Expert to Steer Convention Transit Plans

At the 2004 Democratic National Committee Convention in Boston, city planners had all nonessential workers vacate their Boston work places while the Democrats were in town. Locals said it was the first time they saw ample parking places, available taxis and no traffic jams in downtown Boston. For Denver, it appears it’s going to be business as usual during the Democratic convention, so the DNCC is bringing in mass transit experts to avoid gridlock.Andrew Ballard, a transportation professional with nearly 20 years of experience managing large-scale events, has been named director of transportation for the DNCC. In addition, Denver-based Event Transportation Associates, Inc. has been selected as the transportation management consultant for the convention’s bus shuttle system.

“From presidential inaugurations to Super Bowls and Olympic Games, Ballard has managed complex logistics and transportation systems,” said Leah D. Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC. “He will design and implement a first-rate transportation system.”

As the DNCC’s director of transportation, Ballard will manage the motor pool, airport operation, bus shuttle system and special services transport. He has worked in similar capacities at the last three Democratic National Conventions.

“We’re focused on getting everyone to and from the Pepsi Center in a safe, convenient way while also taking care to minimize the effect on Denver residents during convention week,” Ballard said.

Ballard directed transportation efforts during the 1997 Summit of the Eight in Denver, the 2007 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake and Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa. In 2005, he managed the evacuation of more than 12,000 people in Louisiana and Texas before Hurricane Rita made landfall — luckily, hurricanes are not a worry in Denver.

ETA will coordinate and implement the bus shuttle system designed by Ballard to accommodate delegates, dignitaries, elected officials, members of the media and any other credentialed convention participants requiring transportation to and from the Pepsi Center and their designated convention hotels. In total, the DNCC’s shuttle system will serve more than 35,000 people at some 100 hotels throughout the Denver area.

The convention will be held Aug. 25-28.

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Leslie Robinson

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