Metropolitan tram network
Patronage on Melbourne’s trams continues to grow and the State Government is investing to ensure accessibility and services are improved across the network.
In 2010/11 there were 182.7 million boardings on Melbourne’s trams – a 4.1 per cent increase on the previous year.
This figure is the highest patronage has been since 1958-59.
Trams currently support 36 per cent of all Melbourne’s public transport use and there is a tram stop within 400 metres for one in seven people, and one in three jobs. With increasing and changing demands on the tram network, work needs to be done to transform our city’s historic tram network so it is able to cope with today's demands.
Many more people are living in the city and inner suburbs than ever before and there has been substantial residential and commercial development along tram corridors. In addition, the CBD’s workforce is larger than ever. Significant development in the Docklands has also extended the CBD’s boundaries.
The State Government is working to improve accessibility by upgrading infrastructure and offering services where they are needed.
For more information, see accessible trams.
There are a growing number of car-free households, particularly in inner-Melbourne, with more people relying solely on public transport as a means to get around.
We also have an ageing population which needs to be catered for while in Victoria, one in five people has a disability. Many of these people have mobility issues.
Improving accessibility is about making it easier for people to get where they want to go. Reasons for tram use are varied – to get to work, to school and to leisure activities to name a few. We want to improve accessibility and make journeys quicker and more comfortable for everyone. To achieve this, we need to look beyond the tram ride itself. We also need to increase the ease to which people get to and from the tram stops. This means improving connectivity with other forms of public transport such as buses and trains, positioning of tram stops where they are needed most and improving walking and cycling paths.
In addition, we need to improve travel times on the tram network so people can get to and from where they want to go more quickly.
Improvements to the tram network
To achieve this we need increased segregation between trams and other vehicles and improved priority for trams at traffic signals.
Load times at tram stops also need to be improved.
Much is being done to address these issues. For more information, visit thinktram.vic.gov.au (link opens in a new window)
New trams and associated projects
In response to the need to improve the reliability, accessibility and capacity of the network, the Victorian Government has allocated over $800 million to the tram upgrade program.
Delivered by Public Transport Victoria (PTV), the program is a comprehensive package of upgrades, new infrastructure and low-floor trams.
Specifically, the program will include:
- Purchase of 50 new low-floor trams between 2012 and 2017.
- Upgrades to Route 96, the first route on which the new trams will operate.
- Redevelopment of the Preston Workshops and Southbank Depot where the new trams will be stored.
- Power upgrades and accessibility improvements to other low-floor tram routes.
The first of the new trams, which are being built by Bombardier at its Dandenong factory, will be completed in 2013. The new trams will be progressively rolled out onto the network, starting with Route 96.
Route 96 will not only get new trams, the Tram Upgrade Program also funds level access stops along the route - so it will be the first fully accessible tram route in Melbourne. For more information, see Route 96 Project.
This will allow existing high-capacity, low-floor trams which operate on Route 96 to be moved to other high-patronage routes on the network, relieving crowding and improving service delivery.
Accessibility, safety and load times will be improved with the introduction of more level access stops across the network.
Victoria has an obligation under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) to significantly increase the number of level access stops and low-floor trams on the route over time.
The DDA Act stipulates that Victoria must achieve 100% DDA compliance on the tram network by 2032.
Currently 19.7 per cent (350) of the network’s 1775 tram stops are level access while 24% (100 vehicles) are low-floor.
The Accessible Public Transport in Victoria Action Plan (2006-12) provides the actions and milestones to meet the 2032 target. In accordance with the national Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport Guidelines 2004, prioritisation will occur to maximise accessibility on highly patronised routes.