Glenhuntly and Truganini road track and overhead upgrade
Construction of new platform stops on St Kilda Rd - 11 June to early August 2015
Tram routes changed, abolished in shake-up to ease congestion
Moonee Ponds tram upgrade project
New accessible tram stop for Route 1 & 8 passengers
Toorak Terminus tram upgrade project
Record tram performance in 2014
May 2015 performance results
Your new Jolimont/MCG tram stop
Three of Melbourne's busiest tram routes will be changed dramatically – and one scrapped altogether – as part of a public transport shake-up aimed at increasing capacity towards the city's booming western suburbs.
Public Transport Victoria quietly released details of the proposal on its website earlier this month, three months after Fairfax Media revealed leaked documents of the plan.
Route 8, which services Moreland to Toorak, will be abolished and merged with route 55, which will take passengers between Toorak and West Coburg via Domain Interchange. The new route 58 will travel via William Street, rather than the current Swanston Street.
Tram route 1, which runs from East Coburg to South Melbourne Beach, will instead terminate at Moreland Road, between Nicholson Street past Moreland Station, in Brunswick.
To make up the loss of route 8 along Lygon Street, route 6 will be extended past The University of Melbourne and travel to East Coburg.
The proposed changes would also see the overdue addition of high-capacity, low-floor trams along Melbourne's hospital precinct, which will allow wheelchair users greater access to public transport.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said the proposal was favourable to patrons, but added that Public Transport Victoria needed to listen more to the public.
"These changes do look overall an improvement; they will enable people to travel across town, and they'll bring low-form tram to the hospital precinct," he said.
He said in order for the changes along Swanston and Lygons street to work, Yarra Trams would need to ensure that other routes had additional capacity.
In March, Fairfax Media reported on leaked documents that revealed the planned overhaul, which was originally meant to be rolled out in April, to coincide with the opening of the Regional Rail Link.
Route 8 is statistically one of the city's most overburdened tram routes. In May it recorded load breaches, in which trams are more than 100 per cent full, right across the morning peak and for most of the evening peak.
The overcrowding was worst on trams heading into the city from the northern suburbs. The most recent passenger load survey conducted by Public Transport Victoria revealed patronage levels into the CBD on route 8 had jumped between 11 and 19 per cent in just 12 months.
The proposal is aimed at relieving chronic overcrowding, reducing congestion on the notoriously busy Swanston Street-St Kilda Road corridor and providing more services to the city's west.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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