Overcrowding Continues on Peak Tram Services

Carlton residents are being forced to wait for trams as overcrowding on peak Lygon services continues.

With many peak Elgin and Lygon St services too full to stop and pick up passengers, many Carlton commuters are being forced to wait at tram stops while crowded services go past without stopping.

Brunswick candidate for the Greens, Tim Read, says overcrowding is a big issue for residents who rely on tram services for commute to and from the CBD.

“They’ve got a tram going past them, every few minutes, but it may as well have a sign on it that says ‘Carlton residents: keep out,’” said Mr. Read.

Yarra Trams’ load survey report released in May documents peak morning services on the Elgin and Lygon St route as being, on average, at 124.1 per cent of their comfortable capacity, a significant increase from the previous year.

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) spokesperson, Eric Brotchie said in a written statement, after insisting on receiving questions via email, that PTV and Yarra Trams are aware of issues of overcrowding.

“PTV continues to work in partnership with Yarra Trams to implement solutions to ease overcrowding and build capacity across the network,” said Mr. Brotchie.

The state government has placed an order for the construction of 50 new trams, all of which are expected to be in service by 2018.

“The delivery of 50 next generation E-Class trams will increase overall network capacity as larger trams are redeployed to other routes,” said Mr. Brotchie.

PTV expects the new trams to ease existing issues of overcrowding, however will continue to assess the need for even more trams in the future.

“We will continue to monitor patronage going forward and if demand changes, we will consider our options then,” said Mr. Brotchie.

However, Mr. Read said there is a need for more tram services, or trams that have a greater capacity now.

The Greens propose speeding up the construction and delivery of new trams and ordering 50 extra trams, in order to directly target overcrowding, particularly in areas such as Carlton and Brunswick.

“While we’ve got people standing at tram stops, staring at trams that are so packed they can’t even board them, we say its time to write a cheque and provide a service,” said Mr. Read.

Mr. Read, who uses the tram to commute from Brunswick on wet days, said boarding an overcrowded tram is an uncomfortable experience.

“It’s a socially awkward and unpleasant experience to force yourself into the crowd on a tram,” said Mr. Read.

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