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Being an international student in Melbourne, Australia, one must adapt to the new situation of a new and foreign place. One important aspect of living there is knowing the public transportation in Melbourne for international students.
Thanks to Australia’s top-tier public transportation system, getting around Melbourne or going from point A to point B is very convenient. This is because access to any mode of transportation is available almost everywhere. Learn more details below.
Common Public Transportation Options for International Students in Melbourne
By the popularity, the best modes of transportation in Melbourne are trains, buses, and trams, although there are other modes available as well like taxis.
To cover the large area of Melbourne and connect its suburbs with the CBD, Metro Trains Melbourne operates up to 17 railway lines with 222 stations spread evenly in the metropolitan area. This system is the most used public transportation in Melbourne and also Australia’s second-busiest rail network.
Trains are great to be used for long distances, and there is one for every five minutes, so you do not have to wait for too long. If you want to travel beyond the metropolitan area, use Vline instead of Metro Trains Melbourne.
As buses are more flexible than trains, they can cover more routes which are up to 346 available in Melbourne. Those routes are operated by several bus companies and most of them service Melbourne’s outer suburbs and major airports as the city is dominated by trams.
Despite the tram’s domination, there are still a bunch of bus stops in Melbourne’s CBD including the University of Melbourne. Plus, one of the bus operators, SkyBus, is the transportation service to choose to travel between Melbourne Airport and the city for now.
Unlike most cities where buses are the major mode of transportation in places where trains can not reach, trams are the dominant one in Melbourne. The city has 24 tram routes with 250 kilometres of track, around 500 trams, and more than 1,700 tram stops making this tram system to be the world’s largest.
The tram routes cover a lot of areas in the city of Melbourne. That includes Melbourne University, Victoria Gardens, and RMIT University. When you find a tram stop on those routes, you do not need to wait more than ten minutes to be on a tram. There is also the City Circle Tram that you can use for free.
In Melbourne, you need to pay about the same amount of money to travel by train, bus, or tram. The fares vary from $1.65 to $10.00 for a day based on when and where you use the services.
How to Save Money on Public Transportation in Melbourne as an International Student
Public transportation in Melbourne for international students is different than the systems of other places, particularly for trains, buses, and trams. You need to know how to utilize those modes of transportation, and one of the most crucial things is that you have to use a Myki card.
Use a Myki Card
Almost all trains, buses, and trams in Melbourne require you to use a Myki card to pay the fares. Simply put, this card is the key to public transportation in the city, so you have to have one. The card can be found and bought at train stations, Myki machines, or some convenience stores.
The type of Myki card that is suitable for you is the full fare, which costs $16 including $10 worth of Myki money. You can use that to travel around Melbourne for a day. There are three other types of Myki namely concession, child, and senior.
Take Advantage of the Free Tram Zone
To determine how much you have to pay for public transportation in Melbourne, the city applies a zone system. In the metropolitan area, there are three zones, Free Tram Zone, Zone 1, and Zone 2.
Just like what it is called, Free Tram Zone allows you to board a tram freely. As long as you are still in that zone, you do not need to pay with anything and you are not required to have a Myki card.
The zone covers some areas in Melbourne’s CBD from Queen Victoria Market in the north, Victoria Harbour in the West, Immigration Museum and St. Paul’s Cathedral in the south, and Parliament station in the East. Unfortunately, the University of Melbourne is not in that zone.
Choose Accommodation Near Your Campus
Rather than cutting your expenses for public transportation, you can remove them altogether by living near your campus. It is alright if you still want to take public transportation occasionally, but on normal days, the close distance allows you to walk more often.
Now you know the basics of public transportation in Melbourne for international students, you must always be careful when you use one. Anything can happen, so it is better to be prepared.