Low-floor trams coming
By Sunny Liu
Accessible low-floor trams will be running on Route 86 next month, making it the third route in Melbourne with the new fleet of trams.
The low-floor trams, also known as E-Class trams, are the newest and biggest in the fleet with the capacity to carry 210 passengers and enable more than 192 million passenger trips each year.
The new trams will provide better accessibility with dedicated spaces for passengers with mobility aids or prams.
Accessible trams are currently running on Routes 11 and 96, but neither of these routes run through Docklands.
Yarra Trams spokesperson Simon Murphy said the exact date for the arrival of the E-Class trams was not yet confirmed.
According to Yarra Trams, 80 per cent of Melbourne’s trams will be accessible by 2017 and all trams and stops will be accessible by 2032.
“We are investigating a range of improvements to Route 86, including infrastrucuture upgrades for the rollout of bigger, safer, more accessible trams,” Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said.
It is great news for Docklands residents with mobility aids or prams.
Vicky Silcock, whose son Chris is in a wheelchair, said her son often felt “abandoned” when using public transport.
“There is no accessible trams in Docklands. In a city that advocates for accessibility, sometimes it’s almost like Docklands is not part of Melbourne,” she said. “But with the accessible trams, it will be much easier for Chris to get around.”
There are 34 E-Class trams and 36 more are expected to be running by 2018.