Yarra Trams Franchise Agreement

Yarra Trams Franchise Agreement: Understanding the Public Transport System in Melbourne

Melbourne is known for its efficient public transport system, and Yarra Trams plays a crucial role in ensuring that the city`s residents and tourists are well-connected. The franchise agreement between Yarra Trams and the Victorian State Government is an essential aspect of this system, and understanding its intricacies can provide valuable insights into the functioning of public transport in Australia`s second-largest city.

What is Yarra Trams?

Yarra Trams is the trading name of Keolis Downer, a joint venture between global transport company Keolis and Australian engineering firm Downer EDI. Yarra Trams operates Melbourne`s iconic tram network, covering 250 km of track and 500 tram stops. With a history dating back to 1885, the tram network is an integral part of Melbourne`s identity and attracts millions of passengers each year.

What is the Franchise Agreement?

The franchise agreement is a legally binding contract between Yarra Trams and the Victorian State Government. It outlines the terms and conditions for Yarra Trams to operate and maintain Melbourne`s tram network. The current franchise agreement, signed in 2009, is valid until 30 November 2024, with the option to extend it for another decade.

Key Terms of the Franchise Agreement

The franchise agreement covers various aspects of Yarra Trams` operations, with a focus on ensuring safe, reliable, and efficient tram services. Some of the key terms of the agreement include:

1. Performance targets: Yarra Trams must meet performance targets for punctuality, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Failure to meet these targets can result in financial penalties or termination of the contract.

2. Investment obligations: Yarra Trams must invest in the maintenance and improvement of the tram network, including upgrading infrastructure, purchasing new trams, and implementing new technologies.

3. Ticketing and fare collection: Yarra Trams is responsible for ticketing and fare collection on the tram network, in partnership with the Victorian State Government`s public transport authority, Public Transport Victoria.

4. Customer service: Yarra Trams must provide high-quality customer service to passengers, including responding to feedback and complaints in a timely and respectful manner.

5. Health and safety: Yarra Trams must maintain a safe working environment for its employees and ensure that passengers are not exposed to unnecessary risks.

Benefits of the Franchise Agreement

The franchise agreement between Yarra Trams and the Victorian State Government has numerous benefits for Melbourne`s public transport system. Some of these include:

1. Better tram services: The performance targets in the agreement incentivize Yarra Trams to improve the quality of its services, leading to more reliable and efficient tram services for passengers.

2. Investment in the network: The investment obligations in the agreement ensure that Yarra Trams continues to invest in maintaining and improving the tram network, which benefits passengers and the wider community.

3. Accountability and transparency: The franchise agreement provides a framework for transparent and accountable governance of Melbourne`s tram network, with clear expectations and mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing compliance.


The Yarra Trams franchise agreement is a crucial component of Melbourne`s public transport system, ensuring that passengers have access to safe, reliable, and efficient tram services. By understanding the key terms and benefits of the agreement, you can gain valuable insights into the functioning of public transport in one of Australia`s largest cities.