Toxic Custard newsletter transport

Tram changes: Some make sense. Some, it seems, less so.

Via a couple of stories in the last few days, The Age has revealed proposed changes to the tram network, probably to take place from mid-year with the next big round of timetable changes.

Some context

First, some context. All the changes need to be seen in light of fleet changes, and growing patronage.

The load surveys for trams track crowding on trams at the pressure points, specifically the CBD fringe, and in the CBD itself. The “Average Maximum Capacity” figures for the last published survey in 2014 show worsening crowding on many routes.

(See also: What are the load standards for the different types of trams?)

Meanwhile the new E-class trams are rolling out onto route 96, and its D-class trams in turn are moving to route 19 (see below), with their B-class trams then moving to other routes. This is what Yarra Trams refers to as their Cascade Plan, and although it hasn’t been properly published, there’s a fair bit of detail in this document which has leaked out:

Yarra Trams fleet cascade plan, 2012

The oldest of the smaller Z-class trams are being retired. Overall it means more large trams on the network — so not necessarily growth in the fleet size, but certainly growth in fleet capacity.

Route changes

So, what are the proposed changes?

Route 8 (Toorak–City–Moreland) would be removed. The southern section would be served by an extension of route 55 (West Coburg–City–Domain) through to Toorak. The northern section (which mostly overlaps with route 1) would be served by a diverted route 1 to Moreland, as well as route 6 (Glen Iris–City) being extended to the current route 1 terminus at East Coburg.

Route 19 (North Coburg–City) will go to all D-class trams. Those are the longer low-floor trams introduced last decade, moving off route 96 as the E-class trams come in. The catch is trams will run slightly less frequently, though the precise details haven’t yet been released.

There’s one other unconfirmed change worth noting: All CBD routes would be upgraded to run at least every ten minutes off-peak on weekdays. This would presumably affect route 55 along William Street, and others such as those on Swanston Street which currently run at lower (typically 12 minute) frequencies.

These changes mostly make sense. Having the 55 go to Toorak makes cross-town journeys from Toorak/South Yarra to Kingsway/South Melbourne easier. Those who want to go up St Kilda Road can still change at Domain Interchange, which was re-built in 2013 to enable a cross-platform transfer (in both directions) for this.

The northern section changes should make little difference to frequency, but depending on the balance of big trams, hopefully will add some capacity.

The question for busy Swanston Street (specifically the Domain via City to University section) will be whether a higher proportion of large trams makes up for one less route.

And for route 19 — will slightly fewer, but slightly bigger, trams provide enough capacity? That route is very busy at peak times, but also after dark. We’ll only know when we see more detail, and how it works in action.

Domain Interchange, shortly after it re-opened in April 2013

City Circle

The City Circle is also planned to have changes, with the proposal that it run in one direction only, with the route bypassing HarbourTown, thus returning it to an actual circle(ish). It sounds like this change is yet to be approved/locked-in.

At this stage it’s unclear if that would remain at the current 12 minute frequency (or perhaps 10 if bypassing HarbourTown), thus half the total current number of trams running, or some other arrangement.

Let’s assume for a moment that it’s reasonable to push the tram system as a whole towards modern, air-conditioned, low-floor trams, to increase accessibility and competitiveness with cars.

Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t make sense to cut the Ws from the City Circle in the context of:

  • rampant CBD crowding (in part due to the new Free Tram Zone) meaning having City-only routes actually makes more sense than ever to work alongside Suburb to City routes
  • the cost already spent to restore W-class trams
  • popularity of W-class trams with tourists (and locals), given their heritage value (even if they mostly don’t use heritage colours!)
  • eventual future provision of accessible trams on other routes covering almost all of the streets included in the City Circle

The unconfirmed information floating about is that instead of a cut in service, there’ll be the same number of trams, but all running in one direction. This would mean instead of both directions every 12 minutes, only one way (clockwise?) every 6 minutes.

That’d be pretty silly. Any delays from City Circle trams to other services would be removed in one direction, but doubled in the other. Likewise any relief to other overcrowded services would be in one direction only.

Crowded tram

Why no information? Why no consultation?

Perhaps the real problem here is that, as is far too common, bits of information are leaking out without any visibility of the entire plan, and the thinking behind it. (Remember, much of this was originally intended to happen next month, but will now presumably be in June when Regional Rail Link opens.)

Rather than put it all out there when asked last week by the media, there’s been no further clarification on what’s become public.

