Melbourne’s retired fleet of iconic W-Class trams were decaying and rusting away in storage sheds. It would be too expensive and impractical to get these trams up to the standard required for today’s public transport requirements. We needed to find some other way to save them.
These trams are part of what makes Melbourne so special. That’s why we proposed restoring and converting the trams into Melbourne-themed cafes that would be located at famous locations around Victoria, interstate and overseas. We know Melbourne makes the world’s best coffee, so let’s show off our coffee culture, and celebrate our city’s heritage at the same time.
These cafes would be branded Melbourne Coffee Co and would be established as a certified B Corp. As a B Corp, the business will undergo rigorous assessment that explores the company’s governance, transparency, environmental and social impact. B Corps voluntarily hold themselves to a higher level of accountability in these areas.
The initiative is one particularly close to the heart of Sphere’s Founder Michael Abdel, who used to spend his school holidays traveling the trams with his dad, who worked as a tram conductor.
So far the plan has received enthusiastic support from public and private sector enterprises and within PTV, as well expressions of interest from interstate and as far afield as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, London and the United States. In fact, everyone we’ve shown this proposal to has fallen in love with the idea and wants to see it happen.
Who knows what the future may hold, but we hope the plan moves forward and we see these trams drive Melbourne tourism, not just here but overseas as well. Just imagine people around the world sipping on amazing coffee in a W-Class tram and getting an authentic taste of Melbourne!
Watch this space!
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