Melbourne’s major hospitals in Parkville will get up to 10 new low-floor trams, making it easier for people to get to work and visit patients.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said that from 1 May 2017, accessible trams will run along Flemington Road and through Royal Park – past the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Up to 10 low-floor trams will operate in the peak, providing frequent, reliable tram services for people in wheelchairs or scooters, and parents with prams.
The changes are part of a new timetable, which includes the combination of routes 8 and 55 into Route 58, which will run from Toorak through South Yarra to Domain, and then along William Street to Parkville and West Coburg.
At the same time, Route 6 from Glen Iris will be extended from Melbourne University to Moreland, to replace Route 8 services on Lygon Street.
These changes will deliver more trams to Prahran, Malvern and Glen Iris, while ensuring there is no reduction in services to Brunswick and Coburg.
They will also relieve pressure on the busiest tram corridor in the world by diverting Route 8 off Swanston Street and down Kings Way to the west of the city, where extra trams are most needed.
There are now more low-floor trams on the network than ever before, and the Victorian Government recently unveiled the first of its 20 new E-Class trams.
E-Class trams are the biggest and most accessible on the network. There are almost 50 of these trams now in service, and every single one of them has been ordered by Labor Governments.
There will be further changes to tram services in the middle of 2017, when work on the Metro Tunnel forces the diversion of Route 58 trams from Domain Road along Toorak Road West.
The diversion will ensure services from Toorak can continue to turn right onto St Kilda Road while the brand new underground station is built – delivering high-frequency trains directly to the Domain employment precinct, Shrine of Remembrance and Botanic Gardens for the first time.
Journey times on all routes have been adjusted in the new timetable, to better reflect traffic conditions.
Ms Allan said, “Delivering low-floor trams to these hospitals will make it easier for people to get the care they need, enjoy a day out or visit the ones they love.
“It’s part of a broader change that will increase services and reduce crowding while we get on with the Metro Tunnel – which will create space for more trains, more often to the city and the suburbs.
“We’re improving services and building a better public transport network to get people home safer and sooner.”