New tram stop shelters should really protect passengers from the rain

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The tram stops for the line connecting Utrecht Central Station and the Utrecht Science Park are about to get new shelters. The ones currently in use are too small, leading passengers to squish together. As a result, they all want to get on the tram through the same entrance, causing delays. Other improvements are in the pipeline as well.

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Ron van Dopperen, a spokesperson for the province of Utrecht, explains that it didn't take long for them to realise that there was "room for improvement" in the tram stops of the line best known as De Uithoflijn, inaugurated in 2020. The province and the municipality of Utrecht have therefore allocated 3 million euros for the necessary improvements.

A survey of passengers conducted last summer also revealed what could be improved to make the shelters more comfortable. For starters, the shelters are too small, so people have to squish together to take shelter when it rains. This often causes trams to be delayed, as passengers are not evenly distributed across the platform and they all want to get on the tram through the same entrance.

But this isn't the only thing that should change. Passengers also asked for better facilities, such as improved information boards, and indicated that it should be more visible that those stops belong to line 22 of the U-OV tram.

It's not yet clear what the new tram stops are going to look like. Parties like Utrecht University and the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool Utrecht) are currently giving their two cents on the necessary improvements, and a contractor still needs to be found. The new design is expected to be finalised sometime next year, with renovation works beginning in the tram stops located in the Utrecht Science Park in 2023.

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