Unlike other Australian cities, Melbourne has an extensive tram network that stretches outward from the CBD. In fact, Melbourne’s network is one of the largest in the world. During peak times, trams will run every seven to 10 minutes. The free City Circle tram runs every 12 minutes.
The tram network rules central Melbourne, but if you live in the outer suburbs, then buses may be a better solution. Bus frequency varies depending on the time of day; popular routes are frequented every 10–15 minutes during peak times, and once every 20 or 30 minutes during the evenings. The Nightrider bus departs every 30 mins from the CBD to the outer suburbs in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday.
Melbourne has 15 train lines stretching from the CBD into the outer suburbs. They are an effective solution for travelling to these outer suburbs but can become very busy during peak hours. On busy lines at peak hour, trains can run every four or five minutes. During off-peak times, some trains may only run every 20 minutes.
Melbourne is a large city, so for ticketing purposes, it has been divided into two ‘zones’. Zone 1 includes the CBD and the inner suburbs, while Zone 2 encompasses the outer suburbs. If you travel across zones, you will be charged the ‘Zone 1+2’ fare, which is more expensive than travelling in one zone only.
The iUSEpass reduces the cost of travel for international students by 50% on the cost of a full fare annual pass. Check with your institution to see if they are participating.
The reusable smart card is easy to use. Simply top up before your journey and then touch on and touch off at a myki reader as you travel. A myki works a bit like a debit card: first, you’ll need to load money onto your myki at a station or an authorised store. Visit ptv.vic.gov.au for information on where to buy and top up a myki. Next, simply touch the card to the yellow card reader when you enter and exit a station or vehicle and your fare will be automatically deducted.