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Melbourne has longest yet slowest tram network in the world: study

Xinhua, May 19, 2017 Adjust font size:

Trams operating on Melbourne's iconic network are among the slowest in the world, a survey has found.

The analysis, released by Victoria's roads and traffic authority VicRoads on Friday, revealed that Melbourne trams spend more time stuck at red lights than trams in any other city in the world.

Melbourne trams spend 17 percent of journeys stuck at red lights compared to the international average of between 2 percent and 5 percent.

The city has the largest tram network in the world with 250 kilometers of double track and more than 1,700 stops.

Approximately 203 million people boarded trams in Melbourne in Financial Year 2016.

Despite the large reliance on the network by commuters, trams in Melbourne travel at an average speed of 16 kilometers per hour (kmph) across the network and just 11kmph in the Central Business District (CBD).

The slow speed of the vehicles is contributing to traffic chaos with VicRoads preparing to trial a device that will allow trams approaching traffic lights to catch a green light in an attempt to reduce congestion.

Simon Murphy, a spokesman for Yarra Trams, said that the network played a crucial role in keeping Melbourne moving.

"Trams share the city's roads and traffic congestion is the leading factor affecting tram performance," Murphy told News Limited on Friday.

"Which is why we continue to work closely with our on-road partners including VicRoads to find ways to make journey times more reliable."

Melbourne has 170 kilometers of traffic lanes that are shared by trams and cars, 100 kilometers more than any other city in the world.

Daniel Bowen, spokesman for the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA), said there was potential for improvement across the network.

"If frequency, punctuality and reliability can be boosted, so people know the service is a dependable, viable option, more Melburnians will get out of their cars," Bowen said. Endit