One of Melbourne's busiest tram lines, Route 96, is set for a makeover that will improve accessibility, travel times, service levels, safety and reliability, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.
"As part of the $807.6 million tram procurement program, the Victorian Coalition Government will upgrade Route 96 as we introduce the first of 50 new low floor trams being added to Melbourne's network," Mr Mulder said.
"Route 96 is one of Melbourne's three busiest tram routes. It carried 16 million passengers in in 2010-2011.
"The Route 96 Project involves a series of upgrades along the 14 kilometre East Brunswick to St Kilda Beach route, demonstrating how new trams coupled with better infrastructure can transform a tramway into a modern light rail system."
Mr Mulder said the development phase will shortly commence for Route 96 to explore options for improving existing infrastructure and services, including investigating new level access tram stops, segregation between trams and general traffic, tram priority at traffic signals and connections with trains and buses.
Mr Mulder said that community and stakeholder feedback would be an important part of the development phase.
"A key aspect of the project will be extensive engagement with stakeholders, local businesses, residents and Route 96 passengers," Mr Mulder said.
"Throughout 2012, there will be opportunities to learn more about the investigations and provide feedback on options. I encourage people to get involved and have a say."
Member for Northern Metropolitan Craig Ondarchie said this was a much welcomed initiative for inner city residents.
"This is a very busy tram route throughout the day, not just at peak times. I know that in addition to our regular commuters, our older Victorians and our mums with small children will be delighted at the upgrade," Mr Ondarchie said.
The Route 96 Project development phase is a partnership between Public Transport Victoria, VicRoads and Yarra Trams and is expected to be complete in early 2013.
Route 96 plays an important role in shaping Melbourne's economy with Australian Bureau of Statistics Census Data in 2006 revealing that 170,000 Melbourne jobs are located within walking distance.
For further information visit http://ptv.vic.gov.au/