There have been changes to our tram route 3 to East Malvern. Weekends, it now travels via Carlisle Street, Upper Esplanade and Fitzroy Street to rejoin its normal route at St Kilda Junction. There are losers and winners.
The intention is to assist route 16 with weekend loading. That the 16 with a twelve minute service barely copes with weekend loading is well known. It struggles with its Sunday 15 minute service before 10am, and with 30 minute service on Sunday night. Saturday is not so bad normally, but any event in St Kilda will see very heavy loading.
Ideally, there should be enough trams and staff to just increase the 16 service interval on Sunday but no one wants to pay for that. So it is good thinking to utilise the 3 to assist.
Unfortunately it means around ten minutes trip time added to those who want to use the 3 to get to Carlisle St or further afield. You might beat this by some tram hopping. Worse, it leaves only the 67 Carnegie tram to service quite a busy stretch of St Kilda Road, that is between St Kilda Junction and Carlisle Street.
As per the Metlink website, the previously existing 15 minute Sunday service interval for the 67 tram is still the same. That mean a long wait for people on this stretch who were used to a tram every 7.5 mintutes. Once the changes are well known, there will be lot of extra walking and tram hopping.
Another alteration is the route 79 tram will no longer go to St Kilda Saturday afternoons or Sundays until the evening. It will operate as a route 78 to Brighton Road. I expect this is to elimenate delays to through trams at St Kilda while also help with late running of the 79 on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
It is a pity that the 16 tram service can't be just improved to help with loading, but in my opinion, it is not a bad work around.
While it hasn't appeared on destinations yet, and after the disastrously incompetent last reprogramming, fingers crossed, the new weekend route 3 will be route 3A.
There is also chatter about a redevelopment of the area at the intersection of Acland and Carlisle Streets where trams intersect and the route 79 terminates.
Even more chatter about increasing the route 96 service on weekends by doubling the service with the slotted in trams travelling only to the city and not to, as they usually do, East Brunswick. We won't see that. No spare trams and no spare staff and no money for either.