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Trams will soon get new powers that have long eluded motorists – the ability to sail through traffic lights when running late.
Trams will be given the green light over cars in a trial of the new technology on the 75 tram route that runs along Toorak Road and the Burwood Highway.
The GPS technology will trigger an early switch of the traffic lights from red to green to allow the late-running trams to proceed through the intersections.
The information from the GPS systems will be sent to a central traffic control centre to change the lights sequence and prioritise the late-running trams.
Trams currently spend about 16 per cent of their time stuck at traffic lights. Twenty-five trams will be fitted with the new technology. The trial will run between March and May this year.
Roads Minister Jaala Pulford said the technology would allow “real-time synchronisation” with traffic lights so that when trams are running behind schedule, they will gain right of way.
“The lights will work more smoothly. We’ll be able to have more people moving around more readily," she said. "When the tram’s on time, it will just work as normal.”
Ms Pulford said about 75 per cent of tram routes ran on parts of the network that were shared with roads.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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