They are not without their problems though. One is easily solved, the at times badly adjusted air conditioning. There are two separate systems, so if you find it too hot or too cold in one section, move to the other. There are steps to get into the trams, making them difficult trams for the lesser abled to use. Their destination displays are difficult to read.
The steps are not a problem that can be easily solved and for this reason they will be retired when the disability access for public transport year arrives. There has already been one extension, giving plenty of time for them to be retired. The year 2022 comes to mind as an early date, maybe now extended to 2030.
Gimmicky, but LED lights have replaced the normal step lights. The real problem with the step lights is that they do not come on until the doors are fully opened, only lighting the way for the slower people.
Before the latest upgrades, many, if not all, B Class trams had seats removed and the curiously named Apollo seating installed. Effectively it means bum rests in areas near the doors, giving space for prams etc.
One of the great upgrades is new destination displays, brighter and much easier to read from a distance and at night, and with more detail in the display about where the tram is travelling to and naming the major street it travels along.
It is extraordinary to recall that we had two competing tram companies, one that ran the north/south routes and the other the east/west routes. What sort of competition is that?
The B Class trams now have next stop audio and visual displays installed and they are pretty good. The next stop is announced but if you have pulled the cord or pressed the button for the next stop, the announcement changes from 'the next stop is...' to 'tram stopping at...'. The announcement includes the stop number and other information where appropriate. There does seem to be a bit of an issue in the city where perhaps the GPS signal can be interrupted by tall buildings and the system becomes confused. I recently experienced the same on a train as it left Southern Cross Station. All good so far, but........
At the tram stops, the doors open and a few seconds later there is an announcement that 'This stop is...'. But if there is only one or two people leaving or entering the tram, the doors have closed or are already closing by the time the announcement is made. Nice try Yarra Trams, but needs refinement.
Look at how much clearer the destination display is compared to the earlier photo with the old display. It alternates and the second screen says 'via St Kilda'.