There’s already confusion. For instance some people seem to think Moreland Road in Brunswick will lose regular tram services, which isn’t the case.

Has this plan been flagged at the Yarra Trams Meet the Manager sessions held this month? I don’t know.

Changes are needed on the trams, and much of what’s proposed seems to make sense, but it’d be better to explain it all than to just assume that will the public hear the headlines and believe it’ll all be good — unfortunately the reality is that many will assume it’s all bad.

PS. There’s a petition running to retain W-class trams on the City Circle and at least one other route.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

35 replies on “Tram changes: Some make sense. Some, it seems, less so.”

In response to this from elsewhere ‘We want to divert some of the Swanston street trams via William Street, to be done in line with the Melbourne Metro, with the expectations that those who seek to travel into the city shall prefer to catch the metro than use one of the existing and remaining trams into Swanston Street.

One serious flaw in that plan is, they are making changes to the trams, but where is the Metro???

Another irony is, all the tram routes along St Kilda road are overloaded. Here we are removing one of those tram routes, and forcing its customers onto the already crowded other tram routes.

That is my only real gripe with the current plans. There needs to be pairs of routes, with one of the pair as is to Melbourne University, and the other via William Street to Peel street as they once did. That should reduce the demand somewhat from Swanston Street, as those who seek somewhere closer to William Street would be removed from the Swanston Street loadings.

They also seek to divert #12 via La Trobe street, but can not do so due to the lack of trams. E class onto #11 is to boost the capacity along Collins Street to prevent the removal of #12. That change will not happen this time around, but by June, we should have two extra E class trams in the fleet than what the plans would otherwise have been. I would rather have one massive change to the whole system, all in one go than have dribbles of changes over a long time.

As for the other big change, the RRL stage #3, that would be the greatest improvement to Melbourne – Geelong travels. Just the one gripe, why can we not find at least one spare Sprinter railcar for at least a short shuttle between Werribee and say Lara or Little River??

The shit is yet to hit the fan in respect to the rumored cut backs to Transdev bus services.

Two questions.

#1, is there any advantage in having city circle operate only in one direction?

#2, why is #1, which is an existing route number. When you radically change the direction of a route, you give it a new number. Have the old numbers removed from the system for a while at least. Why is that not happening??

Diverting the Toorak Rd tram along Willams St is not about the Metro. It is about reducing the number of routes in St Kilda Rd to simplify operations and make the service more reliable.

Diverting the tram will not in itself reduce the main crowding issue on St Kilda Rd, St kilda Rd office workers who get on and off the train at Flinders St. The Metro would help with that but so would St Kilda Rd tram quadruplication.

Just because the number of routes on St Kilda Rd is being reduced, doesn’t mean the frequency is being reduced. The aim is to increase frequency on individual routes (from 12 to 10 off-peak as Daniel mentions), but that is not easily achieved with the large number of routes serving the corridor currently.

These are generally good changes, although I wouldn’t think reducing frequency on Rt19 is a good idea.

Agreed regarding a lack of communication and consultation. The sensationalising Age headline doesnt do it any favours. Yarra Trams does have an overall plan. There was a map floating around 2 years ago that lists all proposed route changes. The next major change will be the splitting of Route 72 when a new interchange opens at Gardiner Station. I expect Rt12 to eventually run down LaTrobe St per the plan when E-Class trams find themselves on Collins St.

Having the circle trams go to Docklands Drive now surely helps keep them evenly spaced. Going around a continual loop will only have trams bunch up behind one another in times of congestion.

This was also one reason the Circle Line on the tube in London changed to not be a continual circle, but to have a spur just like the current Circle Tram does.

Breaking up Rt 72 is pointless unless you extend the line down to Caulfield. People travelling from Malvern Rd to Camberwell will have their service slowed down significantly as they have to transfer at the interchange.

@Llib, that is Yarra Trams’ plan, which you can see here:

I believe it’s due to a variety of factors, including splitting long routes to isolate delays (especially on Burke Rd), allow high-capacity trams on certain parts of routes and to increase/decrease frequencies on the Malvern and Burke Rd corridors depending on patronage. The route itself makes no sense anyway, as it doubles back on itself.

The splitting of Route 16 probably makes more sense, as then you get a truly north-south route connecting about 10 different tram corridors. Not sure when that’s planned to take place though.

