Think Tram

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ThinkTramLogo.jpg
A Superstop in St Kilda

Think Tram was a Victorian Government program aimed at improving Melbourne's tram network. The intended benefits were reduced travel time and better reliability, and better accessibility. The program was run by VicRoads, in partnership with Yarra Trams and Public Transport Victoria.[1]The program targets individual routes or streets with a mixture of different treatments, including the sometimes controversial superstops.

Types of treatment[edit]

Superstop under construction in June 2006

Superstops[edit]

Superstops are wheelchair-accessible platform stops, with rain shelters, seating, and real time arrival displays. Superstops, when served by low-floor trams, comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. In general, introduction of superstops along a route has been accompanied by a reduction in the total number of stops and relocation of existing stops.

Traffic light priority[edit]

Traffic lights are switched in favour of approaching trams before (or as soon as possible after) a tram stops at an intersection. Right turning traffic may also be given priority to clear the path of the tram.

Separation kerbing and right turn bans[edit]

Full-time tram lane

Yellow separation strips and/or signage are introduced to prevent turning cars from blocking the progress of trams. Right-turn bans and hook turns have been introduced at certain intersections.

Targeted routes[edit]

Criticism[edit]

While many tram users have welcomed the new Superstops, there has also been complaints at the reduction in the number of stops and the introduction of new mid-block stops. A "funeral", coordinated by the Public Transport Users Association, was held for the tram stops being closed, featuring a procession with coffin from the former tram stops to the Transport Minister's office.[8] Despite these protests, the program continued.

Hook turn sign

During a trial of a number of Think Tram treatments in Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, traders complained about the reduction in parking availability. They successfully lobbied to have the departure-side stops returned to their old arrival-side configuration, although the introduced hook turns were kept.[9]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Some Information To Get You Thinking, VicRoads Publication No. 01079