Last Saturday, I traveled from Nicholson st. Coburg to Melbourne CBD by tram. It has been so long since the last time I took a tram and I was excited. As a person who lives in outer suburb, I hardly go to the city, especially by taking a public transport.
The fresh look of the tram and the new Myki card system seem to make everything more up to date following the trend of today’s technology. But soon, I was shock to feel how rough and bumpy the tram run. I was almost sent flying to the floor while walking to find an empty seat and the tram had started to move. Even when sitting down, there were times when I still had to hold on my seat. I remember more than 20 years ago, tram rides were reasonably smooth, why now changed for the worst?
My friend who is a frequent rider, said that tram drivers today have to catch with strict time schedules and they drive faster. Then I read online (The Australian) about this problem. It seems that newer trams are made to accelerate and stop faster and this is why they run rough. As trams run in city streets together with other vehicles on the road plus the frequent stops, they have to brake very often. With faster acceleration and stopping, it makes tram rides in Melbourne kind of dangerous, especially for those who are standing up. So if one day you ride a Melbourne tram, please hold on tight especially if you have to stand up. I almost fell and I saw quite a few passengers lost their balance as well. Aren’t there anything to do to deal with this problem I wonder ???
We even have new ones being delivered, the E-Class, which are made in Victoria and accelerate quickly and brake suddenly (positive points if you are seated in a car but dangerous if you’re standing up in a tram).
Transport Minister Jacinta Allan defended the new $300m fleet on 3AW this morning but said there were issues which needed to be “smoothed out”.
She said trams shared the roads with cars and sometimes needed to brake suddenly.
However she added it was very important that passengers held on to the safety straps.
(Meanwhile in Victoria would like to point out that it is hard to hold on to safety straps as a short person.)
Ms Allen conceded that the new trams do brake more sensitively.
“With these new E-Class trains… because they are newer they have had an issue where they brake more suddenly and can accelerate more quickly and that is being smoothed out as a result of this investigation and report,” she said.
“There are certainly issues and they’re being addressed.”
Ms Allan told 3AW’s Tony Jones that tram drivers were being re-trained and engineers were looking into it.
Perhaps future testing could involve playing Jenga while riding a tram around the CBD?