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New Technology Keeps Tram Passengers Moving

08 July 2019

New technology upgrades to the Yarra Trams Operations Centre will minimise the impact of disruptions and incidents on the tram network, helping reduce delays and cancellations for Melbourne passengers.

More than 20 highly skilled controllers are now using more technology and real-time data than ever before to keep Melbourne’s tram network moving.

A new mega-wall containing more information screens has been installed in the Operations Centre, feeding live traffic data from VicRoads, CCTV from across the tram network and passenger tweets directly into the room.

The recent upgrade also includes a dedicated station for major planned and unplanned disruptions, which can be switched to ‘crisis mode’ in seconds- using CCTV and live traffic data to plan the best diversions to keep trams moving in the event of protests, traffic incidents or major accidents.

During major disruptions, the passenger information team work closely with the controllers at the station, ensuring passengers get real-time information at tram stops, on social media and in-tram announcements on affected services.

The Yarra Trams Operations Centre is responsible for monitoring more than 475 tram and around 5,000 journeys across Melbourne every day. The controllers boast around 750 years of experience between them and receive up to 1,800 calls from drivers each day.

The Centre contains highly-skilled power operators and rolling stock experts who are on hand to provide advice to drivers when issues arise, as well as the passenger information team.

On top of the recent technology upgrades, Yarra Trams has also recently welcomed the next generation of controllers to keep Melbourne’s tram passengers safely moving around the network.

Since joining the team, the new controllers have undergone extensive training that included a five-week program driving E-Class trams on the network, assisting senior staff managing incidents and special events, visiting tram depots to see how they work and developing passenger communications during disruptions.

Most importantly, the new recruits have spent hundreds of hours behind the console of the operations centre, learning from experienced staff how to best manage unforeseen disruptions on the tram network and ensure people get where they need to go as quickly as possible.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne

“These upgrades are just another way we’re improving the reliability of our public transport system – minimising disruptions and improving the passenger experience.”

“As our city continues to grow, we’re investing in the latest technology to get people where they need to go as quickly and safely as possible.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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