Transport in every country is different and getting used to a whole new system can be confusing in the beginning. One of the best-connected cities in Australia, Melbourne is known for its extensive tram network. Apart from its trams though, what other ways can you get around Melbourne? Here's a list of the main modes of transport, as well as some tips and information that would be good for you to know about each type. So, gather your adventurous spirit, and read on!
There are a number of taxi services available, inclusive of rideshare apps. 13CABS and Silver Top Taxi are probably the ones you would see around often, similar to Singapore's ComfortDelGro. In Melbourne, Grab and Go-jek isn't available, but you can throwback to the good old Uber days! In addition to Uber, there are also other rideshare apps like DiDi and Ola. Do remember to get your friend to send you a referral code before signing up with these apps.
Melbourne has a well-established network of trams that run through the city and stretches out into the suburbs. Fortunately for the schools in the city and those of us living within the city, there is a free tram zone (YAY!)
Outside this zone, you would need to touch on your Myki card and the validity of the ticket would be 2 hours. Pass this and you would have to tap your card again. When taking the trams, be careful of when you're in and out of the free tram zone as fines for not tapping your Myki can cost you $200 for first-time offenders. In many cases, inspectors do go undercover in common-man clothes, so please be alert! The system for touching on your Myki is pretty different as compared to Singapore. You can click here to find out more about how it works.
If you live in the suburbs and intend to visit the city, or vice versa, trains would probably be your most frequent mode of transport. The main few train stations in the city are Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station – Flinders Street station serves as the main train hub for city travel (Metro Trains) and Southern Cross station serves the regional and interstate trains (V/Line Trains). The fares for trains are different from trams, so do read up here if you are planning to take the train for the very first time, or have a chat with the officers on duty.
Buses in Melbourne charge on a distance-traveled basis and run on more than 300 routes through central Melbourne and the suburbs. Covering more ground than trams, busses are like the underrated hero of public transport in Melbourne. When traveling out of the city to areas such as Chadstone or Doncaster, you might find a bus that will bring you there straight. Likewise, be sure to tap on and off your myki when taking the bus!
If you are a frugal university kid like me, taking the taxi is probably not your go-to mode of transport. If you're reading this and at lost of where to start, the first order of business would be to get a Myki card from any 7/11 around you. The Myki card works similarly to our EZ-link card, where you would top-up the monetary value you input into your card. Topping-up can be done at certain specific tram stops, as well as online too. (Note that the Myki card itself has an additional costs $6). If you find yourself taking public transport in Melbourne frequently, annual concession passes are available for some students. More information can be found on the PTV website here.
Personally, here are the few transportation mobile apps that I frequent often in getting around Melbourne, so you can familiarise yourself with these apps that are sure to aid you!
• Google Maps
You would probably utilize this for getting anywhere, even by foot.
This app provides a journey planner as well as service timing information.
This app will provide you with information of tram timings.
If you are interested in finding any other mobile apps that will come in handy for you during your stay here in Melbourne, feel free to check out our article on essential mobile apps that are worth every megabyte on your phone. If you have any enquiries, a chat, or anything really, don't hesitate to drop us a message on our Facebook page or our Instagram and we would love to chat with you.
by GERMAINE YAP • edited by KIMBERLY PANG
As an editor for Singaporeans of Victoria, Germaine wishes to give prospective and future students a sneak peek to what life in Melbourne would be like as a Singaporean. Studying Commerce at The University of Melbourne, she loves to take walks and has a secret (but now not so secret) goal to conquer all the parks around Melbourne.