The biggest change made in the final version of the transportation plan for the 2002 Winter Games made public Monday may be the drop in the price of riding a private bus from Salt Lake City to the mountain venues.

The cost of a round-trip ticket has been reduced to $30 from the $40 price in earlier drafts of the plan, according to Grant Thomas, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee's senior vice president for venues and transportation.

Round-trip tickets on private buses headed from Ogden or Provo to outlying venues will still cost $20.

What's not changed is the organizing committee's decision to rely on private rather than public transportation to get ticket-holders to Olympic venues in Park City, the Snowbasin Ski Area and Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway.

Much of the criticism surrounding SLOC's transportation plans, first made public in July 1999, is the lack of public transportation to those venues. Organizers are building park-and-ride lots near the venues to accommodate private vehicles.

"This would be the greenest Games ever, except for the transportation system," Tom Price, a member of SLOC's environmental advisory committee, said. He said even with the price reduction for bus seats, it will be cheaper for most Games-goers to rent a car.

Price also questioned whether there would be enough parking spaces available outside the venues. "What's going to be frustrating is if people can't get to events that they have tickets for," he said.

Thomas said organizers are confident there will be enough space at the massive lots. The private bus service, he said, is flexible and can be boosted to meet demand. Reservations for the service are already being taken.

Although the transportation plan is finished, Thomas said work continues on a public information plan expected to be done this fall. That plan will detail how Utahns can avoid Olympic traffic, including by working different shifts.


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