Athens 2004 Olympic Games Scheduling


Operations Planning and Resource Optimisation

Athens 2004 Olympic Games Scheduling

Client: Organising Committee for the Athens Olympic Games, Greece
Date: 2003–2004

Project Description

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 Planning and Management).


Phillip Boyle successfully 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 it won International Olympic Committee awards.

Scope of Works

Key Tasks

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

Planning Phase – during this 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 highly complex, high-pressure and dynamic operating environment. At times, over 50% of services were adjusted on a daily basis, requiring highly focused systems management.

Olympic Games 1
Olympic Games 2

Olympic Games 3

Athens 2004 Olympics bus network

Olympic Games 4


"Phillip Boyle consistently provided a high level of expertise, advice and management of the scheduling process. His strong technical skills and thorough understanding of transport operations were major assets to the provision of the Olympic and Paralympic games transportation services."

Organising Committee for the Athens Olympic Games, Athens 2004

"Phillip Boyle & Associates has supported the development of the SmartBus program through the planning and implementation phases. In particular on Route 901 and 902 he developed the timetable and worked with the multiple bus operators to create scheduling solutions for implementation. This included not only creating the vehicle runs and crew shifts but also development of information for the systems that support SmartBus technologies. In each case implementation went very smoothly and high levels of scheduling efficiency were achieved. Phillip’s operational expertise and ability to successfully work with the bus operators involved was critical to the successful implementation of these services."

Chris Bright, Manager SmartBus, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding expertise in assisting Sydney Ferries with development of its successful operating bid, driving the development of a range of “outside the box” options aimed at improving service quality and increasing efficiency levels. Phillip Boyle’s combination of technical operations capabilities and commercial experience provided Sydney Ferries with significant benefits during this process."

Denis Mole, Chief Operating Officer, Sydney Ferries, NSW

"A highly successful implementation has been achieved, complete with substantial network changes and a complete rewriting of all operating timetables. During the scheduling process Phillip Boyle & Associates worked closely with both TransLink and ourselves to achieve the best possible outcomes. As a result the operation has been made simpler and substantially more robust. Implementation was helped significantly by Phillip Boyle’s operational planning and scheduling expertise."

Paul Davies, General Manager, Westside Bus Service, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding planning, operations and implementation expertise. The project was difficult due to the complex nature of the service (local, intertown and line haul services operating under a timed-transfer system) and the number of stakeholders involved. Phillip Boyle’s hands-on approach ensured a difficult implementation went smoothly. He worked effectively with a variety of stakeholders ranging from large and small bus companies, Department of Transport staff, Metlink and local government representatives. Not only did Mr Boyle help to redesign the service, but he also drove the implementation, including development of a regional timetable in a new format."

John Storrie, General Manager – Strategic Planning & Policy, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle provided scheduling support for Brisbane Transport over several projects spanning almost ten years. The range of projects he has assisted with cover the scheduling, planning and human resources disciplines. In that time he has demonstrated high levels of scheduling, planning and operations expertise. I look forward to working with Phillip Boyle & Associates in the future and would highly recommend them to an organisation looking for planning, operations or scheduling expertise."

Roman Gafa, Network Scheduling Manager, Brisbane Transport, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates developed our operating bid for the V/Line services. Not only did they assist with format, structure and content, but also developed our operating plan and pricing strategies. Our bid success was due in no small part to the professionalism of Phillip Boyle, his ability to prepare a high-quality operating bid, and his detailed understanding of operations. Upon winning the bid, Phillip Boyle & Associates provided implementation support and advice necessary to ensure a successful implementation of the services."

Frank Bono, Managing Director, Firefly Express, Victoria

"Having worked with Phillip Boyle over many years I can say without a doubt he provides industry-leading expertise in the planning, scheduling and operation of public transportation services. His recent work on the Advanced Transit Scheduling Manual reinforced this view."

Dan Boyle, President, Dan Boyle & Associates, USA