@James A
The delays on that route can be solved by better tram light priority and it does a very useful purpose of connecting the Camberwell area with Toorak, Malvern and Prahran in which many of those commuters and passengers exit before they head for the CBD which is spare capacity seats.
If they broke up that route without extending it to Caulfield the planned route 73 would see a large drop in patronage as its quite short and doesn’t really serve anything except a connection to the Glen Waverley line. Meanwhile Route 72 would probably remain busy until Glenferrie Road or even before Prahran as city bound Glen iris and Malvern commuters would prefer to take the train to the CBD not the tram.

More routes with a lower frequency each is better than having few routes with higher frequency.

The need to change vehicles will always cause delays in many ways such as,

++ For me the customer, the time it takes me to change, then walk to where the connection is, and in most cases wait for that to turn up

++ More people need to get on and off at the interchange, which shall only delay the service for the others.

Only this morning a caller on 3AW said, they do not use the train, because their Frankston line does not go via the city loop to where they need to travel. A service that goes into the loop is ‘time competitive’ where as the need to change, it is far better to drive.

The need to provide a noodle works of train and tram routes would be a far better idea, as it provides that direct ‘no need to change’ for a lot more people, and by so shall make public transport a lot more reasonable for a lot more people.

That is what you find in London, and in New York too. In many cases, people in outer areas have a choice of at least one route to take. Some places give you five or six choices between at least two underground routes, and a NationalRail route or two as well. Here in Melbourne, we have nothing at all like that and yet we should.

In the case of St Kilda road, prior to the current Domain road interchange, you had very good reason not to have x in y go via William Street, as those trams would block through trams. That is not a problem now, and we have turnback tracks of which are not currently used.

I understand that the reason why we are not getting all those changes done now is, due to the current lack of trams.

Once we get a few more of these E class trams in service, you will see more changes take place.

@Jim: “More routes with a lower frequency each is better than having few routes with higher frequency.”

No, absolutely not. If you have low frequency, you’ve already lost the battle against car travel, and you are severely limiting the number of trips the network can serve. Indeed, you’re giving up on really having a network.

High frequency is key to getting large numbers of people to use PT. As long as good interchange is provided, it means you can provide a high-frequency, anywhere-to-anywhere network.

In the case of the Loop, having some lines run direct means you can have more trains run reliably on all of the network, eg removing the Werribee line from the Loop in 2008 allowed more trains on the Sunbury, Craigieburn, Upfield AND Werribee lines.

For background, read up on Paul Mees’ Squaresville:

…and Human Transit:

@Llib, on route 72, as I understand it, a split will happen at least temporarily during the grade separation project at Glen Iris.

Yarra Trams claim that very few people ride the trams through that curve (Malvern Road to Burke Road). I haven’t seen the figures, but it’s a similar debate to the Orbital Smartbuses, with the split being logical to cut delays, reduce en-route recovery time (difficult on a tram route), and more evenly balance capacity to demand.

Do people use route 72 end-to-end? No. If it’s true that few people ride through that section, it may make sense to split it, and have the Burke Road section operate as a feeder into Glen Iris and Camberwell and to the 109, with the rest operating as a higher-capacity route serving Prahran, St Kilda Road and the City.

I’m not saying it’s definitely the best option, but it’s worth exploring – even if the extension to Caulfield (which makes a lot of sense) doesn’t happen just yet.

Extending the Burke Rd tram to Caulfield makes a lot of sense. It can then act as a train feeder for south of Gardiner as well as North and serve Monash Caulfield and feed Caulfield station as well.

I just don’t “get” moving the Toorak trams out of Swanston St.. Sure, it might look good on a bureaucrat’s map, but let’s be realistic. These trams are often crowded at all times of the day and night. I doubt that many of these passengers have any need or desire to go to South Melbourne or William St, judging from the very few people I see changing at Domain Interchange. Making the majority of the many users of this route change at Domain Interchange is going to be be a pain for them.

If not many people are going to say South Melbourne or others areas south of yarra, then why do so many transfer to route 8 at South Yarra in AM peak?

No doubt there are people who wish to travel from South Yarra to Kingsway etc. But obviously not everyone who gets on a west bound tram at South Yarra station is in this category. Maybe some are going to the many offices on St Kilda Rd? Perhaps a solution would be to extend the 55 route as far as South Yarra station during peak hours – isn’t there already a crossing somewhere there (at Chapel St perhaps – not sure)?
However, my point is that, although I don’t know the figures, the number of passengers on the busy Toorak route – over the course of the whole day (and evening) and especially at weekends – who are headed up Swanston St would seem to be vastly greater than those who want to go to Kingsway or William St.

