First of five French Trams now on Melbourne tracks

11 June, 2008

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 procurement program.

"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 roads."

To commemorate the introduction of the first C2 Class tram, Ms Kosky announced the results of a competition to name the five new trams.

"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 passenger journey

Driver Trainer Geoff Scott today took Bumblebee 1 on its first passenger journey

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