Accessible trams adding capacity to route 58
Route 58 is now more accessible with the addition of new low-floor E-Class trams.
As well as greater accessibility, the new trams are bigger and also feature audio and visual information, air conditioning, improved safety features and dedicated spaces for passengers with mobility aids or prams.
Retiree Ian Finlayson travels on route 58 every week from Prahran to the Queen Victoria Market to shop for fresh produce. He loves the ease with which he can take his trolley onto the new low-floor trams. With no steps to navigate, boarding is a breeze, even when loaded with shopping.
Ian prefers catching the tram to driving his car so he can avoid traffic and help reduce congestion. He also appreciates the extra capacity of the new trams.
At 33 metres long, they are the largest of Melbourne’s fleet and can carry up to 210 passengers.
This extra room, together with additional services, has created 50 per cent more capacity on the busy route, an increase from 3,000 to 4,000 people during peak times.
Sophie gets on the tram in Brunswick with her two-year-old son Ethan and six-month-old baby Olivia, on their way to the zoo. She is thankful for the low-floor trams, which enable her to quickly and easily manoeuvre her pram and toddler on board.
“Being able to get on and off easily with prams and bags and little kids is such a relief,” she says. “It makes our trip so much easier knowing I don’t have to depend on someone being there to help me or risk not getting on.”
Sophie also values the greater space around the doors on the new trams, which means she can safely park her pram out of the way of other passengers.
To Jacob, who uses a wheelchair, accessible transport means independence.
The new trams make it easier for him to travel from his home in Toorak to appointments at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville, and he no longer has to rely on the help of strangers.
“The level surfaces and parking spaces on the new tram are good for wheelchair users,” he says.
“So is having the stop buttons positioned lower down so you can reach them seated.”
The low-floor trams began operating on route 58 in December 2021, travelling from West Coburg through the CBD to Toorak.
En route are key destinations like the Melbourne Zoo, Royal Children’s Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Queen Victoria Market, Crown and the Toorak Road shopping precinct.
To further support accessibility, the tram stops at Toorak Station and CBD stops on Collins and William streets have been upgraded to level-access platform stops.
Visit ptv.vic.gov.au for more information, including timetables for route 58 and interconnecting routes.