Melbourne's tram network: did you know?

Melbourne's tram network: did you know?
Melbourne's tram network: did you know?

Melbourne's tram network is the largest in the world measured by track length.

City Network Size (track length)
Melbourne 250km
Kharkiv 232km
St. Petersburg 220km
Berlin 190km
Moscow 181km
Vienna 172km

Despite Melbourne's tram network being larger, Berlin's Straßenbahn network had roughly the same amount of passengers trips as Melbourne and Vienna's network was well ahead of both Melbourne & Berlin in the 2013-2014 period.

Melbourne Berlin Vienna
173,400,000 passenger trips 174,700,000 passenger trips 293,600,000 passenger trips
Source Source Source

Six of Melbourne's 23 routes have more than 10,000,000 passenger trips per annum:

Route Annual Passenger Trips
#109 - Box Hill to Port Melbourne 15,600,000
#86 - Bundoora RMIT to Waterfront City Docklands 15,500,000
#96 - St Kilda Beach to East Brunswick 15,400,000
#112 - West Preston to St Kilda* 12,300,000
#19 - North Coburg to City 11,400,000
#59 - Airport West to City 10,200,000

* I assume the data available on Yarra Tram's website reflects statistics before the recent route split.

Did you also know…

…finding passenger trip statistics for an 'average weekday' on trams, trains and buses in Melbourne is a convoluted and inaccurate process?

Today's strike has taken place during the middle of the day, between the peaks and it is therefore safe to say that we have avoided a proper #trampocalypse - as many on social media are calling and hashtagging it.

However, without access to readily available data on daily passenger trips on trams for more accurate predictions to be made about the effect the strike has had, reports will be vague on the subject.

Prime example: Yarra Tram's paints woefully inadequate picture of patronage numbers on its website. "There are approximately 3.5 million passenger trips taken on the Yarra Trams network every week - including more than 500,000 on weekends".

And even then things don't add up.

If we manually total the numbers in the per-route breakdown (the top six are in the table above) we're left with 179,000,000 passenger trips. And yet their statement, located just above the per-route breakdown, on "3.5 million passenger trips per week" would total 182,000,000 if we attempted to arrive at an annual figure (multiply 3.5 million by 52).

PTV's annual report from 2013-2014 states there were 176.9 million passenger trips taken on trams - there's quite a variety of numbers floating about, but no central "single source of truth" that is regularly updated to get a better picture on the state of patronage.

Editor's pick of today's social media posts

Lead image credit: Wikipedia.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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