Route 72 up Burke Road is a very well patronised route. To act as a better cross-town service and connect the whole of Boroondara and Glen Eira, it just needs to be extended at least north to North Balwyn and south to Caulfield. I don't think extending to Ivanhoe would attract much patronage. If it was converted to a bus, it'd just cost a lot of money for new vehicles, removal of tracks and overhead wires, more drivers and would result in overall less patronage and less capacity.
How many cities have gone down the path of
"Oh" the darn trams get In the way of the cars and clog the streets, let get rid of them and get the streets flowing again !
Look we will convert the overhead tram wires to double contact wires then Introduce trolley buses, that can pull over to the kerb at stops, clear of the through traffic and yeah every one wins !
But the people don't like trolley buses over trams, and patronage declines, car traffic Increases, street congestion surges out of control, trolley buses get slower and slower, patronage plummets, services get reduced.
The time comes when the trolley buses and over head wires need major overhaul, It's simply not viable to spend the money, so standard run of the stock city diesel buses run the routes as the old overhead wires come down.
Street traffic becomes hopelessly slow and extremely unproductive, so the Government Is forced to spend mega $$$ to build an underground railway / Metro / U Bahn / T Bana etc, to get people moving again.
I went along to a Yarra Trams session earlier this afternoon and heard some more information relating to the project. Thankfully, crossover termini will be installed on both sides of the tram stop, meaning it will be possible for both routes to terminate when the split at Gardiner does occur. Extension south to Caulfield was also taken into account but wasn't a major factor, and more infrastructure such as a third track may need to be built if it ever actually happens.
What do you mean about third track ? tram track ?