Tram passengers up for compensation after shocking lateness data
Yarra Trams' monthly punctuality performance in March was the worst in more than 20 years, a 9News Melbourne investigation has revealed.
More than 25 per cent of trams across the network were late, meaning eligible customers are entitled to compensation.
That's the poorest result since 2001, when available records began, and also represents a sharp rise from the same time last year when just over 15 per cent of trams were late.
READ MORE: Busted $1b scam could see Aussies get money back
Yarra Trams admits March was "particularly challenging".
"The network was severely impacted by heavy traffic congestion, we had a number of protests throughout the CBD as well as a number of emergency service requests," CEO Carla Purcell told 9News.
The figures improved slightly in April but were still below punctuality targets.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union blames the operator for the delays.
"There aren't enough trams going out (of the depot). There are a lot of defective trams and there are also a lot of infrastructure issues," RTBU secretary Tarik Koc said.
READ MORE: 'Black day' suggests shock change in Ukraine tactics
Yarra Trams disputes this but there have been a number of problems in recent weeks, including a large tram route shut down in the CBD on Wednesday night following a problem with the overhead wires.
"Each year we invest nearly $60 million in infrastructure maintenance and renewals and projects across the network," Purcell said.
The operator will work with partners including the Department of Transport and Planning and local councils to identify ways to improve tram punctuality.
Passengers are eligible for compensation if monthly on-time performance falls below 79 per cent.
Head to the Yarra Trams website for more information.
Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.