Transport and mobility are part of the event experience, providing the first and leaving the last impression to all participants. It is with this in mind that Citec plans transport operations for some of the most interesting sport events worldwide.
The mobility concept and transport planning are key to the success of an event. Quite often, the complexity and interdependence of the transport plan and its operations are under-estimated: a complex set of ingredients to be mixed by experienced event transport delivery professionals.
Most recently, the Ryder Cup in France 2018 was a transport success for Citec. The latest appointments for Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Organizing Committee and UEFA Euro 2020 are further proof of Citec’s commitment and expertise.
The next European Ryder Cup in 2022 will be in Rome, and Citec has already started to work with the Italian Golf Federation to deliver a mobility plan by end of 2018 to initiate the work with public authorities.
The 42nd Ryder Cup France 2018
For the first time in 20 years, the Ryder Cup took place outside of the UK. The 2018 edition was held in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 25km south of Paris, from 25 to 30 September. A total amount of 250,000 spectators came during the event week, with a peak of 60,000 visitors a day being transported to Le Golf National venue.
“This was the first time the Ryder Cup was organised in close proximity to a big metropolitan area,” says Stefano Manelli, Director of Citec.
Citec delivered the mobility and event transport operational plan, with a four-year process to get all the public authorities, transport operators and other stakeholders working together towards a common goal.
The project was carried out in close cooperation with Ryder Cup Europe, PGA European Tour, French Golf Federation and the relevant transport local authorities, such as Ile de France Mobilités and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. In the very last year, the Ryder Cup preparation was also seen as the best test towards Paris 2024 Olympic Games transport operations, where the Golf National venue will again host a worldwide mega event.
“We could implement a holistic approach to mobility; great added value was in being involved immediately after the bidding process was over and France was successfully chosen. The French Golf Federation and Ryder Cup Europe operational management strongly supported the transport project as well,” says Manelli.
Among the most important planning tools was accurate transport demand, which helped considerably during operations, allowing the correct amount of resources to be allocated to each origin-destination. With reliable planning scenarios, the design of transport malls and parking areas was simplified and optimised, allowing cost reduction.
A study was carried out to predict when and where spectators were arriving from, based on ticket-holder surveys and revised venue capacity figures. This data made it possible to adjust the need for additional operations on the day from train-and-ride and park-and-ride.
Another element was to set the size of the venue to the size of transport capacity. The notion behind this is “Level of Service”.
“This was a real achievement. Most of the time, this makes the difference between a good and a bad service,” says Manelli.
The project’s final goal was to identify all areas within Ryder Cup official locations with specific transport operations such as road closures and restrictions, traffic management and temporary deviations. All activities connected to this project aimed to find the correct balance between Ryder Cup transport operations and the need to minimise impact on residents.
The whole plan represented a total surface of 500,000 m2 of transport operating areas. This could give an indication to future organisers on how many logistic resources and spaces are needed for such a big event.
A total fleet of 400 urban buses and coaches served the four park-and-ride (for a total capacity of 12,000 car spaces) and two official train stations in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and Massy, operating four different RER lines (from/to Paris downtown), specially enhanced with 50 additional trains on the six days of operations (extra capacity of more than 100,000 passengers).
All flows reached two main temporary bus terminals on the edge of Le Golf National (East and West wing). Each terminal, specifically designed by Citec, managed up to 10,000 people per hour. During peak times, at the end of a competition day, each terminal was able to dispatch an average of 100 buses and 50 coaches.
1,000 people were directly involved in transport operations, including volunteers, drivers, parking stewards and operational managers, under the supervision of 12 Citec on-site managers coordinating transport, parking, traffic and security operations on their dedicated site.
The transition from planning to operations always requires deep and attentive work. The Citec on-site team was trained in the peculiarities of transport operations in two full-day training sessions. Site visits and liaison with the other providers were also part of the on-site training.
Contingency plans were also designed to face weather difficulties, overflows, bus breakdown and transport shortage.
Enzo Calabrò, operational project manager at Citec says: “European Tour declared that this edition was the ‘best transport ever for a Ryder Cup’ and we are extremely proud to have planned and delivered such successful transport operations for one of the most followed events worldwide!”.
Transport planning and adopted solutions can be scaled up with regards to different levels of service, according to the needs of a specific event.
Transport can help to fit the venue to the scale of the area and adapt local supply to fit the event. Transport can offer innovative and pragmatic solutions to allow optimising the operational setup of the venue, especially now where most efforts are made on mega-events to keep these to a reasonable scale – not least according to the IOC’s “New Norm”.