Our tram system is one of the best in the world, contributing to making Melbourne a wonderful place to live. But lack of attention and poor policy from the Government is making overcrowding on Melbourne’s trams worse. Victoria’s population is growing by more than 2,100 people each week and more and more commuters are using trams to get around.
Neglect over time by both Liberal and Labor governments means the system is lagging well behind demand.
Many commuters stand crammed together swaying in 25 year old trams. This is not a pleasant way to start or finish a busy working day.
OVERCROWDING GETTING WORSE
Melbourne’s tram services are full or dangerously overcrowded, particularly in morning peak as they approach the Melbourne CBD.
The Government predicts that an additional 6.1 million tram journeys will be made in the 2014-15 year, which equates to more than 16,000 trips per day.
During morning peak hour in the CBD, Melbourne’s tram lines are at 99% capacity, with some running at nearly 150% capacity.
There is an existing contract for 50 new trams, which contains an option to purchase additional trams and also to negotiate with the builder, Bombardier Transportation Australia Pty Ltd, to deliver them faster.
This order is already running 12 months late.
THE GREENS’ PLAN FOR CUTTING OVERCROWDING
The Greens will buy an additional 50 trams on top of the 50 already ordered to ensure our tram system can keep up with demand into the future.
We will take up the tram contract’s existing option to fast-track the trams on order. The sooner the new trams are out on the tracks, the quicker the unacceptable overcrowding on many routes will be reduced.
The Greens’ plan to double the number of trams being built will expand capacity by an extra 10,500 passengers and cost an estimated $350 million, including extending the maintenance contract. There may be additional costs for associated infrastructure.
The new E-class trams are being made at Dandenong creating around 500 local jobs. Our policy will see more jobs created and these important manufacturing jobs lasting longer.
BENEFITS OF MORE TRAMS
Trams are Melbourne’s success story with other cities now looking to copy us. Los Angeles, for example, recently approved a tram extension plan that could eventually see them have more kilometers of track than Melbourne.
Melbourne’s 450 trams currently in service are on average 25 years old. An additional 100 new trams will make a significant difference to the everyday experience of people using our tram network.
Trams are used by diverse groups of people, not just inner- city residents. City commuters, tourists and country visitors value our trams highly for travelling to work, hospitals, universities and Melbourne’s attractions.
It would take at least 12 of the new super-sized E-class trams to carry the growth in passengers in peak hour just from last year’s new passengers, not taking into account future growth and relieving existing overcrowding on other routes.
Trams play an essential role in making Melbourne the liveable city it is, with many of our most vibrant shopping and entertainment areas situated along tram routes.
The new low floor E-class trams have a capacity of 210 passengers and in combination with raised platforms will make tram travel more accessible for people in wheelchairs as well as people travelling with prams or shopping trolleys. As a result people can get on and off quicker and more safely and the trams are more efficient at getting us where we want to go.