Look, before we begin here we need to state firmly that we’re fully aware of the fact that train and tram surfing is a finely tuned art.
Perhaps even more than the AFL or having your barista know your coffee order off by heart, the ability to stand and balance on a moving train or tram without holding on to anything is about as integral to the experience of living in Melbourne as anything else.
But that balance doesn’t just require impeccable placement of feet and the ability to absorb carriage movement through your knees (hot tip: keep a slight bend. Locked legs are an express pass to the floor). It’s a two-way street that involves a certain consistency from the vehicle you’re riding in.
Unfortunately, Melbourne’s fancy new fleet of E-Class trams that have been in operation on select lines for the past couple of years aren’t really helping people in that department.
The trams have been earmarked for a safety overhaul, after a report commissioned by Public Transport Victoria revealed that the fleet has a number of issues that have been causing passengers to slip and fall whilst on board.
The independent report found that the trams suffer from jerky acceleration, unreliable braking, and several interior design flaws that are contributing to an increased amount of fall and slip incidents on the 96 and 11 lines that the trams operate on, compared to that of other lines which are serviced by older model trams.
The report found that the fleet of trams, which cost somewhere in the vicinity of $300 million, were in need of engineering tweaks, and drivers were in need of additional training in order to handle the intricacies of the machines. The report also featured this corker of a sentence:
“There is a level of acceleration which can generally be withstood by a human and a level at which this becomes too great and balance cannot be maintained.”
Acting chief of PTV Jeroen Weimar spoke to 3AW this morning as the report began making the rounds of the daily papers, moving to assuage fears that the trams are unsafe by stating that incidents of falls have halved on the trams ever since “passengers got used to the trams, drivers got used to the trams.”
Yarra Trams released a PSA video last month, alerting passengers to the importance of holding on whilst on board.
Still, all the holding on the world doesn’t really help when whoever’s driving the Rhino on a Skateboard treats it more like a life-size Thunderloop Thriller.
Source: Herald Sun.
Photo: Liamdavies/Wikimedia Commons.