Protected public transport stops provide a separated area for passengers to stand when they exit or enter a tram or bus. People are protected from motor vehicles by a kerb and fences.
A car travelling at 40-60 km/h can kill or seriously injure a person. This is a known risk, which is why VicRoads publishes videos showing the correct way to pass or overtake tram:
Problems in Yarra
Many streets in Yarra do not have protected tram stops, such as on Bridge Road and Victoria Street. Cars can still easily pass a tram that has stopped to allow passengers to disembark, which imposes a hazard with a risk of death or serious injury.
A better design solution is to require trams and cars to share a single lane. This means that cars can’t pass or overtake the tram, thus eliminating the possibility of hitting disembarking passengers. Instead, only the bicycle lane intersects with passengers. However, a person on a bicycle does not impose a life threatening hazard on tram passengers, because the kinetic energy of a person and bicycle at 20 km/h is very little.
This type of protected tram stop can be found at several locations throughout Melbourne, including this photo of Carlisle Street, St Kilda:
Level access tram stops combined with a protected bicycle lane (where cars can’t overtake trams) deliver protection from cars for tram passengers. Such designs can be trialled using low cost relocatable structures, as demonstrated in Toronto.
Supporters of protected public transport across greater Melbourne include the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA):