Olympic buses fined by city hall

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER - City hall issued 12 violation tickets to buses chartered by the Vancouver Olympic committee because they lacked $150 vehicle-for-hire licences.

City of Vancouver deputy licensing chief Tom Hammel said the $250 fines were issued Feb. 22, 10 days after the Olympics opened, and have been paid.

“We talked to VANOC months in advance of the requirement,” Hammel said. “We wanted to make a point that with the ticketing they had to get their licensing done.”

Email obtained via Freedom of Information showed VANOC and contractor Gameday Management failed to licene hundreds of buses before the Games.

Assistant city engineer Jerry Dobrovolny warned VANOC transportation vice-president Irene Kerr Feb. 9 “the city is going to start ticketing.”

“I would greatly appreciate if you would not ticket,” Kerr responded. “We are working through some start-up challenges.”

Hammel wrote Feb. 14 to VANOC transport planning director Sveto Plavsic: “We have only licensed about 300 VANOC buses to date. We understood that this number was going to be in the 800-1,000 range.”

The next morning, Kerr wrote to Gameday project manager Dave Matun: “If we do not complete this process they will resort to ticketing vehicles and this will be incredibly embarrassing and unacceptable.”

Hammel said in an interview that 630 buses were licensed by Feb. 23.

“I don’t think they had a good record of the actual number of buses that were actually doing business in Vancouver,” Hammel said. “We still don’t know to this day whether that covered all of them.”

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