Tony P wrote:
> I think another interim possibility until tram capacity grows is to just
run a single free loop tram service around the CBD, like the free bus loops
in other cities.
Well, Melbourne already has that. It is the City Circle. Before it was
introduced in1994, an election pledge was made to introduce free trams in
the CBD. Many people took that as meaning free CBD trams operated as they
are now. When the City Circle line opened (it required new tracks in
Spring St ) the government of the day said it would be free, and that that
honoured the pledge of free CBD trams.
Despite being slower than other trams and often running behind other trams,
the City Circle trams were packed with freeloaders, who you could see
letting other trams pass by while they waited for a City Circle to turn up.
Make something free and freeloaders descend. It's why almost everything
has to be paid for, including most public transport everywhere in the
world. Even in the USSR under communism, people had to pay to ride trams.
When all CBD trams were made free, the negative affect on City Circle
patronage was so great that they were almost abolished, but there was an
outcry so they remained.
I think it is spot on to abolish free CBD trams, apart from the City
Circle. Reduce freeloading to one line and allow much more capacity on
actual proper tram routes.