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There are more passengers using Melbourne’s train and tram network than ever before, while the number of over-crowded services has fallen, according to figures released by Public Transport Victoria.
The state’s public transport authority recently released the train and tram load reports from the month of May, which indicate that more people are using the services during peak hours than previously.
According to Alan Fedda, PTV’s acting CEO, the increase is due to changes to train design and extra services.
“We’ve got more people choosing to take public transport every day, with the new trains providing more capacity for more people as we move towards a modern metro system,” Fedda said.
Reconfiguration of the trains has provided more standing room for passengers, with added space for 102 per train in the peak.
“We introduced 30 extra metropolitan train services in August to provide room for 27,000 extra trips every week, and we’ve provided more room on trains for passengers in peak hour.”
The Metropolitan Train Load Standards Survey Report for the same month shows that there has been a reduction over-capacity train services in the morning and evening peaks.
A total of 17 services breached the benchmark standard of capacity during the AM peak period in May 2017, a decrease from the 51 breaches in May 2016. The PM peak saw a decline in capacity breaches from 22 to 7.
Over the same period, the percentage of passengers travelling on over-capacity train services in the AM peak decreased from 27.7 per cent to 9.7 per cent, while the PM peak saw percentages drop from 11.2 per cent to 3.3 per cent.
Public Transport Victoria expects that passenger capacity of the Cranbourne-Pakenham line will be increased by 20 per cent when 65 new longer trains begin their services in the middle of 2019.
Tram services have also reportedly benefitted with the rollout of the higher-capacity E-Class trams.
“We’ve got 56 new E-Class trams running on our network providing more room to passengers on some of the busiest routes, with a further 24 trams on order,” said Fedda.
“Every time a new E-Class tram rolls out onto our network it provides more room for more passengers as Melbourne continues to grow, and means other larger trams can be allocated to different routes.”
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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