Hello and welcome to the first post of my Melbourne Series! Today I’m here to give you a few tips for using the Melbourne PTV (Public Transport Victoria). I got quite used to using the Public Transport in Melbourne, in particular the trains and trams, as I was having to travel in and around the city as well as out in different suburbs all over the show.
#1 Most of all remember to tap on and tap off. Buses and trams have to tap on/off machine on board where as the ones at the train stations are where you enter/exit.
#2 Get a map from the airport of any of the big train stations of the train and tram network to keep on you. I found a lot of the time that we were referring a lot to the map when planning what we would do for the day and while we were out and about it was definitely a handy reference.
#3 Buy your myki card (like metrocard in Christchurch and hop cards in Auckland) at any train station and top up as your balance gets low. It is seriously so easy to get a myki card, you practically “buy” it from a vending machine.
#4 The doors wait for no one. So make sure if you are carrying a lot of luggage that you get it all ready the stop before and stand/sit close to the nearest exit. At major stops they do tend to have a bit more time between doors opening and closing. Sometimes you may have to press a button to open the door so you may need a free hand! (Lesson learned: This is where a 20 kg suitcase is not the fun or sensible option).
#5 Start off by exploring the zone you are in then as you get used to it go out further and on different lines. (more cost-effective) eg. explore zone in the area you are staying in.
#6 While in the city use the free city tram zone as much as possible as it saves you a lot of money. (Also you don’t have to tap on or off if you stay within the free zone).
#7 Travel in off-peak hours as it is way cheaper. As we were tending to wakeup at 8am we weren’t ready to go anywhere by 9am (start of off-peak) and we nearly always returned after 7pm. (Well Rosana woke up at 7.30am-8am. I woke up between 5am and 6am with the kookaburras laughing in the bush by my aunty’s house.)
#8 If you don’t tap on/tap off and you get caught you can get fined around $200. (Found out that cheering fact after my arrival from my cousin who is a cop. Thank God she warned us as we always kept each other accountable for checking if we had tapped on/off)