Tonight the London 2012 Olympic Games starts proper.
Seven years in the planning, London 2012 will launch officially tonight with Danny Boyle's £27m opening ceremony in the Olympic stadium. Travelling there will be tens of thousands of support staff, actors, entertainers and, last but not least, athletes, being watched by an audience of up to 80,000. The vast majority of those will arrive and leave by public transport.
And transport may just be the underdog of this Olympics.
Millions of pounds have been spent in upgrading the transport network ahead of the Games. Visitors to London should now see the benefits of those improvements and experience the simplicity of travelling (mostly) with just one ticket, the Oyster card.
The Olympics have forced change and brought innovation. Improvements have been brought forward, and a new cable car system is up and running, serving East London. Guests of our city will see cheap bike-hire stands dotting the landscape, clear signage in central London giving walking routes and improved information at bus stops.
It's not all roses, of course, and significant challenges remain. Any transport network would creak under the strain of nearly 600,000 visitors descending on it - ours certainly will.
Londoners know that the Tube, though much-loved, is an unpredictable beast. And for those of us who simply want to get about, the introduction of Games Lanes, curtailment of certain bus-routes, and general influx of extra bodies will be challenging.
This is the world's first public transport Games.
Arriving in London by air, train or car, visitors will be met by bold, thoughtful and useful directions to get them where they need to be.
The work of TfL, its staff, and the Olympic organisers ahead of the Games has been remarkable. Yes, there will inevitably be problems. But London is now a multi-colour patchwork of information, designed to help people get simply from A-B. That this has been rolled-out so comprehensively and in such a short period of time speaks to the dedication, thoughtfulness and hard work of those involved.
Get Ahead of the Games
Most people will get about in the next few weeks via public transport - London 2012 was designed that way. From airport to stadium, Tube to Thames, routes are now clearly marked and 2012 volunteers about to help visitors get to where they need to be.
Thankfully, the threat of strikes during the Games, tarnishing to Britain's image overseas and opportunistic by unions themselves, have receded. Now it's just a case of getting about.
Please visit GetAheadoftheGames - it will help you plan your journey, alert you to problems, and is full of useful information on getting about during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
…will be active throughout the Games. Check in here for transport news both Olympic and non-Olympic related.
Please get in touch if you have a question and don't forget to Get Ahead of the Games.