Accessibility Update - Q4 2016

Thursday 15 December 2016

Accessibility, diversity and inclusiveness are at the core of our values Zero Harm, Think Like a Passenger, Respect for People and Continuous Improvement. Our philosophy of improving the travel experience for all our passengers underpins our strategic plans and decision making.

Each quarter Yarra Trams engages with the Accessibility Reference Group, to provide a progress updates on matters relating to accessibility. The sessions provide an opportunity for meaningful discussions, to obtain ideas for improvements and discuss potential initiatives. The group provides invaluable insights into the challenges faced by our passengers and opportunities for improvements to our services. 

Operational update

Accessible pedestrian path trial during planned disruption

During the recent track renewal works at the corner of Collins Street and Swanton Street, Yarra Trams trialled a new way to communicate to passengers about an accessible pedestrian path around the work zone.

Positive feedback was received and opportunities for further improvements were identified. Lessons learnt will be implemented for future works.

DDA Tram Infrastructure Audit

The enhanced DDA Audit of tram infrastructure is progressing well.  The database is being developed at present, with ongoing support to ensure it is fit for purpose and will provide the information required for asset management, asset enhancement and passenger information.

The database will become an ongoing source of information and therefore will be updated with changes to the infrastructure and the creation of new stops.

Launch of E-Class on Route 86

E-Class trams commenced operating on Route 86 on Monday 28 November 2016.  Route 86 is one of Melbourne's busiest routes and services Bundoora RMIT, Preston, Northcote, Fitzroy, the City and Waterfront City Docklands. 

The high-capacity E-Class trams are the first low-floor trams to run on Route 86.  About 50 per cent of the stops on the route are level access (35 stops). Pairing level access stops and low floor trams improves the boarding and alighting experience of our passengers. 

In addition, on board passenger information displays and automated announcements provide improved customer information for all passengers. 


Try Before You Ride

The Try Before You Ride community event occurred at Box Hill tram terminus on Wednesday 12 October 2016.

Yarra Trams joined Public Transport Victoria, other public transport operators, and disability support services to provide an opportunity for people to familiarise themselves with public transport for the first time and gain the confidence to travel, especially on trams.

The event was well attended by a range of people of varying demographics, including several school groups.

Accessibility Week

Yarra Trams' Accessibility Week was launched on Monday 28 November 2016 to coincide with both the International Day of Persons with Disability and the Disability Sport and Recreation Festival.

Accessibility Week was not just another opportunity for everyone working at Yarra Trams to "think like a passenger" and put themselves in the shoes of our passengers - it was an opportunity to learn and provide feedback on what can be done to improve the quality of tram services.

At Yarra Trams, we are convinced that it is everyone's role to ensure passengers have barrier free access to our services, high quality customer service and the right information at the right time along their journey.

Internal activities included:

  • Employee News Bulletins sent to all employees outlining the challenges faced by our passengers and ways to assist
  • Staff surveys to ask our staff whether they want any further accessibility training and on what topics, and ideas they have  to further improve accessibility

Disability Sport and Recreation (DSR) Festival

Yarra Trams participated in the DSR Festival and hosted Guide Dogs Victoria on the day. We were able to connect with people with special need, provide advice for potential and current tram passengers and promote upcoming events and our Get Back On Board program.

Yarra Trams also participated in the Corporate Wheelchair Basketball.  The team of six included the Director of Lines and the Director of Customer Experience and Growth, Manager of Lines, Manager of Accessibility and Standards, and Team Managers of Authorised officers.

City of Boroondara Independent Mobility Expo

Yarra Trams exhibited at the Boroondara Independent Mobility Expo on Monday 5 December.  There were about 12 exhibiters, including several mobility aid retailers, other public transport operators and disability support services.

It was a great opportunity to discuss our tram services, various travel options and provide information about Try Before You Ride and ad-hoc tram familiarisation sessions.

Update on our Puppy Guide Dog In Training

Sahana has passed her initial assessment and has commenced the next level of Guide Dog training. More to come.


Authorised Officer Training

Yarra Trams is currently rolling out a new training package for Authorised Officers with a specific focus on passengers with Special Circumstances.  Special Circumstances is defined in the Infringement Act 2006.  It refers to a person who, at the time of being reported by an Authorised Officer, had a mental, intellectual disability, disorder, disease, illness or serious drug addiction, that results in the person being unable to understand that their conduct constitutes an offence or to control that conduct. 

Public Transport Victoria developed the training in partnership with public transport operators. It provides an opportunity for all Authorised Officers to interact with people with special circumstances face to face and better understand their challenges.

The training will also enable better consistency across the teams travelling on the network to ensure ticket compliance and personal security.

Passenger Information

Multimodal Brochure

Public Transport Victoria and public transport operators are working together to develop an accessibility brochure, including multimodal information.   

Yarra Trams hosted the first workshop to develop the multimodal brochure.  It is intended that the brochure will be completed by June 2017.

Accessibility Video

The accessibility video update has been deferred to the first half of 2017.  Planning has started, including internal and external workshops.

Benefits Realisation Survey - Passenger Information Display Systems (PIDS)

Yarra Trams undertook a survey to determine our passengers' views about current digital passenger information displays at tram stops, at train stations and on-board trams.  

About 650 surveys were submitted, with about 100 survey respondents identifying themselves as having an accessibility need, which was key for us to ensure all needs would be captured.

Overall findings:

  • 75 per cent of respondents thought PIDS added very good or excellent value
  • 97 per cent of respondents support their further rollout

For more information visit or call  1800 800 007  6am - midnight (all night Friday & Saturday)