Does tramTRACKER help?

Yarra Trams has introduced a “new” service called tramTRACKER. (Spot the advertisement with a dog holding a cellphone with a green background, they have got leaflets about the service on some trams too. If you only live in the cyberworld, Yarra Trams web site will serve you right.)

tramTRACKER is a telephone service that provides Yarra Trams customers with tram arrival information (either real-time or scheduled) by voice or SMS.

From landline or mobile phones, customers can call 1300 MY TRAM (that’s 1300 69 8726) and have a friendly voice guide them to the information. Alternatively, they can SMS the Tracker Stop ID to 199YARRA (19992772).

Passengers can find out their Tracker Stop ID at tram stops by visiting the tramTRACKER page on this website or by calling Metlink on 131 638.

So far I have only seen the tracker stop ID at ONE tram stop – which is the opposite to Flinder Street Station. I guess Yarra Tram are really only targeting people who are technologically-literates then. (Or more specifically, people with access to good computers with Adobe Reader installed – the tracker ids are only available in separate pdf according to the tram line.)

By the way, remember similar services like SmartBus? I remember that I criticised it in a transport assignment that such service is will NOT be fertile unless transport services are frequent enough as people still have to wait for the 30 minutes before the next tram/bus/train comes. Hence, services like SmartBus and tramTRACKER won’t really increase the number of people using public transport.

However, it’s still nice to see that transport authorities endeavour to make public transport better.

Now I am only waiting for the official release of myki.

NB. Can someone please tell me why Yarra Trams use the dog as tramTRACKER’s mascot?

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6 Comments so far

  1. Jexy (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

    Yeah I used it the other day. I was on St Kilda Road and it was spot on. Didn’t make the tram arrive any quicker of course, but at least you get an idea of how much longer you’ve got to wait.

  2. adrock2xander (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2007 @ 9:47 pm


    Melbourne may be wonderful in many ways, but public transport isn’t one of them. It has a lonnnnnnng way to go from what the Western world calls the ‘developing 2nd or 3rd world Asian countries’ such as Thailand (Bangkok) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) and Singapore.

  3. dave (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

    the dog looks beaglish. i think the association is probably tracker – tracking dog.

  4. Neil (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 1:01 am

    Sounds very good but why would someone need this? I could understand if a tram ran once every couple of hours but they usually are anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour at most.

    Even if you could get an estimated arrival time, it could easily be skewed by traffic or some other variable. Id love to see it predict the estimated arrival on a busy street such as Sydney road on a Saturday.

    It would be neat to see real time tracking of trams on a map. Not useful but interesting.

  5. Gin (unregistered) on January 6th, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    It’s helpful when it works. But it doesn’t work when the tram’s delayed. Like, I could *shock horror* look at the timetable normally, but it’s when the tram’s delayed that I need to ask. And that’s when it doesn’t work.

  6. Mercado (unregistered) on January 10th, 2007 @ 11:15 am

    It’s modelled on the CEO’s own dog. True story.

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