Trams of Australia
Most of the details of this are summarised on the News page.
The operating fleet was reduced from 616 to 578 vehicles. The fleet will reach its final number of 472 in 1995/96. This has, however, not meant a reduction in capacity or service levels.Did you spot it? Yes! The third sentence is a joke. Riders on most lines will remember how, after the Kennett government came to power in late 1992, published timetables disappeared, and trams ran to an unavailable "summer timetable" which was a reduced service. After the summer holidays were over, the "timetable" did not change. Eventually new timetables were printed which entrenched the new lower service level. Other lines (e.g. No. 48) had further reductions in service in early 1995.
Let's put it into a longer term perspective:
In the mid 1950s, a conservative state government was elected.
Ridership figures near the start of its term:
Year Tram trips Total trips (tram/train/bus) (millions) (millions) 1957/58 200 (approx) over 36027 years of unbroken conservative rule ended in 1982. Ridership had decreased steadily over that period. A new government re-organized the public transport system.
1983/84 ???, 259.0 1984/85 ???, 280? 1985/86 ???, 287.5 1986/87 112.9 291.0 1987/88 113.4 295.8 1988/89 108 305.7 1989/90 ???, 284 a long, very damaging strike occurred this year 1990/91 107.659 305.647 1991/92 112.037 315The new conservative government was elected, and embarked on the "summer timetable" sham already mentioned. Driver-only trams were introduced, noticably extending trip times.
1992/93 100.858 297.868 1993/94 98.292 287.504The source for these figures is the annual reports of the respective years. It is clear that the attitude of the government is very important to public transport ridership trends. But, it seems things are looking up. Recent press statements include the following figures:
1993/94 104.04 294.79 1994/95 108.55 305.76It is not completely clear where these figures come from, and why the 93/94 figures differ from those in the 93/94 Annual Report, but if they are true, the trend is back in the right direction, even if they are not quite at the levels achieved by the previous government.