Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Do not delay trams

I think by about 2032 all Melbourne's trams have to be step free dictated by disability laws. Should I live another eleven years I doubt I will see that. It was supposed to happen earlier.

The problem that this advertisement is addressing is people standing on tram steps. The tram doors won't close until the steps are cleared. If one person dallies on the step, perhaps touching on their card at a reader, the tram driver may be annoyed. If many people do the same, the service will be significantly delayed. 

Our tram service only works efficiently because it stops, unloads, picks up and departs in a matter of seconds. Stop, unload, load, move. Repeat and rinse for its whole journey. 

So as this ad describes, it is important you move smartly inside the tram and then validate your travel card. Also important is not to stand in doorways. R and myself have perfected the art of intimidating and laying guilt on passengers who do so. Often these door blockers are local people who use trams, and not those who rarely use trams and don't know. 

We stand behind them to get off the tram, and at the last minute they move out of the way, or we accidentally a little too firmly brush past them. We also do sotto voice about people blocking doorways. We may win the battle but given how long we have been doing such, we are not winning the war.

Announcements on the tram help, as does a poster like this one.



16 comments:

  1. Andrew, I'm curious -- and others may know this already if they've been reading you longer than I have -- but do you have a professional background in public transit, or is it more of a hobby for you? You seem very interested in trams and trains and such. Where does that interest come from?

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    1. Steve, while I've never mentioned what my job was on my blog, it was in various roles in public transport and it was for over forty years. Yes, I am interested in public transport but I am not what is described as a rivet counter. Public transport interests me and the layout of most of inner to middle areas of our cities is shaped by public transport and I suppose I am keen on seeing it improve. I've also been a public transport user for most of my adult life and some of my childhood.

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  2. It's much more effective to hook their legs out from underneath them with a walking stick.

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    1. Splutter! I'll keep that in mind when I have one.

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  3. I like Taskers solution. I used my elbows a lot and had perfected the look of absolute baffledom if accosted for it on Toronto transit. Elbows hurt.

    XO
    WWW

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  4. Of course you will live another eleven years! Don't be negative here, if your mother can hang on, so can you.
    I hate doorblockers in trams too, but here we get so many people trying to cram themselves in, door blocking is inevitable and I sit there sweating in my seat, wondering if I will be able to make it to the door and get off when my stop comes and hating the discomfort of so many close-to-me bodies. Trains and buses are much easier for me. Our tram, as you may remember, goes from the Entertainment Centre to Glenelg, passing through Victoria Square where the Central Market is, so thousands get on in the city, going to the market, at the market stop they all get off and a new thousand or so get on after doing their market shopping and now heading home on the way to Glenelg, so the tram is empty enough to feel comfortable by the time we reach the beach, but on the way back it's the same crowded story as people get on to go home.

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    1. As I have said before, and maybe this doesn't apply in COVID times, the Glenelg tram service was inadequate when we were last in Adelaide and I believe it still is. It is also absurdly slow because of a lack of priority at traffic lights, especially as it enters and leaves the city.

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  5. You suggested that our tram service only works efficiently because it stops, unloads, picks up and departs in a matter of seconds. I like to think it works because the population is committed to running the best, fairly priced and most frequent public transport system in the nation. If the system is not working optimally, then the ads need to be on tv... every single day between 5-8 PM!!!

    The ad should also inform every child and student to stand up for elderly passengers, if the tram is full. [It is totally coincidental that I have white hair!]

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    1. I like your positive thinking. Rather than handing media moguls advertising dollars, there are many areas where money could be spent to improve our systems, starting with my self interest better priority for trams. I think in the areas you and I travel in, most people and children are pretty good about giving up seats.

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  6. Hi Andrew, just been back to catch up on family news, sorry to hear mum is in hospital, is she still? Lots of interesting comments on your December 30th post. As far as people in street photos goes I do try not to catch people's faces front on but if it happens c'est la vie, if the photo is good I use it, thank goodness Australia isn't as precious re street photography as other countries. I think the problem is whether the image is for sale or not. We sadly waved our Sydney family goodbye a day ago, oh my gosh it's sooo quiet 😉 they stayed much longer than normal this time, I think they thought they'd slipped into a parallel universe when they arrived, two hours before the borders closed, in Perth where life goes on as normal. They arrived back in Sydney and have been wearing masks outdoors ever since. Looking at the accident you took photos of reminded me of my little incident, someone crashed into my car from the back, picked car up today, looks good with its shiny new bumper 😊 Big hugs for you both 💙

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    1. Yes Grace. She is still there. One trick I heard was don't lower your camera while someone is looking at you, whether you have taken the photo or not. I don't know much about the laws in other countries. Yes, there was a lot of comments and it is an interesting subject. I was hoping your family would make it and I suppose NSW borders are ok to enter. Your accident was just before Christmas?

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  7. Will they modify the cars or the platforms to be barrier free?

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    1. It is too expensive to modify older trams that are near the ends of lives anyway. Many platforms have to be built. I will take some photos soon to show how it is done when the tram runs in traffic.

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  8. Anonymous6:16 am

    Door Blockers, people who rush onto the trams without waiting for others to get off, those who sit on the outside seat so you have to climb over them to sit down. I have found in the past the international students in Melbourne are the worst.
    J

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    1. Mostly I agree J but not necessarily with the sitting in the outside seat. If I am not going far I may do that, or to keep out of the sun coming in the window. International students are bad blockers, but they are also often the first to offer seats to older people.

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