But having got all the information about it now, I don’t see why it’s a problem.
From the document specifying the new order of trams:
Optimal operation of the new trams will require modifications to be made to selected tram stops. The vehicles will be about 32m in length which will become the standard for Melbourne’s trams. Some short platform (below 30m standard) stops will need lengthening by a few metres to allow optimal boarding and alighting. Until all platforms are extended, trams will need to isolate the rear door to prevent passengers alighting where there is no safe refuge or platform.
Manufacture and Delivery Phase
First tram acceptance Third Quarter 2012
Fifth tram acceptance First Quarter 2013
Sixth tram acceptance Third Quarter 2013
Ongoing deliverable at 10 trams per annum
What the Age reporter was not told, and also wasn’t revealed (at least to me) until the AM story aired was that only 20 stops (out of 300) are too short.
Presumably none of them are on route 96, where the existing five 32m long Bumblebee trams already run. The Bumblebees will return to France in 2011.
So the question is why bother with the expense and time (and passenger confusion, causing delays) of fiddling with the rear door on the new trams, when the first five can just run on route 96 initially. That gives them until Q3/2013 to fix these 20 stops. That’s four years away — surely that’s plenty of time to get it done?
No, the real issue is that the last of these 50 trams won’t be running for about 8 years!
PS. The platform stop pictured above is in Bourke Street, and is not one of the short ones. But it suddenly occurs to me that this is the kind of photo that gets New Urbanism fans all excited, as it shows public transport integrated into its surroundings. See, sometimes we can get things right in Melbourne.