Yarra Trams' birds beam in Melbourne

Yarra Trams tests lasers to humanely keep birds away

Yarra Trams' birds beam in Melbourne
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PostedDEC. 1, 2023
Words byKeolis
    Birds roosting in tram depots can cause serious health and safety problems due to the build-up of their nesting material, feathers and droppings. That is why Keolis Downer, the operator of Yarra Trams, is testing out AVIX Autonomic Bird Deterrent Lasers to keep birds away from the depot in a humane way. From improved hygiene and safety to reduced cleaning and maintenance costs, discover the benefits of this solution.

    Context: Keeping birds away from tram depots in Melbourne, Australia

    At every depot along the 250 km of tram network it operates, Yarra Trams operated by Keolis Downer deals with the constant issue of birds and their residues, including nesting materials, feathers and droppings. Not only does this present a health and hygiene challenge, but it also increases costs. At one depot, Yarra Trams observed ongoing infrastructure damage caused by roosting birds. This led to increased cleaning and maintenance costs and greater health risks for our employees. 


    Despite existing deterrent solutions, the problem persisted. This prompted Yarra Trams to begin testing a new technology to help solve the issue: Avix bird deterring lasers, which use focused light beams to scare birds away and prevent them from roosting. Used at airports, power stations and farms, they offer a sustainable and humane approach to keep birds of all types away.

    Bird soiling to tram
    Bird soiling to tram
    Bird soiling to depot Dans l’un de ses dépôts, Yarra Trams a constaté des dommages sur les infrastructures à cause des nids.

    Yarra Trams operated by Keolis Downer deals with the constant issue of birds and their residues, including nesting materials, feathers and droppings.

    Innovation: Optical illusions created by lasers to keep birds away

    Based on AVIX Autonomic Bird Deterrent lasers provided by local supplier Bird Beam Australia, the system works by taking advantage of birds' enhanced vision. The autonomic robotic laser sweeps a programed area, creating an optical illusion that birds perceive as moving, solid objects, notably appearing to birds as a “sparkling broomstick”. This keeps birds away without harming them and makes the depot an unattractive place for birds to roost.


    Tram depots often attract hundreds of birds that roost in the buildings housing trams and maintenance equipment. Fortunately, bird deterrent lasers are highly effective in preventing bird roosting damage, reducing bird numbers by 70 to 99%. The technology has also been recognized by the World Wildlife Fund and Birdlife Australia as animal and environmentally friendly, safe, sustainable, ethical and humane. 

    Bird beam
    Bird beam

    Benefits: Improving health and hygiene while reducing cleaning and maintenance costs

    The Bird Beam solution based on AVIX Autonomic Bird Deterrent lasers keep birds away from the depot, thus providing a highly effective, long-term solution to the bird roosting problem. As a result, the system helps to improve hygiene and safety for Yarra Trams people, while also preventing further damage and reducing cleaning and maintenance costs. 


    In addition, the system is both adaptable and programmable, delivering a long-term solution for patrolling and protecting specific areas from birds. As demonstrated in the initial trial, implementing bird deterrent lasers offers effective, scalable, and cost-efficient bird control for Yarra Trams. 

    Next steps: Opportunities to replicate the system and keep birds away from other tram depots and networks 

    Bird deterrent lasers show a high potential for replication based on their successful adoption in various industries, indicating effectiveness and adaptability. Yarra Trams can leverage this experience to implement laser bird deterrents, benefiting from advancing technology and cost-effectiveness. 


    With distributors of this technology available worldwide, other networks such as Dubai have already expressed an interest in the Bird Laser technology. In this way, Yarra Trams operated by Keolis Downer can extend the health and safety benefits of effective bird control to many other depots and networks within the Keolis Group. 

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