My work this week is unusual for me in so far as I finish at around 4pm. I am a bit lost for a couple of hours until it is time to sit and watch the commercial tv news at 6pm with a glass of the highest quality chateau cardboard.
Pondering the goings on from the balcony I noticed a lot of people waiting for the route 58 tram to Toorak, a crowd even. I got busy with the live tram time app. Two 58 trams are due in 1 minute and a third 58 in 5 minutes. Did you know when times are given on apps for public transport, if they are in minutes they are live. If they are are in hours and minutes, they are scheduled and not live.
The two trams due in one minute arrived. The first was a large tram, the second a smaller one. The traffic light for the tram came up but people were still squeezing onto the tram, ignoring a much less crowded tram behind. The traffic light came up again, but someone was standing on the step preventing the the door from closing, so the tram could not go. Doors closed and all ready to go and the tram signal traffic light did not come up. It came up at the next opportunity. The tram, remembering this is a route with something like a tram every four minutes, had sat there for five minutes.
More tram app play, the next tram due at Toorak terminus is not four minutes away as it should be, it was 21 minutes away. I got in touch with my tram expert, letting him know about the situation. He said the second tram will turn back before reaching the terminus, thus providing a service back to towards the city, and the first really late tram will go to the terminus but will do something similar on way back to West Coburg. He knows his trams but none of the above happened. At 6.30pm, it was a twenty minute wait for a tram at Chapel Street and Toorak Road, when I would expect it to be about five to eight minutes. It got worse.
Just before I sat down to the ABC news at 7pm, the next route 58 due at Franklin and William Streets in the city on its way to West Coburg, was 27 minutes away. This is the tram that was running so late earlier. What terrible management of our tram system by Yarra Trams. Absolute disgrace, and yes, I write this with much self interest as I am a frequent user of our tram system and I would be furious about waiting 27 minutes in the evening peak for a tram.
I really did not think things were as bad as this with our tram system.