Transdev and John Holland have formed a consortium to run Melbourne’s tram network for the next nine years, securing a $6.8 billion contract for the works. 

Victorian Minister for Public and Active Transport, Gabrielle Williams, confirmed the contract award to operate the world’s largest tram network, which manages 500 trams, 1,600 tram stops, 24 routes and more than 250km of double track.  

Commencing on 1 December 2024, Transdev and John Holland will operate under the Yarra Trams brand and progressively deliver improvements to services and customer experience.  

Transdev brings a wealth of experience, operating large-scale networks across 19 locations around the world, including France and Spain, while John Holland operates light rail across Australia and is part of the consortium that runs Victoria’s metropolitan train network. Transdev and John Holland also operate Region 9 buses in Sydney.  

The new contract has a focus on performance, with strict benchmarks and more monitoring points across day and night services – holding the operator to account to deliver reliable services, while making sure the right tram is used for the right trip. 

The agreement will also roll out more accessible next-generation trams which will replace the longer serving high floor fleets – further modernising Melbourne’s transport network before the Metro Tunnel opens to passengers in 2025.  

During the contract term, new technology will be rolled out to provide passengers more consistent information in real time, including possible alternative transport options during disruptions and tailored updates for blind and low vision passengers in large text and text to speech.  

There will also be more training for frontline staff to better support passengers with particular needs and customers who are culturally and linguistically diverse. 

In a first for any Victorian public transport franchise, there will be board gender parity from day one. Transdev John Holland will also set targets to increase employment opportunities for women, Victorian First Peoples, long term unemployed, young people and people living with a disability.  

Melbourne’s tram network transports more than 147 million passenger trips each year – complementing the city’s sophisticated integrated road and rail network. 

Victorian Minister for Public and Active Transport, Gabrielle Williams, said that Melbourne is home to the largest tram network in the world and this new contract will make sure its trams continue to move Victorians around safely, quickly and easily. 

“We look forward to working with Transdev and John Holland as we continue to modernise and improve the passenger experience on our iconic tram network.” 

Image: AndrewBaker/shutterstock.com  

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