A while back I was talking about train load standards, which as you’ll recall is 798 per train (or 133 per carriage).
Similar desired load standards exist for trams, but they vary much more widely because the tram fleet is much more diverse in size.
These are found in volume 2 of the tram contract, schedule 6, page 40… and as already noted, they are not total capacity figures — exceeding these is meant to trigger action to manage patronage growth.
|Tram type||Load standard|
(modified “Apollo” design, with fewer seats)
|C-class (Alstom Citadis)||110|
|D1 (3-section Siemens)||90|
|D2 (5-section Siemens)||130|
The above figures are all “CBD” figures — there’s a lower limit for “non-CBD” of 10 fewer passengers.
You can find the May 2012 load survey here — a number of routes do breach the load standards.
One obvious solution is for the government to buy more and bigger trams — which is happening: an order for 50 is underway, though it’ll take about 4-5 years for them all to rollout.
A less obvious solution is improved traffic priority, which means faster trips, which means they can run more services with the fleet and drivers they already have.
Plus of course where crowding exists outside peak periods, more services can be run with the current fleet, the only additional costs being extra drivers, maintenance and power.