A new tram route will be added to Melbourne roads by this time next year.
The trusty number 8 tram (Moreland to Toorak) will merge with the number 55 (West Coburg to Domain Interchange), the Age reports. The result is a new route from midway through 2017: the 58.
For those who use the 55 – good news. Your route essentially stays the same; the name of the tram changes, and the tram will continue past the Domain Interchange into Toorak, but the route between Domain and West Coburg stays the same. But for those using the 8 to get into the city, you’ll need to change to a new tram when you get to Domain. From there the 58 will make a left turn into Park Street and continue along William Street (the current 55 route) instead of up Swanston Street to East Coburg.
“The wait time added to the trip will be only a minute during peak times and two minutes at all other times,” Public Transport Victoria (PVT) says of the consequences for route-8 users.
Meanwhile, route 6 – which currently runs between Glen Iris and Melbourne University – will be extended past Melbourne Uni. It will continue along Lygon Street to Moreland Road and finish in Coburg. This change is supposed to cover the loss of route 8, which at the moment travels into Brunswick and Coburg. This means yet another tram change for current number 8 users.
The 8 and the 55 are two of the busiest tram routes in the city and the goal of the merger, according to PTV, is to help more of us get to the currently underserviced west side of the CBD.
For those mourning what seems like the end of an era consider this: the number 8 as we know it has only been in action since 2004 when it was merged with the obsolete number 22 route.