10 facets of Melbourne: part one

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Transport experts from across the world will meet at the 2018 Australian Transport Summit in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday 9 August, to discuss on the theme: 'Where to next: Shaping our transport future'.

Organised by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) in association with UITP Australia / New Zealand (UITPANZ), the event will cover topics such as Australia’s long-term mobility future, delivering city-changing transport infrastructure projects and making better use of existing infrastructure.

To highlight this important regional event, the PTI Magazine’s team met local actors to get a glimpse of what could be the 10 facets of… Melbourne, which they have kindly accepted to share in two articles.

Enjoy the read and we look forward to meeting in this beautiful city in 2021, as the local public transport operator, Public Transport Victoria (PTV) will be hosting our Global Public Transport Summit!

10 facets of... public transport in Melbourne

Every year since 2010, Melbourne in Australia has been voted the most liveable city out of the 140 scrutinised by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Alongside pointers such as parks and green spaces, job opportunities, schools, affordable housing, and culture, public transport certainly influences the quality of urban life. With over 1.8 million journeys made on its trains, trams and buses every weekday, what is Australia’s second city (population of five million and rising) doing right?

Host with the most

UITP’s 2021 Global Public Transport Summit (6-9 June 2021) will be held in Melbourne – the first time in more than 25 years this event will make its way to the Southern Hemisphere. The local host will be UITP member Public Transport Victoria (PTV).
Melbourne was one of three candidate cities in the running to welcome the Summit, together with Moscow and Hamburg.

“With the biggest tram network in the world and major projects expected to be well underway during 2021, it will be the perfect time to showcase what our city has to offer,” said PTV CEO Jeroen Weimar.

World’s largest tramway

The rapid rise of affordable, private cars in the 1950s and 60s signalled the death knell for many tram systems worldwide. As cities in Australia followed this trend, Melbourne’s planners resisted, instead investing in the network to expand and retain it.

Today, with 250km of double track, the city is home to the world’s largest operational tramway. Further figures of note, the system has 1,750 stops, 24 routes including the City Circle (free tourist line), 450 trams, and carries more than 200 million passengers every year.

Yarra Trams runs the network under a franchise agreement with the State of Victoria. The current franchise (30 November 2017 to 2024.) is operated by private, multi-modal transport operator Keolis Downer.

Art on the move

Every year since 2013, the Melbourne Art Trams programme showcases the creativity of local artists on a range of the city’s historic and iconic trams. In 2018, one of these trams will recreate a work by the late, Australian expressionist painter David Larwill, commissioned in 1986 as part of the United Nations International Year of Peace; for 2018, his exterior wrap design for a W-Class tram will be photographed and adjusted to clad a modern tram, then printed on adhesive vinyl and applied to the vehicle.

The Melbourne Arts Trams project is a partnership between Melbourne Festival, Creative Victoria, Public Transport Victoria (PTV), and Yarra Trams.

We’ve got the biggest tram network in the world and we’re powering it with renewables and creating local jobs

Making trams greener

Under a scheme announced in January 2017, the Government of Victoria expects to offset all the energy used to power Melbourne’s trams from January 2019 – meaning the operation of the world’s largest tram network will soon be carbon neutral.

The scheme, created in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, will build a large-scale solar plant in regional Victoria. As well as encouraging the use of renewable energy in the state, the initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80,000 tonnes each year; the equivalent of taking 17,000 cars off the road.

“We’ve got the biggest tram network in the world and we’re powering it with renewables and creating local jobs,” said Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan.

myki goes mobile

Rolled out in 2009 for the state of Victoria, myki is now one of the biggest integrated smartcard ticketing systems for public transport in the world. With more than 600,000 cards being used daily and over 12 million in active circulation, it covers all Melbourne’s trains (Metro and V/Line), trams, and buses.

To give riders the option of using a smartphone to pay for travel on public transport, mobile myki is set to trial between 2018 and early-2019. The service will use a custom-built smartphone app and near field communication (NFC) technology to integrate with existing myki ticket barriers and card readers.

The new technology will allow users to top up tickets on the go, check the balance of their Mobile myki at any time, avoid queues at myki machines and reduce the chance of forgetting or losing their myki smartcard.

Check in tomorrow to read the rest of the 10 facets of Melbourne...

Learn more about UITP in the Australia and New Zealand region at our dedicated website!

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