There has been some changes to Melbourne tram routes, necessitating a re-programming of automatic announcements and destination displays. Automatic announcements first appeared in Melbourne when the Combino trams made by Siemens of Germany began to run on our streets. It was a female voice with an English accent and they were very inaccurate. A friend quipped, given she is in Munich, she hasn't done a bad job, after all, how would she know Melbourne streets.
Fro quite some time, the system was switched off. Then it was re-invented with an Australian male voice, but still with lots of errors. It was an improvement but still at times wrong and downright silly.
One example is as the number 16 tram, Melbourne University to Kew, via St Kilda, was a transposing of St Kilda Town Hall, and Chapel Street. Chapel Street was announced and the change to route 78/79 trams for a North Richmond tram was announced at St Kilda Town Hall and St Kilda Town Hall announced at Chapel Street.
With the new programming, this has been fixed, except now we have, "Chapel St, change here for routes 3a, 78, 12 and 96 routes. Lordy, how hard is it to get these things right?
There are still some other silly stuff too, such as after travelling along St Kilda Road for 20 minutes and the tram turns into Fitzroy Street, the next stop is St Kilda Road.
Still on route 16, when the tram arrives at Luna Park, 'this tram will now travel along Acland Street'. It doesn't.
Then there are the destination displays. The useful Toorak via Lygon Street and City has been replaced by just Toorak, in monster huge letters.
I thought I was seeing things when I saw a 109 tram displaying Port Melbourne but showing a route number 109a. The 'a' normally means an altered route from the normal. But then I saw another, and then another 109a.
But the piece de resistance must surely be the changing of the destination display when a tram is not picking up passengers is the change from 'Sorry, out of service', to 'Not taking customers'. How absurd that customers and not passengers, is being used for public announcements on trams. Next it will be, sorry, not taking clients. The good old days weren't always so good, but a train, tram or bus showing 'Special' was enough to tell you it wasn't for you.