Vic, Yarra Trams to remove suburban services from Swanston St.
Article from: Sunday Herald

October 12, 2008 12:00am
A RADICAL Yarra Trams plan to remove suburban services from Swanston St and St Kilda Rd and overhaul the network is in line to be introduced by 2010.

Under the plan, passengers travelling along St Kilda Rd would need to change trams at Domain Rd and connect to CBD shuttle services at a soon-to-be built super-terminus.

Another super-interchange would be established at Melbourne University, with shuttle trams to operate between Domain Rd and the university.

Yarra Trams estimates the move would cost up to $60 million.

The revamp, expected to cut services along Swanston St and St Kilda Rd by 20 per cent, has angered public transport lobbyists and the Opposition.

But Yarra Trams chief Dennis Cliche said reinventing the tram network along Melbourne's premier boulevard was the only way to lessen the impact of the public transport crisis.

"Trams are getting hung up in the suburban part of their routes and the whole thing becomes a parade when they hit St Kilda Rd," he said.

He maintained the plan would improve operations despite reducing peak-hour services from one tram per minute to one every three minutes and the inconvenience of passengers having to change trams.

The proposal includes plans for new tram terminals that would have a cafe and wi-fi systems, Mr Cliche said.

Outgoing Lord Mayor John So called for the plan to go further.

"They should build tram stations at the fringe of the city (and) just have shuttle trams in the city," Cr So said.

A spokesman for Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said the cost of any proposal would have to be looked at by the Government.

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the Swanston St proposal was "not passenger friendly".

"It would go back to 100 years ago when some passengers on cable trams had to change trams midway through a trip," he said.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen labelled the idea "crazy" and said it would drive commuters back to their cars.
"How long will the next train be? Six cars would be my guess."
Why is Bowens response so predictable? I understand that there are quite a lot of limitations being put on best use of Melbournes Public transport system because commuters will not come to terms with the concept of changing modes of transport.
This seems to apply to the railways and the way the underground loop is run. Apparently great efficiencies could be realised if the cattle learned to change onto a loop shuttle once arriving at FSS, but this is unpalatable. It's not like you are transhipping freight or anything like that? (well okay.. self loading freight, but you get my guist)

What PTUA/The-Issue-sellers really need to say should be "any proposal should minimise disadvantage to the user, the proposal should not compensate on total running time, operation cost, and will not cause fare level to rise.

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