Why change route 1 around? Why not have route 6 go to Moreland and keep route 1 the same? Less signage etc. to change.


Sorry I have to strenuously argue here as I know the route 72 quite well and disagree with your logic on splitting this kind of route.

– with the split being logical to cut delays,
These delays are not only caused by the length of the route but also the fact that stops are too closely spaced, there is poor traffic light priority for trams, cars have a high mode share along the route with too much subsidised free parking in shopping areas and Burke Rd being inundated with exiting cars from being close to the end of the toll zone on the Monash.

– reduce en-route recovery time (difficult on a tram route),

Again can be assisted by genuine light priority with a control centre established for trams integrated with Vicroads that can help adjust traffic signals to help the trams recover from delays and also removing the driver changeover area from Glenferrie Road to its Terminus at Whitehorse Rd will help there as well.

– and more evenly balance capacity to demand.

This will just be an excuse to reduce tram services on Burke Rd (route 73) to next to nothing as it doesn’t have enough connections to justify its low patronage, it would also be served much better by extending the tram line to Caulfield and even further North to Ivanhoe to become a much better north – south route which will add many more train and tram lines to interchange (after the extension there would be adequate justification to split off from Route 72).

– Do people use route 72 end-to-end and
– Yarra Trams claim that very few people ride the trams through that curve (Malvern Road to Burke Road)?

Most trams are too slow to be used end to end, the main role is to act as feeders and as local transport. They serve this role very well and attract much more patronage than buses which cover considerably more route kilometres.

Going back to route 72 this underlies its usefulness in serving the inner south eastern suburbs of Melbourne and connecting many important activity centres

below are just a few examples

– St Kilda Road business precinct
– Chapel St and Commercial entertainment and shopping district
– Malvern Road shopping district
– Toorak station (interchange)
– Private schools in Toorak and Armadale ( Lauriston and Loreto Mandeville Hall)
– Medium density residential apartments along Malvern Rd
– Gardiner station (interchange)
– Camberwell station and shopping centre

Splitting the route at Gardiner will make travel from Camberwell to the destinations just above it much less attractive and vice versa. If the route was not split and the level crossing removed you can get travel between these areas at less than 20 minutes from Camberwell to Toorak which would attract many shoppers, students and interchanging commuters.
The patronage from Camberwell to the Toorak/Armadale area may be quite low from an overall tram patronage perspective however it fills seats near the end of the line that are underutilised and go against peak flows as many of those passengers leave before getting to the CBD and St Kilda Rd which complements city bound and St Kilda Rd commuters especially in the morning and afternoon peak.

In conclusion
If you observe Route 72 from a map it may look illogical (shaped like an upside down banana) and too long with the need to split it up however if you look closely at how people travel in the area it serves a purpose that is useful to locals and justifies the feasibility of the entire line along the entire route from the CBD to Camberwell.

Looks like I’ve opened a kettle of fish here. It’s got to be considered that there will be barely any walking involved in interchanging, as Route 72 would terminate on one side of the new Gardiner Stn island platform stop and Route 73 on the other. If they are timetabled correctly, the wait should be very minimal. Although I somewhat agree that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits of splitting until the extension south to Caulfield goes ahead, in which case it would be similar to a split of Route 16.

I think a more logical extension however would be the short distance north to at least Doncaster Rd, North Balwyn. Northern Boroondara is very disconnected from the south, primarily due to a lack of N-S connections (abysmal 285 bus, 72 tram, 16 tram and abysmal 609 bus). I read an interesting piece today, in which it was mentioned that the land Kew High School is on was earmarked in the 1950s for a new depot to serve the planned extension of the Burke Rd tram to Heidelberg. Alas, Bolte came to government and it was all scrapped. If only…

@Salamander, one reason might be that if route 1 is operated out of Moreland depot, but the 6 is operated out of Malvern depot, it makes things easier if the 1 goes to Moreland and the 6 goes to East Coburg.

@Llib, some good reasons, which I think need to be weighed up against the alternatives. (Alas, on-road priority isn’t going to happen any time soon). Of course, properly weighing up the options would be easier if Yarra Trams/PTV actually published the data they have on all of this, and properly consulted passengers. (There’s a Meet The Managers session this morning at Camberwell Junction, by the way.)

