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Trial To Give Trams Better Priority On Our Roads

16 October 2016

Work has begun on a world-leading trial to give trams better priority at intersections with traffic lights, making tram rides more reliable for passengers.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan today announced that two signalling systems will be trialled to improve network efficiency, traffic management, and reduce congestion on our roads.

The first technology, a Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (C-ITS), uses devices that are installed in trams and traffic lights which alerts traffic lights to approaching trams.

The second system uses real-time GPS to determine traffic light activity based on live road conditions, with a link back to Yarra Trams and VicRoads’ control rooms. Both systems will integrate with VicRoads’ existing road management system.

The Andrews Labor Government recently awarded a grant of $669,000 to the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), which will work with Public Transport Victoria, VicRoads and Yarra Trams to undertake the trial.

The trial is funded through the Labor Government's Smarter Journeys program, which supports initiatives that reduce congestion across Victoria’s road network.

Just last week, Melbourne hosted the 2016 ITS World Congress, which showcased developing technologies that aim to make cities more liveable by improving all modes of transport.

Early research for the trial has commenced, and is expected to get underway on the network in 2017.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan

“Improving the flow of trams at intersections will make services more reliable and reduce congestion on our roads – helping to get passengers where they need to go, on time.”

“We’re working closely with transport technology and industry partners to find new ways to make our roads and public transport services safer and more efficient for all Victorians.”

Quote attributable to Yarra Trams CEO Nicolas Gindt

“Traffic light priority helps us move more people more efficiently. We are very pleased to collaborate with partners across the transport system to reduce the journey times of our 200 million trips a year and help get the most out of Melbourne’s tram network.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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