With an in-principle agreement signed between the Rail Tram and Bus Union and Yarra Trams, there are hopes that tram punctuality in Melbourne will improve, following a below target result in February.
Yarra Trams recorded a punctuality rate of 81.5 per cent, with major disruptions due to industrial action occurring on February 17 and 20. This met the punctuality target of 79 per cent, however a reliability figure of 96.2 per cent fell below the 98 per cent target.
Other factors impacting on the result included a derailment of a Route 12 tram on Saturday, February 1, and a truck bringing down overhead wires on Swan Street on Friday, February 28, which impacted Route 70 trams.
The in-principle agreement between Yarra Trams and the RTBU will contribute towards improvements in punctuality in the coming months, highlighted Victorian Department of Transport head of transport services Jeroen Weimar.
“It’s pleasing the parties have come to an agreement that will end any further disruptions for our tram passengers.”
Other transport operators also had lower than targeted results. V/Line services had a punctuality result of 86.8 per cent and a reliability result of 88.8 per cent. V/Line has a target of 96 per cent reliability and 92 per cent punctuality.
Events affecting this result included the train derailment at Wallan on Thursday, February 20. This led to trains on the Seymour, Shepparton, and Albury lines being suspended while investigation and repair works were underway.
“All parties worked together in the wake of the tragedy to support the recovery and investigation and ensure the line could reopen once certified for passenger services to return,” said Weimar.
Bright spots for the regional operator included the Gippsland and Warrnambool lines, which experienced a boost to punctuality and reliability of roughly six per cent, the largest improvement on the regional network.
Metro Trains had a positive month, by delivering 98.6 per cent of scheduled services, above its 98.5 per cent target. Punctuality just fell short of the 92 per cent target at 90.3 per cent.
During February, heavy rain, track and signal faults and police operations disrupted the network.
“We continue to work with Metro Trains to ensure punctuality improves in line with what passengers expect from our metropolitan network,” said Weimar.