In the wake of the City of Stirling’s launch of the trackless tram in WA, Hatch Partner Mike Day believes that it is time for other local and state governments to follow suit.
Trackless trams are utilised across the likes of China and Mexico, utilised for their ability to reduce cars on the roads and carbon emissions simultaneously. The transportation model is the subject of investigation in WA, Queensland and Victoria at the moment, with many studies being conducted on their feasibility.
Day believes that all state capitals and their subsequent suburbs would stand to benefit from a nationwide rollout of the transport system.
“When you’re sitting in an inner-city alfresco neighbourhood café on a transit boulevard and this type of vehicle goes past, it enhances the streetscape and urban fabric and could also complement the timeless future neighbourhoods we are striving to shape,” he says.
“A bus, on the other hand, is bulky, an imposition to the streetscape and more difficult to access. They are invasive and ableist compared with digital mid-tier transit vehicles which are equipped with the suspension developed for the high-speed rail program which allows passengers to move around the vehicle safely and easily when they’re in motion.
“Additionally, one trackless tram can carry up to 300 people – compared with maybe 80 people on a bus. Each vehicle boasts ample space for bikes, prams, luggage and surfboards while featuring doors on each side. They are fully electric which means less vibrations and noise and they can run on a narrow lane.”
With the Rozelle Interchange’s woes currently front page news in Sydney, Day is of the opinion that trackless trams could provide an alternative to further infrastructure upgrades.
“Australia is suffering from a lack of viable public transport across our severely congested car-dependent metropolitan growth areas. Sydney and Melbourne’s suburbs are synonymous with excessive car usage while other major cities across Australia are also battling growing car congestion.”
Trackless trams offer a fresh perspective, promising smoother commutes, cleaner air, and more livable cities. Day's call for a nationwide rollout is not just an economic proposition, but a vision for a more sustainable and equitable Australia.