Platform passengers boarding a Yarra Trams

Respond collaborative project: a skill sharing operation between Yarra Trams and the Australian government to improve tramway punctuality

Yarra Trams - Keolis Downer
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Context: responding to declining punctuality on certain lines

In Melbourne, the second largest urban area in Australia, increasing traffic and certain roadway operations have given rise to a decline in punctuality on certain tramway lines. Yarra Trams sought to remedy this situation by working together with its client, the Australian government.

Photo of two Yarra Trams crossing each other

Innovation: a collaborative approach with the government for continuous improvement

Yarra Trams launched the Respond collaborative project, a strong continuous improvement campaign based on a long-term partnership with the Australian government to speed up tramway routes and reduce material resources, all while maintaining service quality.

A working group bringing together the operational skills of Yarra Trams teams (operators, traffic engineers, depo managers, etc.) and the Ministry of Transportation identified several avenues for optimizing various aspects of the network: infrastructure, right of way at traffic lights, rail signage and tramway separation. Data analysis tools then helped the partners to prioritize their initiatives based on the client benefit or ease of implementation.

After carrying out these optimization efforts, updated tramway schedules helped to offer identical or superior service quality, while reducing the need for operators and equipment.

Benefits: a significant rise in punctuality on the Yarra Trams network

The creation of Respond was welcomed by the Yarra Trams teams as an innovative and productive initiative that goes beyond the typical client-franchise relationship. Respond has yielded results: the initiatives put in place helped to significantly raise punctuality on some lines, without increasing the need for tramway resources or operators.

These new levels of punctuality are now contributing to improved passenger experiences.

Yarra Trams running next to a road with cars
Yarra Trams running next to a road with cars
Three Yarra Tramas collaborators. Two men and a woman who points her finger to show something

Next steps: towards a second Respond project on a wider scale

Respond strengthened Yarra Trams partnership with the Australian government: its methodology will soon be expanded into a more general approach to the tramway network. A working group dedicated to improving the network’s speed and punctuality was approved by the Australian government in 2021, in order to identify and implement new initiatives across all tramway lines.

Passengers queue on the platform to board a Yarra Trams
Passengers queue on the platform to board a Yarra Trams

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