@James A, in the past there have been proposals to extend the 72/73 to both Caulfield in the south, and also north not just to North Balwyn, but also to the freeway to meet the DART buses (and future Doncaster line) and also to the Hurstbridge line. I think it makes a lot of sense to help enable more N-S cross-suburb trips — way more logical for instance than trying to re-open the Outer Circle line.

(Probably worth emphasising again that the 72 is not proposed to be altered in this round of changes.)

Surely there are other things that would take priority over extending the Burke Rd tram south to Caulfield? In terms of tramway infrastructure, these would included extending the 48 to Doncaster, maybe even extending the Burke Rd route northwards ….or, in terms of transport infrastructure generally, getting on with the Metro project.
If there was some sort of pent-up demand for a Gardiner to Caulfield link, why isn’t there a bus already? Yet there’s nothing at present, apart from the occasional meanderings of the 624 bus over a small part of this section of Burke Rd, and the part of the 624 route that runs parallel in Tooronga Rd isn’t so well utilised as to suggest that more capacity is required in the area.

The tram extention of greatest priority in my mind, is the short one to East Malvern R/S, given how short it is, with the net benefit of having a one change option for those who travel between Glen Waverly and Caulfield.

We do need to have a viable and decent cross town tram route along Bourke road between Caulfield and Ivanhoe too, and could be done at the same time as extending #3 that short distance.

Would it be worth our while to have a tram that runs between Camberwell and Caufield via existing tracks? Would that be too much out of the way?

I can almost be supportive of this section becoming a bus, if it is what it takes to have such a direct link.

I can not believe the waste in resources when we have low floor D class trams operating the whole route #72, while most of the route does not have any platform stops, at the same time we have Dandenong road which has platform stops but no low floor trams.

It would be great to have D1 class allocated to a trunkated #72, because of the hospital, and whatever we end up having along Dandenong road, with any extras on #5.

@gxh, I specifically don’t travel N-S at all, or rarely, in the Auburn/Tooronga corridor because there’s no mobility there. The 624 is a) infrequent, with 20 mins gaps its best, and b) has no real time info, so you can’t even be sure it’s coming.

It doesn’t mean there’s no demand there – the old adage about not judging the need for a bridge by the number of people swimming across applies.

I think that would apply as a more general insight into N-S travel around the city, as even where there is a service (eg 16, 72) they’re so horribly compromised in terms of priority that it’s usually quicker to get a train into the city and back out again for any substantial cross-town travel.

Very sad to hear about the proposed reduction in city circle services, and hence in the presence of Melbourne’s iconic W Class Trams. We are a new group dedicated to promoting them, and pointing out their obvious tourism and heritage value. The City Circle is the perfect place for them, and they re already overcrowded ! There should be more not less ! Theres a petition going (started by one of our members – please share if you’re interested – ).

Good quote about the bridge and definitely an increase in bus services on the 624 at 10 to 20 minute frequencies (peak to off peak) is certainly justified considering that it connects Auburn station, Tooronga Station/Village, schools, EW trams, and Caulfield station. That bus is actually quite busy considering its poor frequency.

I know on road priority wont happen any time soon however in the long run as larger numbers of people depend on public transport and vote then there will hopefully be a push politically not only for better on road priority but also better bus and tram services which will begin a self reinforcing cycle of more PT users voting for PT improvements which brings in more PT users.
The EW link is the first sign of voter priorities changing as a result of people voting against the link as a much larger percentage of the population uses public transport than 10 years ago.

@Tranzit Jim
They should have a package of tram extensions in the south eastern area to save money on engineering and construction
These should include
extension to Carnegie station, extension you mentioned in East Malvern plus the one in Darling as well, High St extension to Ashburton and finally the Burke Rd extension.

Just a thought: if the Toorak tram continued to run via Swanston St and one of the other St Kilda Rd routes diverted to William St, total capacity through the Domain interchange would be higher, as these two routes would not intersect at all. So, in theory, they could pass through the interchange simultaneously, instead of one having to wait (maybe) to cross the path of the other.

Or is the idea that having a Sth Yarra to Kingsway train-tram connection is more important?

Why not take the #3 extension a step further and take it to Alamein Station via the old outer circle alignment. You could then convert Alamein to Camberwell rail branch into light rail (i.e. port Melbourne or Stkilda) and have both the Camberwell and Caufield connected via East Malvern.

