Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting Around Melbourne on Public Transport: Chapter 1: No car required

No car required.There are so many best attractions in Melbourne and public transport is a cheap and easy way to travel around. To get around Melbourne, all you need is a Metcard. What is a metcard?Huh

Metcard tickets

Melbourne's automated ticketing system operates on all train, tram and bus services in the metropolitan area. One ticket allows you flexible travel between trains, trams and buses.

Where can I get one?
Metcards , time tables, maps and pocket guides are available from the MetShop located at the Melbourne Town Hall on the corner of Swanston and Little Collins Street,supermarkets like Coles and Saveway, convenience stores, post offices, book stores - you name it- just look for retail outlet displaying blue Metcard signs. You can buy a metcard from one of Metcard ticket machines at train stations, on trams and buses.

Fares & Tickets

Fares are varied by the different zones and Metcard types. Most fares are based on two zones - Zone 1 and Zone 2 (there was Zone 3 when I was in Melbourne 7 years ago but it was removed from the Metcard system and merged into Zone 2.). You just simply select the zone(s) you will be traveling in and type.

Major Metcard types

2 Hour Metcards allow you unlimited train, travel and bus travel but they expire two hours from the next full hour after they are first validated.

(Tip: 2 Hour Metcards first validated after 6pm are valid until 3am the next day. So a 2 Hour Metcard is enough for Melbourne night life)

Daily Metcards allow unlimited train, tram and bus travel for a day within selected zones.

Weekly Metcards allow for seven consecutive days of unlimited train, tram and bus travel within selected zones.
(Tip: Weekly Metcards can be used for weekend travel across Zones 1 and 2 irrespective of selected zones on tickets.)

Monthly or Yearly Metcards allow for unlimited train, tram and bus travel for one month or one year within selected zones.

You should also be aware that traveling without a valid Metcard could lead to a fine. I also advice you to travel around central Melbourne by Free City Circle Tram service. The City Circle Tram service allows a free ride to major attractions , shops and city activities.