Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Collins Street Transport

We were returning from Brunswick Street. R and my connection was at a difficult point. He had his hair cut and we had a bite to eat at some place outdoors and did the shops. I remember having a wonderful lunch there a few years ago with our brother friends and our friend who now lives in Japan. Our waiter was a really hot muscular dude in a singlet, really hot, until he came near you and you smelt the pong from under his arms.

Brunswick Street on a cold winter's day is not the best place to be, but there were a couple of trendies to see R put his chair leg into a grate and fall to the ground.

I was drifting off on our return to the city on the tram. I was vaguely aware we had turned into Collins Street. I thought we were at Exhibition Street, but then I heard the driver announce, next stop Swanston Street. What? I payed attention to where I was. We had just left Exhibiton Street on the departure side of the street and the next stop was Swanston Street. Oh, that is a long way I thought.

Then peoples complaints about the new stops in Collins Street gelled for me. The departure side stop at Exhibion Street to departure side stop Swanston Street is a full two old type stops. It is a long walk if you are half way between.

I would have to have a good look at and see if was always the same, but we still sat through a full set of traffic lights Russell Street and Swanston Street before we could get off the tram. There was no time saving compared to the old way.

I heard Yarra tram spokespeson say this morning that already running time in Collins Street has been shortened by one minute. I ask, at what price?


  1. I heard the other day that the miracle of reduced stops had actually been a complete screw up owing to the fact that the light sequences had not been adjusted to speed up the trams. Oh, and did it dawn to any of them that giving priority to Collins St might impact on other streets, like Swanston? William? The true way to reduce travel time is to segregate the vehicles so blocking trams is impossible and to adjust the traffic lights so they detect trams. They're trying to turn a mouse trap into brain surgery.

  2. I think that they've got royal parade fixed now. They have segregated the traffic, removed all parking from the centre lanes and no right turns at peak hour. Definitely cut travel time down. Only downside is that my connecting bus timetable is all screwed up due to the new frequency timetable.

  3. I don't suppose you would know Rob, but today I noticed a traffic light signal at the front of the safety zone at maybe Elizabeth St in Collins. Just a single light and I am guess it will show a T light. It was yet to be swithced on and had tape over it. The only thing I can think that it may be for, is to show a red T to a tram in the safety zone, until the tram in front leaves the next safety zone, thus spacing them out.

    Interesting Bobby. Last time I was there, about a year ago on a Sunday, there were parked cars and of course the traffic came across onto the tram lane to get past. That along with dedicated right turn car lanes on the track concerned me. Not that St Kilda Road is wonderful, but at least officially the cars are fully seperated from the trams. St Kilda Road is jsut that bit wider.