It’s mid-morning in East Malvern, and another route three tram lumbers into the terminus at the small shopping strip at the intersection of Waverley and Darling roads, just as they have for the past 99 years. One passenger alights and three get on board.
Just a kilometre further up the road is East Malvern station on the Glen Waverley railway line, transporting thousands of passengers in and out of the city each day, and two kilometres beyond that is Chadstone, Australia’s biggest shopping centre.
The failure of the route three tram to connect to the nearby train line and retail hub – instead fizzling out at a quiet intersection – is a wasted opportunity to open up the range of journeys tram passengers could take, the Public Transport Users Association argues.
”Where a tram line terminates in the suburbs, it makes sense for it to have a logical ending point which allows people to either transfer to a train or to get to a popular destination,” association president Tony Morton said.
”Instead of the patronage on that line petering out the closer you get to the terminus until it’s practically empty, you would actually get people using the tram to get to the railway station…”
(However) Professor Graham Currie, chair of public transport at Monash University faculty of engineering, said many of the proposed extensions were logical and worth completing but that separating trams and traffic was more urgent.
”The biggest tram problem is still interference with traffic,” he said.
Peter Carey, The Age, March 6, 2013