Athens 2004 Olympic Games

Managed the Scheduling Department for Olympic Family Services, which provided transportation to athletes, the media and technical officials

Client: Organising Committee for the Athens Olympic Games

Project Description

Athens Bus Lane

During the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Phillip Boyle managed the Scheduling Department for Olympic Family Services, which provided transportation to athletes, the media and technical officials. This challenging role involved a range of pre-Games planning activities, resource estimation and process management (see Athens 2004 Olympic Games Scheduling).


Phillip Boyle successfully developed operating plans for and managed over 1,000 vehicles operating over 175,000 trips from three depots during the Games period. The transportation was widely considered a huge success and won International Olympic Committee Awards.

Scope of Works

Key Tasks

Working with staff from Booz & Company and Planning SE, the project was undertaken over two specific phases:

Planning Phase – during this Pre-Games phase, covering almost 12 months, an efficient and reliable operating plan was developed. Key activities included:

  • Developing schedules for every service
  • Developing operating plans to ensure reliable service delivery
  • Estimating resource requirements and operating costs
  • Managing scheduling staff and coordination with Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA), the public transport provider
  • Developing information systems to distribute scheduling information across all Games and transport operation sites.

Operating Phase – the intense Games period required significant hands-on management of scheduling. Tasks included:

  • Daily production of a complete set of operating schedules and assignments
  • Ongoing revision of operating plans
  • Dissemination of information about changing transport services to all Games and transport operation sites on a daily basis.

Key Challenges

The project was undertaken with limited resources, in a high-pressure, highly complex and dynamic operating environment. At times, over 50% of services were adjusted on a daily basis, requiring highly focused systems management.

For major events such as Olympic Games transport, a key challenge is the requirement to mobilise operations, moving from no service to maximum operation over new networks within a matter of days. This mobilisation requires exceptional operating plans and ongoing comprehensive management.

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