Towards the modern era

1971

16 May
Sunday services on the West Coburg route were diverted to run into the City via Elizabeth Street.  No Sunday service was provided from Peel Street via William Street to Domain Road.

1975

30 April
The first of the new Z class trams were officially unveiled.  These first Z class trams were built by Commonwealth Engineering. 

1976

19 January
The Holden Street connecting line was closed between Lygon Street and St Georges Road.

7 October
The last section of the Essendon Airport line, running adjacent to Vaughan Street from Matthews Avenue to the terminus, was closed.  A new terminus was constructed in Matthews Avenue a short distance to the north.

1978

13 February
The Bourke Street pedestrian mall was opened, between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets.  Trams continued to operate through the mall.

12 July
The Burwood line was extended from Warrigal Road to Somers Street.

19 July
The Burwood line was extended from Somers Street to Middleborough Road, East Burwood, via the Burwood Highway.

1979

4 February
A Sunday tourist tram service commenced operation from Batman Avenue to Hawthorn, using restored V class trams.

1981

8 June
The Elizabeth Street terminus was rebuilt.

1982

2 November
A converted W2 class tram entered service as a mobile Restaurant Tram, operating from South Melbourne Depot.

1983

18 May
The East Preston line was extended to Boldrewood Parade via Plenty Road. This was the first stage of a planned extension to Bundoora.

1 July
The Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board and the Victorian Railways were replaced by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (to be known as 'The Met'), and the State Transport Authority ('V/Line'). 'The Met' was responsible for all suburban tram and train services and 'V/Line' was responsible for country rail operation.

17 October The 'Fairway' system was introduced. This system featured separation bars and/or painted lines to segregate tram and motor vehicle traffic, along with a traffic light priority mechanism operated by transponders fitted to trams.

13 November
The fare system was revised, and multi-modal tickets based on time replaced the old system.

1985

10 January
The second stage of the Bundoora extension was opened when the East Preston line was extended along Plenty Road from Boldrewood Parade to La Trobe University.

1986

1 November
The Prahran - City (Batman Avenue) service was discontinued.

1987

23 April
The third stage of the Bundoora extension was opened, from La Trobe University to McLeans Road, Bundoora.

October
A seven-day tourist tram service commenced running between St Kilda Beach and the City, operating from South Melbourne Depot.

20 November
The 'light rail' route was opened, from St Kilda Beach to East Brunswick.

November
All remaining W2 and SW2 class trams were withdrawn and stored, except for retained trams forming part of the heritage fleet.

13 December
The Port Melbourne 'light rail' line was opened. It branched off the St Kilda 'light rail' at Whiteman Street, and used the reservation of the former Port Melbourne railway to the terminus at Port Melbourne Station (now Beacon Cove).

1988

April
The Hawthorn - Batman Avenue and St Kilda - City tourist tram services were discontinued.

1989

1 July
The Metropolitan Transit Authority was replaced by the Public Transport Corporation. The corporate trading name 'The Met' was retained.

1990

1 January
Trams blockaded City streets for five weeks during an industrial dispute over 'scratch' tickets and driver-only tram operation.

1 October
The National Trust classified all remaining W class trams.

November
A vintage tram service commenced, running every Sunday on the St Kilda Beach - City via Swanston Street route.

1992

28 March
Swanston Street was closed to motor vehicle traffic.

September
Heritage trams were withdrawn from Sunday service on the St Kilda Beach route and placed in reserve for use on special occasions.

22 December
The Airport West line was extended to Dromana Avenue via Matthews Avenue, terminating outside the Westfield Shopping Centre.

1993

8 July
The East Burwood extension was opened from Middleborough Road to Blackburn Road via the Burwood Highway.

19 December
North Fitzroy tram depot was closed.

1994

29 April
The City Circle service commenced operation.
This was a free service operating from 10 am to 6 pm.  It operated in a bi-directional loop around the CBD, travelling along La Trobe Street, Victoria Parade, Nicholson Street, Spring Street, Flinders Street and Spencer Street.

1995

12 October
The Bundoora line was extended along Plenty Road, from McLeans Road to the RMIT campus at McKimmies Road.

1997

February
South Melbourne Depot was closed.

9 February
Southbank Depot was opened.  Located on the Port Melbourne line between Montague and Whiteman Street, this new facility replaced South Melbourne Depot. 

1 October
The 'Met Tram' division of the Public Transport Corporation was officially split into two units - Swanston Trams and Yarra Trams.
Swanston Trams assumed responsibility for all routes operated by Essendon, Brunswick, Glenhuntly and Malvern Depots and Yarra Trams assumed responsibility for routes operated by Southbank, East Preston, Kew and Camberwell Depots.

1999

Swanston Trams and Yarra Trams were both fully privatised.

2000

8 November
Yarra Trams launches the new Park+Ride system.

 

1970a

1970b

1970c

1970d

1970e

1970f

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