Melbourne, June 2003

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I think one is asking for trouble if one stands or loiters in the middle of the road in any city, especially when there is no island or road divider. But if you want to take a tram in Melbourne, that is exactly what you would have to do. The roofless tram (not bus) stop is right in the middle of the road, and that is where you have to stand waiting for the tram.

It is very unnerving for anyone using the Melbourne tram for the first time. The space between the short stretch of rail fence, two and a half feet in height, (which is erected along the centre of the road), and a stopping tram, is no more than 4 feet (wide). Newcomers tend to lean backward to the rail fence as the tram approaches, but the locals would stand so close to the approaching tram that you think they want to be knocked down.

Visitors also find it strange that the doors of a tram car will open automatically when the tram stops at a traffic light, during which time passengers may step up on or disembark from the tram.
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Revised 3 July 2003