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7 February 2008
Media release from the Minister
for Public Transport
The Brumby Government will boost Melbourne's busiest tram route
with five new trams under a unique international lease arrangement
with France, Minister for Public Transport, Lynne Kosky, announced
Ms Kosky said five new high-capacity, low-floor trams would be
put on Route 96 (East Brunswick-St Kilda Beach) as part of the
Government's plan to meet unprecedented patronage growth ahead of a
long-term tram procurement program.
"This deal is about ensuring our iconic tram network keeps pace
with Victoria's growing and changing transport needs and delivers
on the Brumby Government's commitment to continue finding new and
innovative ways to improve public transport," Ms Kosky said.
"While patronage growth on trams remained relatively steady at 3
per cent over the past decade it climbed to 5.3 per cent in the 12
months to September last year. When the rare opportunity to lease
these trams arose we acted quickly to secure them."
The five trams will be leased to December 2011 from the town of
Mulhouse in France by Yarra Trams through its French shareholder
Transdev, which operates Mulhouse's tram network.
The trams are equivalent in size to the longest trams currently
operating in Melbourne and can carry about 240 passengers at a
Ms Kosky said allocating the five new longer trams to Route 96
would mean other trams currently being used on the route could be
re-allocated to other routes, providing more capacity across the
"During peak hour these five new trams will be able to carry up
to 1200 people which is equivalent to taking more than 1000 cars
off Melbourne's roads," she said.
"It also means that Route 96, which already has a high
proportion of platform stops, will now be serviced entirely by
low-floor trams, significantly improving accessibility for
"The first of the five new trams will arrive by ship from France
next week with the other four to arrive in coming months. All five
trams are expected to be in service by September."
Yarra Trams chief executive Dennis Cliche said the five new
trams would greatly improve the operating efficiency of the
Melbourne tram network.
"Yarra Trams will make minor modifications to the new trams at
its Preston workshops to make them suitable for Melbourne's
conditions, including boosting air-conditioning," Mr Cliche
"Alstom, the tram's manufacturer, has been working closely with
Yarra Trams to facilitate the delivery of the trams."
Ms Kosky said the new trams would assist in meeting projected
growth on the network ahead of the Government's tram procurement
program flagged for 2010-2011 in its 10-year, $10.5 billion
transport blueprint Meeting Our Transport Challenges.