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The first of Melbourne's five new trams is now in service,
increasing capacity on the city's busiest tram route.
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky was on board the tram's
maiden voyage this morning and said the high-capacity, low-floor
tram would run on Route 96 (East Brunswick-St Kilda Beach) from now
until December 2011.
"We are taking action to boost capacity on Melbourne's tram
network and this lease agreement will see five new trams on the
tracks by the end of the year," Ms Kosky said.
"The iconic yellow trams - which can carry about 240 passengers
at any one time - will help us to meet unprecedented patronage
growth ahead of the Victorian Government's long-term tram
"Once all are on track, they will be able to carry a combined
1200 people at any one time during peak periods. That's the
equivalent of taking more than 1000 cars off busy Melbourne
To commemorate the introduction of the first C2 Class tram, Ms
Kosky announced the results of a competition to name the five new
"We invited Victorians to come up with innovative names for the
new trams, in order to give these French vehicles a uniquely
Australian twist," Ms Kosky said.
"As such, we have selected the most popular name that reflects
the colour and vibrancy of these trams.
"The new tram will be named Bumblebee 1, with the other trams
named up to Bumblebee 5. This was the most popular nomination from
the many people who entered the competition."
The winners will receive a tram-inspired prize pack including a
monthly Metcard and a Melbourne Icons Experience pack, with tickets
to some of the city's best tourist attractions.
The five C2 Class trams are on lease from the town of Mulhouse
in France, under a unique international deal by Yarra Trams through
its French shareholder Transdev.
Driver Trainer Geoff Scott today took Bumblebee 1 on its first
AM Clouds/PM Sun