The concept behind Hambantota’s bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a “Public Transport Games”, said those behind the large-scale investment in the city’s infrastructure.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Organizing Committee Co-Chairman of Hambantota 2018, said “our concept is for a public transport Games with 100 per cent of spectators arriving at venues by public transport. We will provide spectators with a reliable, comfortable, safe and efficient connection”.
According to a Hambantota 2018 press release, local and Games-specific public transport during the Games will be free-of-charge for ticket holders on the day of their events. It will revolve around an upgraded, high-capacity public bus and rail service and Games-Time Park & Ride (P&R) shuttles that promise easy access to competition venues.
P&R services will be provided for all arrivals at three main surface transport hubs and airport and rail stations. Spectators can access the Games Park in less than 35 minutes from all dedicated hotel clusters via Games-time shuttle services. Private cars will be discouraged and non-Games vehicles kept away from the Games Park to reduce delays and congestion.
A dedicated “Bus Corridor” will give priority to buses, and cycle routes throughout the region will connect to storage facilities in the Spectator Transport Malls.
A Games-time Transport and Traffic Control Command Centre, operated under the administration of the Sri Lanka Police Service, will be responsible for real-time traffic management and route planning.
There will be also be 1,000 new, air conditioned buses procured ahead of the 2018 Games.
Cabraal said, “the Games will help make P&R, bus and rail the modes of choice for the future, limiting growth in car use across the Southern Province. It will deliver a positive legacy for the whole region”.