Rio transport system has passed test, say organisers

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 7: Despite several incidents in which shuttle bus drivers got lost, the Rio Olympics organisers said they were satisfied with the transport system as a whole.

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The organisers' spokesperson Mario Andrada told reporters on Saturday that the transport system passed the test of the opening ceremony on Friday night, reports Xinhua news agency.

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"We believe the transportation system passed the baptism of fire yesterday (on Saturday) taking people in and out of the ceremony. We were praised this morning in a meeting with the IOC by the officials saying we brought the athletes back to the village, which was a crucial problem for us," Andrada said.

"Not many of the athletes that compete next day go to the opening ceremony, but those who went needed to be home as quickly as possible," he said.

"So the fact we could manage well and did a good job according to our main stakeholders on the in and out of the opening ceremony proves to us there is no structural problem," he added.

Some bus drivers got lost when they drove the media to and back from the Maracana Stadium, and according to one reporter, a driver told them he was hired just two days ago and did not know the route to the opening ceremony stadium.

Andrada said he wondered whether the driver was a local or not because "any Carioca" will know how to get to the Maracana Stadium.

"We will double check this specific case to see if it was a little glitch or something different. There was a lot of discussion the day before yesterday (Saturday), and yesterday, making sure the transport works. Transportation is a crucial part of the Games," he said.

Andrada assured that transportation will not be a big problem as most of the traffic will be within the Olympic area.

"We are lucky that 75 per cent of the transportation will need to be done between Barra Village and Deodoro and that part of the city. We need to worry about Lagoa and Copacabana but we understand the system is ready to take the load and proved this yesterday at the Opening Ceremony," he added.


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