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Melbourne's B-Class trams are receiving an upgrade thanks
to a $4.4 million investment from Public Transport Victoria.
The double carriage B-Class trams make up a quarter of the
Melbourne tram fleet and transport approximately 50 million
passenger journeys each year.
The changes incorporate the common passenger requests for
additional hold points along with new seating fabric, brighter step
lighting and 'lean seats' providing more space to move around the
The project will be completed in early 2014.
A new standard of 'cool white' LED lighting will be fitted to
step areas improving safety and greater visibility for car drivers
of passengers alighting. The lighting is more than twice as bright
as the current style and exceeds recommended standards.
The durable seat fabric seen on the majority of Melbourne's
trams will be added to provide a more comfortable all-seasons ride
An ergonomically designed 'lean seat' will be added to replicate
the angled seats used on the low-floor C-Class trams,
including the 'Bumblebees'.
The change will allow a better flow of passengers into and out
of the tram, reducing the likelihood of a bottleneck at the doorway
and allow passengers to move through the cabin easier. The extra
floor space will also allow placement of school or shopping bags
away from standing areas, and a space for prams that is clear of
It's estimated that each tram will have its capacity boosted by
between seven and nine per trip thanks to the new layout. This
represents room for up to 1100 more passengers across the entire
The installation of floor to ceiling double poles and handles on
the 'lean seats' increases the amount of safety handles
available. All passengers are reminded that they must always
hold on while standing when the tram is moving as sudden stops are
In addition to the works above, Yarra Trams has made several
changes to improve B-Class trams. These include upgrades to panels
and floors, as well as smaller stop signs on the outside of trams.
The new signs will remain visible to motorists, but will reduce the
likelihood of impact with waiting passengers.
ABOVE: The original B-Class layout (left) and
the extra passenger space created by the new design (right)
BELOW: A comparison between the original step
lighting (left) and the new brighter version.