Re: Tram planning for Melbourne

I had a close look at the point of tram routes being closely parallel to
justify smaller trams and made a few measurements. Those parallel routes in
SE Melbourne are down to about 500 metres and up to over a km apart. I
checked similar routes in Prague and many parallel routes, to my surprise,
are actually less than 500 metres apart and they use 30 metre trams. The
issue is not only the distance but also the density and activity along and
between the routes. However, out in the suburbs of Prague the density is
many cases is not so different from those inner-middle suburbs of Melbourne
because both have in common many free-standing houses on smaller sized
blocks. However, in Prague, the tram patronage per km of route is
something like 3.5 times what it is in Melbourne. The Prague system is very
successful at attracting patronage, thus trams need to be at least 30 metre
vehicles (and also timetabled pretty closely).

The objective in Melbourne should be to attract more patronage, not cut
back capacity because the demand is poor. That's the bad old thinking that
prevailed for decades in Australia post-war. If Melbourne is going down
that negative path, maybe it should start looking at buses. Incidentally
Prague has the population of Adelaide, about 1.2 million. What's
Melbourne's excuse?

Tony P

On Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 10:03:25 UTC+10 Mal Rowe wrote:

> On 04/05/2021 21:29, Anthony Dudley Horscroft wrote:

> >

> > I think that tram planning for Melbourne ought to start from the

> > query; "Where are there bus routes that run at very short interval

> > services?

> >

> > I seem to remember that there is bus route from north Melbourne

> > Station that operates to University/hospital areas at very short

> > intervals - around four minutes ISTR, and this should be a prime

> > candidate for conversion to tram. I would expect that this route

> > could be delayed a bit by motor traffic, so running a tram at even 6

> > minute intervals could justify proper priority.

> >

> That bus route will have much less patronage once the new station on the

> Melbourne Metro at Parkville opens. Further, the road congestion that

> delays the buses manes that a new tramway would be hard to sell - and

> hard to place off-road.

> >

> > Also consideration should be given to conversion of bus routes that

> > run long distances along tram tracks.

> >

> Not many - in fact bus routes tend to serve different sectors of the

> city - basically along the old cable tram routes converted to buses that

> served Collingwood and Carlton and those that served South Melbourne.

> >

> > Also consideration should be give to conversion to light rail of the

> > CBD to Doncaster bus routes. The Ministry should dig out the MMTB

> > proposals for this route, and ask Yarra Trams to update it. This is

> > the route that the B class were designed for - the proposal contains

> > an illustration of B class tram.

> >

> Agreed - and there is even a lane reservation for light or heavy rail.

> However, unless there was significant tramway construction in the

> Doncaster area passengers would have to change modes somewhere. I'm not

> holding my breath.


> Mal Rowe