as much trouble" as expected. In the Olympic facilities, and in the towns around them that planned for foreign tourists, "most signs include English." Even though these Olympics are "well organized and well labeled, the logistics still present challenges, too." Janes: "I triple-check the bus routes about eight times before getting on a bus" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/11).

NOT FEELING IT: In Pittsburgh, Ron Cook writes, "I can’t remember an Olympics with so little buzz." Cook: "Every day, I hang around people who love sports. I have yet to find one person who is talking about the Games." Maybe it "would be different if the NHL players were participating." Cook: "I can’t name more than two Olympians on the entire U.S. team. ... The Olympics time has passed" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/12). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said NBC has turned the Olympics “into a figure skating show, which is great for ... my mother and all the grammas.” Wilbon: “I’m going to watch the Cavaliers. I’m not going to try to find MSNBC-squared to watch the (Olympics)” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/9).