Route 96 Project

Follow the links below to find out more about the options for each section of the route.

  Nicholson Street
  Stop 124 World Trade Centre and Stop 125 Port Junction
  Stop 133 Fitzroy Street and Acland Street

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Modernising Melbourne’s tram network

With Melbourne’s tram patronage the highest since the 1950’s, the Victorian Government is investigating options to modernise the network to move more people by tram, more effectively.

As part of the $800m Tram Procurement Program the Route 96 Project provides an opportunity to explore how a light rail could work to suit Melbourne conditions.

The Route 96 Project will explore a full route of enhancements to demonstrate the benefits of a modern light rail network and as such has produced a brochure and infographic which outlines the key components of modernising the network, and explains how the Route 96 Project will explore these as part of critical development and planning work currently underway.

Modernising Melbourne’s tram network brochure (PDF) 623 kB

Route 96 Project infographic (PDF) 230 kB

Project description

Route 96 is one of Melbourne’s busiest tram routes operating along a 14-kilometre corridor from Blyth Street in East Brunswick in the north, through the CBD to Acland Street, St Kilda, in the south.  It has been selected as the first route to run the new low-floor trams being built in Dandenong as part of the $800m tram upgrade program.

As part of this program, PTV, in partnership with Yarra Trams and VicRoads is currently developing plans for infrastructure upgrades along Route 96 to improve access, safety, reliability and efficiency for tram customers using the route. These investigations will examine options for:

  • Providing level access stops along the entire route
  • Upgraded termini at Blyth Street, East Brunswick, and Acland Street, St Kilda
  • Segregation treatments to better separate low-floor trams from traffic
  • Improved priority for low-floor trams at traffic lights
  • Improved customer information.

Project benefits

The introduction of new low-floor trams onto Route 96 will bring significant benefits to the community including improved access, increased capacity and better comfort and amenity.  The objective of the Route 96 project is to maximise these benefits and ensure that the supporting infrastructure is as modern and accessible as the state-of-the-art low-floor trams.

The project also aims to provide tram customers with a significantly improved travel experience, with level access to low-floor trams and faster tram travel times. The improved accessibility and safety will ensure that the new low-floor trams can be used to their full potential.

The key objectives of the project are to:

  • Increase access to trams and safety for customers through providing improved infrastructure and information
  • Improve tram reliability and efficiency through increased priority and accessible infrastructure
  • Ensure better utilisation of the road network with a focus on moving people
  • Design a full route of enhancements to demonstrate the benefits of a modern light rail system in Melbourne conditions, compared with a traditional tram network.

Work packages

The Route 96 Project is being delivered with a ‘whole-of-route’ approach and design options are being developed at key locations along the route.

Nicholson Street – Blyth Street, East Brunswick, to Victoria Parade, East Melbourne

Nicholson Street is a north-south arterial road which runs from Blyth Street in East Brunswick through to Victoria Parade in East Melbourne. South of Brunswick Road, Route 96 operates with an exclusive tram lane in each direction.  Development work will investigate options for:

  • Level access tram stop designs and locations
  • Level access design and location for a new tram terminus at Blyth Street
  • Traffic light priority and improved separation of trams from traffic
  • Improved connectivity with other transport modes.

Port Junction Redevelopment, South Melbourne

The Port Junction area is a busy tram junction located near the intersection of Whiteman Street and Clarendon Street, South Melbourne.  It is a major interchange for Routes 96, 109 and 112 and accommodates the waiting area for the popular Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.  It is also close to the Southbank Depot where the new trams will be stabled and maintained.

Over the past 10 years, this area has seen significant growth in residential apartments and commercial activity.  This has placed increased pressure on tram operations in the area. The Port Junction Redevelopment will examine options for:

  • Level access tram stop design and relocation of Stop 125 Batman Park
  • Level access tram stop designs and locations including options for the tramcar restaurant
  • Track layout solutions to improve the overall operation of the Spencer Street/Clarendon Street corridor.

Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

Stop 133 Fitzroy Street is located at the intersection of Fitzroy Street and Canterbury Road/Grey Street in St Kilda. This junction is served by trams on routes 96, 16 and 3A.  In order to improve tram operations, customer access safety at the junction, development work will investigate designs for a new level access tram stop and options for a possible relocation of Stop 133.

Acland Street, St Kilda

The Acland Street tram terminus is located at the intersection of Barkly and Acland streets in St Kilda, a precinct of popular cafés, restaurants and retail outlets.  Development work will investigate design options for a new level access tram terminus that will help improve safety and accessibility for tram customers while enhancing the amenity of the area.

Community consultation

In June, the Route 96 Project team released early designs for tram stop upgrades and other improvements along the route. Between June and August, we sought feedback from the community and received more than 1,300 responses to the proposals.

The findings of this consultation are provided in the following report:

Community and Stakeholder Feedback Summary Report (PDF) 413 kB

PTV is now able to seek the further approvals required before we can progress further, including approval from the Minister for Public Transport.

Subject to these approvals being gained, there's still a lot of work to be done to turn these options from concepts into reality. We'll continue to work with Council and the local community to progress the project’s development.


Project Overview (PDF) 848 kB

Project Factsheet (PDF) 557 kB

Project map: Brunswick to CBD (PDF) 91 kB

Project map: CBD to St Kilda (PDF) 85 kB

Media release (link opens in a new window)

Modernising Melbourne’s tram network brochure (PDF) 623 kB

Route 96 Project infographic (PDF) 230 kB

Further information

For more information, please call Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 or email

You can also complete an online enquiry form.