It can be daunting when using public transport in an unfamiliar city. Thankfully it’s pretty simple to use the public transport in Melbourne, once you know the basics. Here’s our guide to making sure your travel in Melbourne as hassle-free as possible.
How does Melbourne’s public transport work?
Melbourne has 3 marvellous forms of public transport; Tram, train and bus. Thankfully we have the best public transport of any major city in Australia, and it’s pretty easy to use once you know the basics.
To get started you will need to buy yourself a Myki card. This is a plastic card that all of our public transport systems take as payment; it operates similar to a debit card. You need to keep it topped up with funds, and ‘touch-it-on’ each time your travel.
Where can I buy a Myki?
Myki cards can be purchased at any 7-11 outlet in Victoria, and from major train stations, like Flinder’s Street Station & Southern Cross Station.
If you’re travelling to the city centre via the Skybus, your first stop will be Southern Cross Station. You can purchase a Myki here.
A digital Myki card can also be setup on your Android phone using Google Pay.
How can I top up a Myki?
There are several places you can top up a myki card.
1. You can top up your Myki at any 7/11 outlet. Just speak to the staff.
2. Many train stations and tram stops have automatic machines that allow you to top up your Myki.
3. You can auto top-up your Myki online. This is handy if you plan on travelling a lot while in Melbourne.
Can I put money on my Myki online?
You can sign up for auto top-up on the Myki website. When your Myki falls below a certain amount of funds, your debit card will automatically be charged.
What happens if I don’t touch on my Myki?
It is possible to board trams and buses without touching on your Myki. However if the ticket inspectors board, they will ask you for a valid ticket. If you haven’t touched on they will issue you a fine.
Trains at major stations have barriers that stop you from entering without first touching on your Myki.
Can I use Opal card in Melbourne?
No, Sydney’s ticket system can not be used in Melbourne. We recommend ripping up your Opal Card and never returning to Sydney. Melbourne’s much cooler.
How to use trams in Melbourne
Melbourne’s tram network has become a global icon. The first electric tram was installed in 1889, and since then it has grown to over 250km of track length across 24 routes; it is the largest tram network in the world.
When visiting Melbourne, you’ll most likely be dependant on the trams, and it’s the form of transport we recommend. Not only do you go from A-to-B, you also get a scenic view along the way.
You should download the Tramtracker App; this will allow to you see the tram schedules and locate the nearest stop.
Trams operate in both directions, so make sure you are waiting at the correct side of the platform.
While there are 24 routes in Melbourne, the trams are not numbered sequentially, so the lowest tram is #1 while the highest is #109.
We would recommend avoiding travel during peak hours to avoid congestion. Peak hour in the morning starts at 7:00am till 9:30am. And in the afternoon at 4:00pm to 6:30pm.
The No 35 tram is the city circle tram and it’s completely free. This w-class tram will take you on a lap of the CBD. It’s a great way to get your bearings.
Are trams free in Melbourne CBD?
Yes! If you are travelling just inside the Melbourne city centre, then you do not need to touch on. If you plan on travelling outside of the CBD, then you should touch-on.
Can I pay cash on trams in Melbourne?
No. You will need a Myki in order to legally travel on a tram. These can be purchased at 7-11 stores, and all major train stations. They cannot be purchased on board trams.
Are Melbourne trams free on weekends?
Melbourne trams are not free on weekends, however they are slightly cheaper when compared to the weekday rate.
However the free tram zone within the CBD continues to be free of charge.
Do Melbourne trams run all night?
During the week, trams do not run through the night. However on Friday & Saturday nights, selected line do run through the night and into the morning.
More information on the Night Network can be found here. What is the best app for checking tram times?
What is the best app for checking tram times?
Download the Tramtracker App in order to see live schedules. The PTV App also has tram schedule information, along with schedules for the trains and bus systems.
Do trams run on Christmas Day?
Yes, trams do run on Christmas Day, however to a Sunday frequency. All trams on Christmas day are free.
Are trams wheelchair accessible?
Some of the new trams do allow for wheelchair access, however on when boarded from a wheelchair friendly tram stop. More information can be found here.
How to use the trains in Melbourne
Melbourne has a large train network, consisting of 17 train lines with 248 stations. The main station is Flinders Street Station, and all of the lines leave from there.
The trains travel further out of the city centre than the trams, and they are the best way to reach the outer suburbs. If you are only travelling to the inner-city suburbs, stick to the trams.
What’s the best app for checking train schedules?
Download the PTV app and you’ll be able to see the latest schedules for all of the trains in Melbourne.
Is there a train from the Melbourne airport?
Unfortunately not. When travelling from the Melbourne Airport, we recommend either taking the SkyBus or one of the ride-sharing platforms.
What is the city loop?
The city loop is made up of 4 stations: Flinders Street Station, Southern Cross Station, Melbourne Central and Parliament Station.
These 4 stations are spread out in the CBD, and make a ‘loop.’ Many trains will pass through the loop before heading out to the suburbs.
Do trains run 24/7 in Melbourne?
No, trains do not run throughout the night on weekdays. However on the weekend, several train lines do run for the entire night. This is the Night Network, and more information can be found here.
Do I have to tap off when changing trains?
No. Simply change trains at the station, and tap off when you come to your final destination.