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.
(modified “Apollo” design, with fewer seats)
||C-class (Alstom Citadis)
||D1 (3-section Siemens)
||D2 (5-section Siemens)
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.
Live — from a tram stop in the Bourke Street Mall
The latest in high-contrast, high-resolution semi-permanent destination displays
While it looks like it’s good from a tram operations point of view, it’s also not hard to see why people such as Paul Mees see the Melbourne University tram terminus/shunting yard as poor urban design, fencing off a large section of Swanston Street. (See: Permeability.)
Happy Australia Day.
While I cringe at the “bogan display” in the supermarket selling Australian flag caps, t-shirts, capes, stubby-holders and so on, I quite like the (in comparison understated) flags that have appeared on the trams during the week.
My recollection growing up is of small flags in this position on the W-class trams, though I don’t recall if it was all the year round, or just close to Australia Day.
Even the Royal Tram was sporting a flag on Thursday:
Presumably passengers on trams with flags are not more likely to be racist, as research on cars with flags claimed last year. (If bogans and racists have claimed our flag, we should claim it back, I say.)
Less patriotic than flags was the placement of one of the big Myki stickers (placed over Metcard machines a few weeks ago) onto the outside of this tram. Perhaps the miscreant was protesting against the lack of ticket purchase and top-up on-board?
It’s been a problem for many years: how do you know which tram from the Elizabeth Street (Robert Risson) terminus will leave first?
At last, thanks to Tram Tracker (and its clone apps on other platforms, such as Android’s Tram Hunter) there is a solution!
Just use one of the apps or the mobile web site (or SMS if you’re stuck in 1997) to check for departures from stop ID 3801 (Elizabeth Street at Flinders Street).
From what I’ve seen, the information shown is pretty accurate.
Trivia: the Tram Tracker icon, Jake the bloodhound, is based on former Yarra Trams CEO Dennis Cliche’s dog Jake.
I think it was Lonely Planet that had an entry about transport in Melbourne that bemoaned the fact they are no longer the traditional wooden trams of olde but instead “pneumatic monsters”. They might have been talking about tram numbers 2001 and 2002. They are B-class trams, but with a difference.
These two were the prototypes, sometimes known (Bananas-in-Pyjamas-like) as B1 class. The other 130 are B2 class.
The two B1s have venetian blinds — which seems positively civilised. Unlike the B2s they have LED destination lights (upgraded, as far as I recall, from flap versions). They were originally built with poles, not pantographics (no regular Melbourne tram still has a pole; they’ve all been replaced by pantographs, which don’t come off the wires so easily, and don’t need changing over at the end of the line).
And unlike the others they make noticeable curious pneumatic noises as they come to a stop.
I quite like these ads:
From what I’ve heard, the campaign was originally quite successful, but started to wear off after a few months, so I guess they need to keep revamping it to continue to get the message across.
While I applaud Yarra Trams’ efforts to put more information on-board trams, this map threw me for a moment.
I’m used to seeing east (Box Hill) on the right, and west (Port Melbourne) on the left. This had it the other way around.
And before you say it: it wasn’t designed to match the actual orientation of the tram and the outside world, because there were copies of this map on both sides of the tram, so one was the right way around, and the other wasn’t.
Perhaps I need to just stop being such a map.square.
PS. I suspect the real reason for it being like this is they wanted the major route to be at the top.
Fake icicles on this tram stop, to advertise Mount Buller. I wonder if anybody except me even noticed.