Your Guide on Public Transport in Melbourne

Melbourne is known for the convenience of its public transport. 

If you are new to Melbourne or are confused about whether to tap off on trams, look no further! Navigating around the city is not as daunting as it seems. And planning to travel can be a smooth ride. using the  PTV Journey Planner

Here is a guide to public transport in Melbourne!


Purchasing a Myki card is the first step to travelling on trams, trains and buses in Melbourne. Myki is a reloadable card used as a ticketing system for public transportation services in Victoria— trams, trains, buses. Myki card is available to purchase at most train stations and convenience stores like 7-11. For just $6 for a Myki card, you now have access to get around and explore Melbourne using its widely accessible public transport.


Source: The Age

Different metropolitan zones will determine the travel fares. Metropolitan Melbourne is split into three zones, including

  1. Free Tram Zone (CBD, only for trams) 
  2. Zone 1
  3. Zone 2 

Zone 1 comprises the inner suburbs that are usually within a 10km radius from Central Business District (CBD), while Zone 2 is made up of suburbs that are further away. 

If you’re in Zone 2, your travel fare per hour is $3.00 with a daily cap of $6.00. For Zone 1 the travel fare is $4.50 with a daily cap of $9.00. If you’re travelling in between, the price will follow Zone 1. 

Key: Yellow: Zone 1, Blue: Zone 2  

So, when do I need to touch on and off? 

For trains and buses, you are required to touch on and off. 

For trams and, myki card isn’t mandatory for travels within the free tram zone. Touching on is required for all travels outside of the free tram zone or on trains and buses. Moving between Zone 1+2, you do not need to touch off. If you are only travelling within either zone, you can touch off to receive a cheaper fare. 

In circumstances where you are unsure, you can touch on and off every time. 


Melbourne is well-known for its extensive tram network. Travelling by trams is a convenient way of getting around the city and its nearby suburbs. Trams are free for everyone in the CBD. The Free Tram Zone is highlighted at most tram stops to guide the rider on the free area. 

Other than that, everyone is required to have a valid ticket by tapping on when getting on trams. Always remember to tap on when travelling outside the free tram zones. Authorised tram officers often situate themselves at tram stops, checking if passengers have a valid ticket. Penalties up to $200 can be given to riders without a valid ticket.


Metro Train is an easily accessible and highly used public transport as it allows people to travel from the city to suburbs in metropolitan Melbourne with ease. While it is a convenient mode of transport, the train network in Melbourne is often met with delays that its commuters have to cope with. Thus, always play safe and factor in more travelling time when taking the trains. 

The V/Line is also a convenient way to travel to regional Victoria, including Geelong and Ballarat. Departing from Southern Cross, the V/Line takes you to Geelong in just under an hour. This is extremely handy when travelling to regional areas that are inaccessible by other public transport. 

It’s possible to pre-book V/Line tickets online or purchase it at the train stations. 


Buses in Melbourne are another major form of public transport. Buses are more commonly used when travelling to outer suburbs or specific areas that are inaccessible by trains or trams. In most cases, buses can bring you to local shopping centres and other attractions around Melbourne. 

Want to clock in a retail therapy session at Chadstone Shopping Centre? You might find that bus 903 will take you directly to the shopping haven while a train ride to the nearest Oakleigh station will still leave you some distance away from your shopping spree. 

SkyBus allows travelling to and from Melbourne Airport at a fast and affordable way. While taxis and private-hire cars are commonly used when travelling to the airport, it is also a pricey form of transport for many international students. For about $20 one-way, you can travel to the airport with free wifi inside the bus. With departures every 15 minutes, there’s no need to worry about missing the flight home. 

The downside of using Skybus is that you have to depart from their pickup points (one of which is Southern Cross Station) so if you have lots of luggage, you might be better off using private transport. 

Instead of using a Myki, you can purchase tickets at Southern Cross Station, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport or online

Myki Concessions

Concession cardholders are entitled to 50% discount when travelling. For students under 18, you can travel on a children concession fare.

Full-time international students can be entitled to an international Undergraduate Student Education pass (iUSEpass). An iUSEpass gives unlimited travel on trains, trams and buses in Zone 1+2. Check their website to apply here. However, it is only worth it if you constantly travel outside the free tram zone. Check out this Myki fare calculator to find out how much your travels can cost.  

Off Peak Travel 

Starting last February, your myki cost will be reduced when you travel during off peak hour. Public Transport Victoria (PTV) said this encourages commuters to take advantage of quieter public transport periods.

Everyone will get 30% discount for their myki fee between 9.30am and 4pm or after 7pm on weekdays. However this does not include weekends, public holidays, or if you travel only in zone 2.

Losing My Myki: What do I do? 

It is important to first register all of the reader’s Myki to keep and protect the balance inside. This way, PTV can freeze the misplaced Myki and provide a replacement. 

To report lost or stolen Myki: 


  • Call PTV on 1800 800 007


  • logging into your Myki account


If your Myki is not registered, PTV cannot retrieve or replace the Myki and a new card has to be purchased. 

Reaching out to PTV

When faced with any public transport-related questions, you can always reach out to the PTV call centre at 1800 800 007. The call-centre is open from 6 am to midnight daily and all night on Friday and Saturday. 

PTV also provides public transport-related information in other languages that are commonly spoken in Victoria. You can find them here

Checkout our other articles on driving, cycling  and more on our website!


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