The world‟s biggest tram network will go free and green in the heart of Melbourne from 1 January 2015, with a striking new look for the Free Tram Zone unveiled today.
More than 70 tram stops in Melbourne‟s CBD and Docklands will have bright green signage to let passengers know when they are in the new Free Tram Zone.
The Premier Denis Napthine and Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder took a sneak peak of the signage at a stop in Elizabeth Street today.
Premier Napthine also announced that more than 30 extra metro train services and around 300 extra tram services would operate for the AFL Grand Final.
“From 1 January, travel will be free for people using trams within the Free Tram Zone, which will be great for families, students and tourists to Melbourne,” Dr Napthine said.
“Vibrant signage will catch the eye, providing an instant reminder to passengers that they are in the zone and don‟t need to touch on their myki. In fact, you won‟t even need a myki if only travelling within the Free Zone.
“This is an historic initiative in the history of Melbourne‟s public transport that will further cement Melbourne‟s place as the world‟s most liveable and friendly city.”
Dr Napthine said that PTV will boost public transport to get footy fans to the AFL Grand Final with ease.
“The AFL is one of the reasons why Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia and we are providing more public transport services to provide the best way for fans to get to the „G‟ and take the hassle out of driving,” Dr Napthine said.
The new Free Tram Zone follows the traditional CBD grid and stretches from Flinders Street to Victoria Street, and from Spring Street to the vibrant new Docklands precinct in the south.
Dr Napthine said train, tram and bus commuters would also make big savings from 1 January by being able to travel across Zones 1 and 2 for the price of a Zone 1 fare.
“A commuter who pays for a daily Zone 1+2 ticket will save about $1,200 a year and annual myki pass holders will save $750. Travel entirely within zone 2 will also be maintained at the cheaper fare,” Dr Napthine said.
“People will be able to travel much of the city without a ticket and visit some of our best landmarks such as the Queen Victoria Market and Federation Square.”
Dr Napthine said most major attractions are either within the Free Tram Zone or a short walk away.
“Walking is a great way to explore any city and major attractions such as Melbourne Museum, Southbank and the National Gallery are a short walking distance from the Free Tram Zone.
“Free city tram travel is a major benefit for visitors and enables them to discover all that Melbourne city has to offer by public transport, but at no cost,” Dr Napthine said.
Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder said commuters in the Free Tram Zone only needed to touch on if travelling beyond the Free Zone.
“Tram stops near the border of the Free Tram Zone will have signage to indicate where the zone ends to remind people to touch on if they haven‟t already done so,” Mr Mulder said.
“Drivers will also announce when trams are about to leave the Free Zone.
“The Government‟s affordable public transport package will benefit both commuters in the outer suburbs and also people living close to the city who want to use public transport to travel across the breadth of Melbourne,” Mr Mulder said.
Mr Mulder said the Government was continuing to invest in building a better, safer and more affordable tram network.
“The Coalition Government is rolling out 50 new E-Class trams, boosting power supply for these and other higher capacity trams, and building more accessible tram stops,” Mr Mulder said.
“Almost $20 million of tram works are underway including raising the height of the tram stop in the Bourke Street Mall, one of three such upgrades in the CBD alone.
“More affordable public transport and an ongoing investment in new trains and trams is on top of the Coalition Government delivering an extra 10,000 train, tram and bus services each week since coming to office,” Mr Mulder said.
PTV and Yarra Trams are gearing up over the next few months to train hundreds of drivers and customer staff, as well as prepare a public information campaign and install the new signage to enable the smooth introduction of the change.
Source: News Release Premier Denis Napthine, 21 September 2014