Towards a more accessible tram system in Melbourne - Challenges for infrastructure design

Andrea Macdonald, Selby Coxon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Melbourne has one of the largest tram systems in the world yet access is difficult for many passengers, generally excluding people using wheelchairs and scooters and those with prams, luggage and shopping. Overcrowding from sustained increases in patronage and traffic congestion aggravate the problem, leading to longer travel times. The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992 and Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT) 2002 have recently imposed accessibility requirements on the design of conveyances and infrastructure. They are to be achieved within mandatory timeframes, adding legal pressure to develop a more accessible tram network. The problem is common world-wide. The recent expansion of new light rail systems installed in Europe and elsewhere provides scope to analyse emerging trends in accessibility. Literature on infrastructure design is limited, so the research adopts a case study basis. It identifies key access issues then compares design solutions in several cities to identify common features and emerging trends. This paper concludes that level access from a platform tram stop to a low floor tram remains the prevailing solution universally. It provides access for people with disabilities in accordance with the legislation, improves access for everyone, and delivers operational benefits. Integration of standard designs with the existing urban fabric also creates new directions for accessibility to public transport. The challenge of improving access to Melbourne's tram system may be assisted by applying design solutions and trends identified in the research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2011 Proceedings
EditorsDr Peter Tisato, Dr Frank Primerano, Dr Nicholas Holyoak, Mr Lindsay Oxlad
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralasian Transport Research Forum
Pages1 - 19
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780759001695
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2011 - Hilton Hotel Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 28 Sept 201130 Sept 2011
Conference number: 34th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2011
Abbreviated titleATRF 2011
OtherInformation that appears as the header for all articles from this conference

Australasian Transport Research Forum 2011 Proceedings
28 - 30 September 2011, Adelaide, Australia
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