There are so many great reasons to choose Melbourne as your international study destination, one of which is the amazing public transport network in the city. With a well-planned and efficient system, public transport in Melbourne is both easy and affordable.
Figuring out how to get around in a new city can be challenging. To help you learn the ropes, we've put together this handy guide with everything you need to know about using public transport in Melbourne.
Trams, buses and trains
Trams, buses and trains are popular transit choices in Melbourne. With frequent services running across the city and surrounding suburbs, you’ll have no problem getting wherever you need to go.
Melbourne's trams aren't just an icon of this great city - they also play a vital role in the transport network. With 24 routes, Melbourne’s tram network is one of the biggest in the world.
Plus, thanks to the Free Tram Zone, you can travel on trams within the city centre for free. If you're doing some sightseeing, the City Circle Tram offers a free hop-on-hop-off service that will take you on a guided tour around Melbourne’s biggest sights and attractions.
Trams run every seven to 10 minutes during peak times and every 20-30 minutes during off-peak hours.
Melbourne also features a great bus network you can use to get around. You’ll find that buses are especially handy for getting to and around Melbourne's outer suburbs, where there are fewer trams.
On busy routes and during peak hours, you can expect most buses to arrive every 10-15 minutes. On quieter routes or during off-peak times, buses will usually arrive every 20-30 minutes.
You’ll also have the option of using Melbourne’s great train network, which is run by Metro Trains. Trains are a great choice for longer trips between Melbourne and surrounding suburbs.
Trains run from 5am to midnight every day, with services offered every four to five minutes during peak hours and every 20 minutes during off-peak times.
Those hoping to travel from Melbourne to regional areas will benefit from the VLine, which connects passengers to areas such as Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland and Seymour. You can use your myki card on some lines but will need to purchase a paper ticket for certain destinations, such as Albury, Shepparton and Warrnambool.
Save money on public transport with an International Student Travel Pass
Eligible students can get a 50% discount and can save up to $1034*. State wide passes can be purchased so you can travel across Victoria for the same price as within Melbourne. The Pass is available in three versatile options - 90 days, 180 days or 365 days to suit your preference.
To be eligible, you must be an undergraduate international student studying full-time at an institution that's part of the program.
*Based on a 365 day pass.
While regular train, bus and tram services end at midnight, you can get out and about all night long on Fridays and Saturdays thanks to the Night Network.
The Night Network runs all-night services on select train, tram and bus lines throughout Melbourne. The Night Network even operates a night coach, which ferries people between Melbourne and other metropolitan hubs like Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.
Ticketing and transport passes
- The Free Tram Zone
- Zone 1
- Zone 2
If you're travelling to or within the outer suburbs , you may only need to pay the Zone 2 fare, while travelling in the city or between zones means you'll pay for travel in both Zone 1 and 2.
You can learn more about Zones via Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and discover which zone your nearest stop or station is in here. Simply navigate the page depending on your preferred method of transport, enter your stop and route details, and the system will generate the information you need, including your Zone number.
To use public transport in Melbourne, you'll need a myki card. This can be used on all trains, trams and buses, as well as on some regional services.
You can purchase a myki card from train stations, ticket machines and some convenience stores. Once you have your myki card, you'll be able to use this by tapping it to the readers on buses, trains and trams.
It’s important to remember that travelling without a valid ticket or failing to touch on when you board can lead to serious fines, so make sure you follow the rules when using public transport in Melbourne.
Carshares, taxis and rideshares
For those times when you need a private vehicle, Melbourne also has plenty of car share, rideshare and taxi options.
Car sharing through companies like Flexicar, GoGet and Uber Carshare all the convenience of having your own car without the cost. It’s also better for the environment, as it reduces the number of private vehicles on the road.
Once you've registered online with a car-sharing service, you can book a car online and collect it from a location near you.
To book a rideshare, download your chosen rideshare app on your phone. You'll then be able to book yourself a ride whenever you need one.
E-Scooters and E-Bikes
There are also Lime and Neuron electric scooters and bikes available to rent across Melbourne. To ride one, you will need the corresponding app to unlock the scooter or bike. Your fare will be determined based on time; the app requires $1 to start the rideable device and then $0.45 per minute after that. You can also rent a scooter or bike for a 90-minute period, which will cost a flat rate of $15.
These devices can only be ridden in certain areas of Melbourne and riders must follow all safety requirements, such as wearing a helmet. It’s also important to note that personal e-scooters are prohibited for public use in Melbourne.
Learn more about the laws and regulations for e-scooters at VicRoads.
You can also learn about e-bike hire on the City of Melbourne website.
You can also easily get a taxi anywhere in Melbourne. In busy areas like the CBD, you can hail a taxi on the street or head to one of the many cab ranks. Alternatively, you can book a taxi online or by phone with any of the city's cab companies, such as: