Security and transport were widely considered to be the most likely cause of a disastrous London 2012 Olympics, but both have been almost completely problem free, based not only on our group's own experiences but from the surveys we have been collecting too. As a England native, I had warned my group pre-arrival that the Tube would be unbearable -- it'll be 150 years old next year and I was convinced that it would not be able to hold up to hosting an Olympic games, but it has.
Many of the trains and stations are not air conditioned. The ventilation, instead, is being provided by the trains moving about and pushing the air. This means that it can be very hot, especially on the trains, and with crowded conditions it can be very unpleasant. I do not feel that this means it has been a failure.
The Tube's job is to transport passengers, which it does effectively and promptly. Only once on our trip so far have all 30 of our group been unable to fit on one train and everything is well signposted so even London newbies can navigate themselves around easily.
One group of people who have been unsuccessful at cashing in on the Olympics have been London's famous black cab drivers. I've taken a few cabs since I've been here and many of the notoriously opinionated drivers have been furious at their treatment by LOCOG and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
In their opinion, they've been attacked from two angles by both the Mayor and LOCOG, with the BMW "Games Vehicles" escorting around the high end clientele who usually use the black cabs, and also by the decision to give every ticket holder a free travel card for the bus and Tube -- which is valid for the entire day of their event. Most of the drivers that I have spoken to have had the worst month they can remember, and wished that they had been brought in as the Games vehicles rather that the fleet of BMWs and volunteers.
As for the security, that hasn't been an issue either. The local media had made a big deal of the security company G4S's inability to provide enough man power to staff the games, but the British Armed Forces have come in instead and have been both hugely efficient and incredibly helpful too. This is probably an easier assignment than they are used to but you do feel much safer to know that the people controlling the safety of the venue are highly trained people who are at the top of their profession, rather than a minimum wage teenager who does not want to be there.
We have experienced no lines for security, and if there is are any issues with something you're trying to bring in, they are incredibly friendly and kind. In fact, a common point that is made by everyone we have spoken too is how friendly and helpful the volunteers have been in general. It makes a big difference and has made the London 2012 Olympic Games a fantastic event so far.
-- HUGO SCHECKTER