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Committee aims to cut traffic in Tokyo area by 15% during Olympics

A traffic jam is seen on the Tomei Expressway in Ayase, Kanagawa Prefecture, just outside Tokyo, on Aug. 14, 2017. (Mainichi)

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games confirmed with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Jan. 10 that it will aim to cut the volume of traffic in the Tokyo metropolitan area during the 2020 Games by 15 percent from regular weekday levels.

    The confirmation was made during a meeting on traffic and transportation held in Tokyo, which included a number of experts. Specifically, the aim is to reduce the volume of traffic during the Olympics and Paralympics on both expressways and general roads in and around the capital by 15 percent, to holiday levels.

    The committee will press ahead with a program of transportation demand management (TDM), which aims to reduce traffic, by urging both logistics firms and general road users to exercise restraint during the two events in 2020.

    At the meeting, a provisional calculation was introduced explaining that unless TDM is used during the games in 2020, the level of traffic on expressways in and around the capital will be twice the current amount.

    In addition to the plan to call for changes in working hours and delivery methods among logistics firms, the committee is considering introducing traffic control measures at tollbooths on expressways that are likely to be congested. It also plans to draw up a second plan on transportation management in fiscal 2019.

    In the first plan, compiled in 2017, it was proposed that people connected to the games such as athletes and board members use buses and cars during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and that spectators use public transport.

    With approximately 10 million people predicted to use transport during the games, the control of transportation demand in 2020 has become a major issue.

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