Melbourne's has a smart card ticketing system called Myki. In order to travel on trains, trams and buses in Zones 1 and 2 including V/Line services to Melton and Sunbury, you must have a pre-paid Myki card. Tickets can not be purchased on board trains, trams or buses. Myki cards can be purchased at major railway stations with manned ticketing offices or from Seven-Eleven (7/11) stores.
Before travelling, you must purchase a Myki card and enough credit to cover your anticipated usage. If or when you run out of credit, you must then purchase more credit, which the locals refer to as topping up your Myki card.
Upon arrival at a railway station or upon boarding a tram or bus, users must touch-on by scanning the card on a reader before travel. Make sure you hear the buzzing sound as it reads your card, otherwise you will be travelling illegally and can be fined. Before you get off the tram or bus, or leave the railway station at your destination, you must touch off by scanning the card on a reader. Make sure you hear the buzzing sound as it reads your card, otherwise you will not be recorded as having completed your journey. If you fail to touch off, you will be charged a premium rate for the journey, which is automatically deducted from your credit. If you travel into another zone, Myki will also help itself to your credit. By not touching-off or by travelling in multiple zones, you can quickly end up with no credit and no way of knowing you have none until you attempt to travel and your touch-on is rejected.
When you leave Melbourne, it is recommended that you keep your Myki card if there is a possibility you might return at some time in the future. Any credit you have left can be used on your next visit. If you do dispose of your card and then return to Melbourne, you will not only have wasted whatever credit you had on your first card, you will have to buy a new card as well as more credit.
Myki is also available on Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula, Seymour and Warragul town buses and Latrobe Valley intertown buses.
Myki Visitor Pack: International and interstate visitors coming to Victoria can buy a Myki Visitor Pack to travel on Melbourne's public transport network. The Myki Visitor Pack contains a Myki card with enough value for one day's travel in Zone 1 (which includes the entire tram network but does not include travel to the Puffing Billy railway at Belgrave), discounts to various Melbourne attractions, a map and instructions for use. The Myki Visitor Pack is available at Southern Cross Station (near entrance at Collins and Spencer streets), the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square and SkyBus terminals at Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station.
Exploring Melbourne By Train
V/Line is the public transport provider for regional Victoria. Visit their website or call 131 196 for ticket and timetable information. Viclink also provides helpful information on public transport services for regional Victoria.
Melbourne's city and suburban areas are serviced by an efficient railway network. Metro services operate across the metropolitan area, which run from around 5am (7am Sunday) until midnight seven days a week. Later services also operate out of the city on Friday and Saturday nights.
Flinders Street Station, located alongside the city's main shopping precinct, serves as the hub for the rail network and is over the road from Melbourne s visitors centre in the Federation Square complex. Southern Cross Station, the next station down the line, serves as the hub for interstate and intra-state rail and coach transport; airport buses and interstate coaches terminate here. Many major hotels and much of Melbourne's backpacker accommodation is located in the vicinity of Southern Cross Station.
Taking a bike on a Melbourne train is permitted during off-peak periods at no extra cost, during peak periods a concession fare for the bike must be paid.
Beyond Melbourne By Train
After a number of decades in the doldrums with passenger numbers in decline, region rail travel has seen a resurgence in recent years. Not only are people re-discovering some great regional destinations that can be visited easily in a single day, modern trains can take you there quickly and hassle free in airconditioned comfort, often for less than the cost of fuel to drive there and back.
Bicycles can be carried free on V/Line trains, if there is space available, so if you would rather tour your destination on two wheels rather than on foot, that is possible. Alternatively, at places like Bendigo, you can actually hire a bike for a day or half day. All V/Line trains leave from Southern Cross Station in Spencer Street, City. Timetables and tickets are available from the V/Line counter at the station.