#3 section of Waverley Road/Balaclava Road are easily capable of higher tram frequency and priority allowing a high speed/frequency tram transfer between all of the SE rail lines at most of their logical transfer points.
This will allow some passengers to transfer without having to go in and out to Richmond etc. which could alleviate some of the capacity issues on the inner sections of the rail network.

I actually think there’s further scope for #3 LRT extensions beyond Camberwell along the old outer circle, inner circle, and showground’s alignments with termination at Footscray (options to replace the Williamstown rail branch could also exist). This would create and orbital LRT service allowing interconnection between all rail lines. It could be fast and frequent and save costs in that it can utilize some road space and not require grade separations (except freeway and river crossings which could still have lighter structures).

The 624 is infrequent, in Tooronga Rd not Burke Rd, as obvious as a tram line and these are fairly wealthy areas where buses do less well than trains or trams.

Burke Rd south of Malvern Rd is likely to be a good fit, frequency and capacity need wise, for the Burke Rd trams north of Malvern Rd.

Extending the 3 to East Malvern is a very good idea. It should continue to Chadstone Shopping Centre. The Alamein line should, in the medium to long term, be extended to East Malvern and then in tunnel to Chadstone and Oakleigh to serve the shopping centre and also provide a shorter trip between Swinburne and the Glen Waverley and Pakenham/Cranbourne lines.

The 55-8 through-routing means that no tram waits for points or other trams in front`s turning cycles at the Domain interchange. That reduces delays.

I realise I have come late to the party as I have just read the Age article after receiving a letter from David Davis MP mentioning the No8 change (I was overseas at the time).
I recall months and months ago a tram driver mentioned that the No8 was going to be changed to run with the 55 so that it can come out of the northern depot as opposed but I was unable to find any information on it.

To an extent I see that there would be some sense to utilise higher capacity trams on where they are needed most.

South Yarra is one of the most densely populated area in Melbourne. So removing its Tram connection to the Swanston St corridor seems silly.

As previously mentioned trams are already overcrowded on the StKilda road corridor, so changing at Domain Interchange to go to Flinders St/Melbourne Uni would be next to impossible in peak hour.

If you previously went from one end to the other on the No8 tram (which may be the fastest way to get there) you would have to take 3 trams (55, Swanston St, 1)

While I realise I may not be the typical commuter, I personally catch the number 8 from South Yarra to Brunswick to visit my mother. Now I would have to change at Domain and wait for the number 6 (which will hopefully have enough room for me to get on) or take another tram and change at Arts Centre to catch the number 1 (Up to 3 trams).

Alternate between the 55 to Toorak and keep the 8 from Toorak to RMIT (Picking a place where the tram can turn around).

That means that:
+ the densely populated South Yarra and Toorak Rd can go to the city via either Swanston or William St.
+ those wishing to travel North of Melbourne Uni will have the opportunity to change to 2 trams (1 and 6)

IDEA 1: I also like John’s idea above of picking one of the other tram routes to connect with the #55 such as the #5 or #6.
IDEA 2 (Not really related to above): Extend the #8/replacement to turn south down Glenhuntley Rd to Malvern Depot (picking a place the tram could turn around)
This will allow Toorak road to be connected to:
+ High St shopping strip
+ Glenhuntley Rd shopping strip
+ #72 and #6 trams (without having to change to the #16 or worse back track to Domain)
IDEA 3: Now that the tracks in Docklands actually almost extend to Costco create a Costco stop. I feel really stupid getting of the tram and then walking to Costco along tram tracks. (You may even be able to get Costco to pitch in a little to build the stop)

Why is the seating layout in the D class trams so strange. Why not lift the seats above the wheels so that large space is not wasted?

In the 1960s (and possibly earlier I dont remember) the number 8 trams went alternately along St Kilda Rd and the new proposed route to Williams Street. It seemed to work well as long as you remembered to get off and change if you didnt want to go to South Melbourne. As I use the number 8 today I am wondering if they will be less frequent on the new route. The route 55 from the Domain Interchange is much less frequent.

A significant problem facing the 8 tram is the awful traffic congestion along Toorak Road. A problem that would not solved by running the 55 along the same stretch of motorised misery. It’s well past time a courageous decision was taken and parking prohibited along the length of Toorak Road from Toorak to Punt Road. A designated trams-only lane could then be created. This would speed up both the trams and the traffic flow (trams being mobile traffic jams when they are mixed in with the regular traffic).

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