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The maximum number of passengers that can be carried by a tram is not limited by the number of seats. Because of the smooth ride characteristics, a great number of standing passengers is permitted. Typically, a 50 seater tram would be permitted to carry 100 additional standing passengers in the rush hour and even more in exceptional circumstances, such as a crowd leaving a stadium.
If we assume a normal rush hour service of 10 trams per direction per hour, this gives a capacity of 1,500 passengers per hour per route. At places where routes combine, such as the Western Riverside, bothways flows of 6,000 to 9.000 per hour should be possible.
Supposing a stadium were to be built in Bath and a large crowd were to leave at the end of an evening function:
The normal service requirements during an evening would use 12 trams, leaving 28 for extra duties. If each spare tram were to carry a crush load of 200 people, a crowd of 5,600 could be dispersed immediately by a rank of extra trams, followed by 9,000 per hour by the augmented service.
This was a common practice at football grounds served by tramways and is nowadays used in Sheffield to handle large crowds leaving the Don Valley Stadium
|Picture of old Sheffield tram line-up||
Click for larger picture