San Francisco cable car ‘big’ 19 on a test run. (Muni
Keolis Downer, the operator of Yarra Trams, has launched an innovative laser trial to reduce damage caused by birds at a busy tram depot and slash cleaning and maintenance costs. 
An automatic bird deterrent laser called Bird Beam has been installed at the Malvern Tram Depot. 
The system uses low-power lasers to create an optical illusion that discourages roosting without harming birds and other wildlife. 
Birds perceive laser beams as solid objects, with the lasers making the depot an unattractive place to roost from a bird’s perspective. 
Tram depot buildings are an attractive option for roosting birds at night, with hundreds of pigeons doing so in the many buildings that house trams and maintenance equipment. 
The trial tackles serious problems caused by the build-up of nesting material, feathers and bird droppings in its depots. 
The new technology has been recognised by the World Wildlife Fund and Birdlife Australia as animal and environmentally friendly, sustainable, ethical and safe and has been selected primarily because it is a non-harmful option for birds and other wildlife. 
The laser units will be trialled for eight weeks and if successful, may be rolled out across all depots. 
Yarra Trams’ Chief Executive Officer, Carla Purcell, said 
The bird laser in action within Malvern Tram Depot - optical illusions are used to discourage roosting
The bird laser in action within Malvern Tram Depot - optical illusions are used to discourage roosting 
“For years we have been working to on identify a solution to the problem of bird fouling, and I’m excited to see the results of this trial in just a few months’ time.” 
“Keolis Downer is investing in a wide range of innovative trials that will deliver significant benefits to our passengers and employees. 
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