Yarra Trams performance data from November last year shows 10,670 of its services were cut short before they reached their destinations.
That’s about 356 short trips per day, up by more than 33 per cent from the 7670 short trips in November 2016.
Known as a “short shunt”, drivers are sometimes required to cut their trips short to ensure pick up times are met at stops in the other direction.
Whole services were cancelled 1378 times during November, almost double the number in November 2016.
Yarra Trams’ contract with the state means that the operator can cop penalties and fines when it fails to meet performance targets, which includes being late and service cancellations.
The figures come from leaked documents supplied to the Age and relate to the month before a new seven-year contract began with the state government. Under the new contract, tougher penalties are enforced for short shunts. The document also reveals the month’s 79.6 per cent punctuality met the requirements of the old contract but failed to meet the 82 per cent requirement of the new contract.
Unavoidable incidents including collisions, traffic jams and emergency service requests can also trigger short shunts.
Yarra Trams told the Age high temperatures and delays caused by protests were responsible for 1500 short shunts and 52 service cancellations in November 2017.
Penalties in November were estimated at over $2 million, up from $700,000 for the same period in 2016. Performance data for December 2017 is yet to be released.
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