- Download our Moving to Melbourne Guide (PDF)
Getting around in Melbourne is easy thanks to an efficient public transport system that includes rail, tram and bus services. The wealth of transport options available allows new arrivals to move about freely and get to grips with the metropolis with ease.
Along with frequent daytime stops, most modes of transport have a 'Night Network' service on weekends that runs every 30 to 60 minutes.
That said, those living in some of the more isolated suburbs of Melbourne might find it handy to have their own wheels. Expats should research transport options thoroughly when considering where to live in Melbourne, checking the official Public Transport Victoria website for more information.
Public transport in Melbourne
Melbourne has an integrated public transport ticketing system, based on the use of a contactless, reusable smartcard referred to as ‘Myki’. The Myki smartcard can be used on all of Melbourne’s trains, trams or buses.
Commuters can buy a weekly, monthly or annual Myki pass, or they can load the card with Myki money which can be used to pay for single journeys. When the Myki money balance gets low or when the pass runs out, commuters simply top up at a station or Myki vendor.
Trams in Melbourne are frequent, although the trams servicing areas further away from the city centre tend to be somewhat less reliable. There are two free tram routes in Melbourne: the Free Tram Zone in the CBD and the Free Tourist Tram, which stops at various attractions in the city.
Melbourne’s rail network consists of 16 railway lines and more than 200 stations. Regional services are also available, with seven passenger-railway lines connecting Melbourne to various towns and cities in Victoria. The centre of this regional passenger rail network is Southern Cross Station in Melbourne’s city centre.
The bus network in Melbourne consists of buses operated by several different bus companies under a franchise from the state government. There are around 300 bus routes in operation, some of which provide transport for the outer suburbs of Melbourne that aren't reached by train and tram services.
Taxis in Melbourne
Melbourne has a fleet of bright yellow taxis that operate according to a meter system. Fares are regulated by the government, so there's no risk of being overcharged, but taxis are still the city’s most expensive mode of transport.
There can sometimes be an issue with taxi availability, particularly during peak hours, so it's best to pre-book ahead of time if possible. Taxis are owned by different companies, and each has its own website where rides can be booked.
Ride-hailing services such as Uber are also widely available throughout Melbourne and its outlying suburbs.
Driving in Melbourne
Expats living further away from Melbourne’s inner city will find having a car useful. Expats should note that the city’s highways and roads are known to become congested during peak hours.
Driving in Melbourne is fairly straightforward, especially for those who are used to driving on the left-hand side of the road. One difference that expats might need to get used to is sharing the road with tram services.
Cycling in Melbourne
Melbourne is a cycle-friendly city and has an extensive network of bicycle paths and cycle lanes. These are utilised regularly for commuting to and from work, and for recreation.
Melbourne also has an innovative electric bicycle sharing system known as Lime (formerly JUMP). Anyone wishing to hire a Lime bike can do so through the Uber or Lime app.
►For an overview of the city's property market read Accommodation in Melbourne
"If you are working in the CBD you may not need a car at all. Most people working in the CBD leave their cars at the train station and hop on to the train. This is a highly economical way of getting around the CBD." Learn what Indian expat Rajiv has to say about getting around in Melbourne.
Are you an expat living in Melbourne?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Melbourne. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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