Melbourne’s public transport system is called The
Met, it incorporates buses, trams and trains
and interchangeable tickets are available. The Met was privatised
in August 1999 and each separate bus, tram and train company uses
individual names, although fares are standard throughout the entire
The bus network is extensive
and is operated by different private companies on varying routes,
operating Monday to Saturday from 5.00 am to 12.00 am and Sundays
7.00 am to 11.00 pm. There is a limited bus service on weekends.
The City Circle Tram is a free tram service that
runs in both directions around the city centre, 10.00 am to 6.00
pm daily, with extended hours on weekends from the last Sunday
in October to the Saturday before the last Sunday in March.
Trams operate every 10 minutes, the entire route takes 40 minutes
and passes many of Melbourne’s attractions, with commentary
provided. M> Train (telephone: (1800) 800 120)
Trams (telephone: (1800) 800 166) both operate until approximately
The main train station in the city for suburban
routes is Flinders Street Station. 2 rail companies covering suburban
Melbourne are Connex
and M> Train (telephone: (1800) 800 120). Services
run approximately Monday to Saturday from 5.00 am to 12.00 am and
Sundays 7.00 am to 12.00 am.
Metcard tickets allow travel on Melbourne’s
trains, buses and trams, using a single ticket. These are available
for purchase at retail outlets that show the Metcard flag, at
station booking offices and from ticket vending machines on rail
and tram stations. Ordinary tickets for short journeys (zone 1)
cost A $2.60 and are valid for 2 hours, an all day Metcard is
better value for a number of journeys, costing A $5.10. Weekly
passes cost A $22.10 and are ideal for a longer stay in Melbourne.
Higher rates apply for zones 2 and 3.
(telephone: 131 638, Australia only) provides further information
on all forms of transport within Melbourne.
Taxis are possible for hire on the street or are found waiting
at train and bus stations. Operators include Arrow
(telephone: 132 211, Australia only) and Black Cabs
(telephone: 132 227, Australia only). Tipping is not expected,
and the initial charge is A $2.80 and rates increase at A $1.31
per kilometre and A $0.45 per minute waiting time.
Lygon Limousines (telephone: (03) 9773 2788)
have chauffeur driven cars for hire at A $65 per hour or stretch
limousines at A $100 per hour. The chauffeurs can act as guides
as well and can provide detailed information for their customers.
Driving in the City
Driving around Melbourne is quite straight forward,
as many roads are wide, with 2 or 3 lanes, although care has to
be taken where there are tram routes. Special road rules exist,
cars may only overtake trams on the left and must queue on the
left in order to turn right at intersections marked by ‘Safety
Zone’ signs, in order to accommodate the trams.
The rush hours are from 7.00 am to 9.30 am and
5.00 pm to 7.00 pm, although there is also notorious ‘footy
traffic’ near the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on weekends
during the AFL season (April to September).
There are several car parks and parking meters
all over the city. City Centre Car Park, is open daily 7.30 am
to 12.00 pm. Cars parked illegally in no parking zones can be
towed away. The City Centre Car Park charges A $4 per hour or
A $22 per day on weekends.
Address: 22 Little Collins Street
Telephone: (03) 9654 7818
The minimum age for car rental
is 21 years and drivers must have possessed a national driving
licence for at least 1 year. It is generally requested that the
hire be paid for with the driver’s credit card. Young drivers
aged from 21 to 24 years are subject to a surcharge of A $27.50
per day. Compulsory 3rd party insurance is required in Victoria
and this is often included in the hire price.
Main car hire companies include Avis
(telephone: (03) 9663 6366), Budget
(telephone: (03) 9241 6366) and Hertz (tel: (03)
9338 4044). Daily hire rates start at around A $54 per day.
Bicycle Hire and Scooter Hire
Bicycles are available for hire from Hire A Bicycle,
situated at Yarra Bank by Princes Bridge (telephone: 0412 616
633). Prices start at A $8.80 for 1 hour.