Monday, February 12, 2018

It's all about the bus, 'bout the bus

Like in Sochi, the transportation system for the media in PyeongChang consists chiefly of busses. There are big busses, small busses and in-between busses. They run here, there and everywhere around the clock carting tired writers, photographers, broadcast personnel and camera people from the Main Press Center to their apartments or out to the many venues staged in the mountains outside of PyeongChang.
In Sochi, my main friend in the bus community was TM10, which ran from the Main Press Center in the coastal cluster to the mountain cluster press center, which was about an hour. I rode that bus almost every day.
Thankfully there isn’t too many bus rides that long in PyeongChang, as the trip from the coastal hub in Gangneung, which is right outside of my building, to the Main Press Center at the Alpensia Resort runs about 45 minutes or so. However, if I want to head out to either of the further venues, then I am looking at a longer bus ride, consisting of another 45 minutes to either Phoenix Snow Park, where the freestyle events are staged, or to Jeongseon Alpine Center, where the longer alpine events, such as downhill or super-G, are held.
So far, three days into this adventure on the other side of the world, the main bus I have been using is the one that runs from the coastal cluster to the mountain cluster, which here is called TM26. The first day I was here I was in a line down the street to get on that bus and knew I was far enough back that I’d likely have to wait for the next one, but lo and behold, there was another one that pulled up right behind it and picked us all up.
Like in Sochi, the buses run on a pretty consistent schedule. They don’t take off until it’s time for them to leave and they try to stay on schedule as much as possible. I was grateful, however, for the bus that was scheduled to leave the Main Press Center at 4:15 a.m. this morning. He pulled into the bus stop at about 3:55 p.m., picked up myself and two others and proceeded right on his way. It gave me an extra half hour of sleep.
The longest ride I’ve taken so far came when I made the trip to see what turned out to be the United States’ first medal performance, the snowboard slopestyle race at Phoenix Snow Park. For some reason, I underestimated the time it was going to take and got there late. Went I went back two days later, I remembered to leave myself a little time.
There is one issue that makes things a bit more difficult than in Sochi. There, we were able to take a bus from the mountain media center direct to any of the venues. Here, there is no bus that leaves the Main Press Center to any of the venues. We either have to take a shuttle to the International Broadcast Center (where the TV types do their thing) and catch a bus, or walk to the transport mall, which isn’t that far away, but if you’re returning from an event in the  middle of the night it can get pretty darn cold making the walk back to the press center.
That being said, I need the exercise, so it’s all good.

 The transportation hub in the coastal Gangneung Media Village, is a busy place most of the day.

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