Councils around Victoria have welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement that it will build 100 new and accessible trams, as part of the $1.85 billion Next Generation Trams Project.
Bombardier Transportation Australia has been awarded the contract to build the new accessible trams.
The Next Generation Tram order will progressively replace some of Melbourne’s longest-serving high-floor trams, to ensure the public transport network is accessible to all Victorians.
The project will support up to 1,900 local jobs in manufacturing, the supply chain, and the construction of a new purpose-built depot and maintenance facility.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “We’re proud to build trams and trains in Victoria, by Victorians – supporting thousands of jobs and improving our public transport network.
“Whether it’s delivering the road and rail upgrades that will slash travel times, or building new trams, trains and buses to get people where they need to go – we’re getting it done.”
Following a competitive design and tender process, the proposed plans for the trams will be refined in consultation with key stakeholders, including representatives from accessibility groups, passengers and tram drivers.
A local content quota of 65 per cent has been included as a requirement for the Next Generation Tram Project – the biggest for any train or tram project since rolling stock local content quotas were introduced.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, said, “We are delivering more comfortable, energy efficient and accessible transport services for Victorians to ensure they get to where they need to go safer and easier.”
“Victoria’s rolling stock industry is the envy of the nation and this project will support up to 1,900 local jobs throughout the supply chain and play a significant part in delivering more accessible services on our network.”
The Victorian Government has invested more than $7.5 billion in new and upgraded rolling stock and supporting infrastructure since 2015 to get people where they need to go safer and sooner.
Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, said, “This historic investment in 100 locally-made trams will not only benefit passengers, but it is also creating thousands of jobs and providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
Moreland Council weighs in
Moreland City Council has welcomed the Victorian Government’s investment in 100 new accessible trams, but believes it must do more to upgrade tram stops in line with federal legislation.
Moreland Mayor, Mark Riley, said the provision of level-access tram stops requires a partnership between state and local government.
“Federal legislation requires the Victorian Government to upgrade all tram stops to meet disability standards by December 2022, and unfortunately I can’t see how they will meet that deadline without serious investment,” Mayor Riley said.
“In Moreland we have long advocated for public transport to be accessible for all members of the community, and have been calling for this to be actioned more quickly for years.
“Currently, only one tram route is accessible, leaving three other routes with major obstacles for people with limited mobility.
“As a priority, the tram stops along Sydney Road must be converted into level access stops.
“With the 19 tram route spanning from Brunswick to Coburg North, this is one of Melbourne’s busiest areas for traffic and pedestrians, and all residents should feel safe and able to access shops and services.
“We are ready and willing to work with the Victorian Government to ensure fair and equitable access to public transport for everyone in Moreland.”
In addition to the 19 tram route, Moreland’s routes 1 (East Coburg), 6 (Coburg), and 58 (West Coburg) continue to languish in accessibility.
Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s recent introduction of low-level accessible trams on Tram Route 58, but notes that accessible tram stops are not expected to be delivered on this same route for a number of years.