Transport to Uni

by newintstudents


Public transport

It can be really daunting not knowing how to travel to uni on public transport. Public transport can sometimes be a nightmare, especially when there are rude people or when the train is late. You might be a little bit crushed from the overcrowding. But you’ll survive it alright with some Take public transport of if you live close to the city ride your bike and save costs on public transport. Public transport such as trains, costs $7.00/$3.80 concession for all day tickets to use on Melbourne’s buses, trains and trams.  You can use the one ticket for all types of public transport. It would cost more if you are living out in zone 2 or going to Bundoora campus.

If for some reason, the ticket inspectors on a train fined you, tram or bus and think that this is unfair you can write to the Department of Infrastructure. You can also write to them if you need more time to pay or you want to dispute a fine, but don’t leave it until the last minute. The Student Union, the legal service as well as the International Student Advisors on your campus can help you.

But travelling on public transport can save you money and time looking for a parking space.

There are two types of ticketing systems. These are:

1)      Metcard- this is the one of the ticketing systems we have now. Melbourne is divided into two zones: zone 1 and zone 2. You can use your paper ticket on all of Melbourne’s trains, buses and trams until they expire. A day ticket costs $7.00, where as a two hour ticket costs $3.80. You can buy 5X Daily, Weeklies, 10 X Two hours, monthlies and yearly tickets. These work out to be cheaper than your average daily or two hour ticket.  You can buy them at shops, online at http://www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au, stations or on board trams and buses. But if you have $20, $50, $100 notes or card it is best to buy them at the shops or online as the bus driver, station staff etc have a policy of not giving more than $10 in change.

2)      Myki- all of Melbourne’s systems will soon be moving to Myki. Myki is an electronic card ticketing system, which one can only touch on and touch off on all of Melbourne’s buses, trains and trams. It costs $10 to purchase one and you can top it up with money online or at one of the many Myki machines in Melbourne’s train stations. Hint: wait until Myki is fully enforced to get your Myki and use it, as there are a lot of problems with myki at the moment.

DO NOT BUY a CONCESSION TICKET without a CONCESSION CARD, as you will be fined for this. Tertiary ID does not count as a concession card. I was fined for this too. The fine is $180for no concession card. International students are not eligible for concession cards.

Timetables

Train, tram and bus timetables are all available at http://www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au. To look for timetables you need to go to the timetable tab and select your routes. Or you can get the site to help you plan your journey using the Journey Planner. This is much easier for students who are new and don’t know how to get into the city from their house. This is what the screen should look like when you select this option. Here you just type in your departing place and your destination and they’ll work out the rest.

The departure place is at the top of the timetable with the destination at the bottom. For example a trip from Craigieburn station departs at 1:25pm and arrives at Southern Cross station at 2:03pm. Going left to right is the selection of times that you could travel at.

But sometimes there are disruptions and they are posted regularly on the Metlink website as well as at www.metrotrains.com.au (the train website). And sometimes there are extra trains to take you to events, i.e. the football. These too will be posted on the site.

Trams

Trams run from 5am- 11pm/midnight. See appendix B for the tram map, outlaying the roads and routes.

Most Trams run only to the inner suburbs, but there are two that run to the outer suburbs of Bundoora and Vermont South. The only way to buy tickets is with coins only. The ticket inspectors come on the trams or are at the tram stops regularly and if you are without a ticket (or with a concession ticket) they will write a report to the Department of Transport. You will then get sent a fine in the mail, which you have to pay or appeal it within 42 days of receiving it. The fine for no ticket/travelling with a concession ticket without a concession card is $180.

There are also other rules for the tram, i.e.: no feet on the seats. If an inspector finds you with your feet on the seat, you will be fined. Littering is also prohibited.

You must give up your seat to the elderly, disabled, young mum and child and pregnant women. Some trams have steps, especially the older ones and the City Circle. If there is someone that needs help with their pram, trolley, jeep etc you should help them. Don’t wait for someone else to do it.

If you need help with your pram, shopping trolley etc, you can ask someone to help you. When alighting and boarding a tram with steps on it with a pram or heavy object such as suitcase use two hands and get someone to help you carry it up or down. Never try and do it yourself as you might hurt yourself.

Some trams are low floored making it easier for people with wheelchairs to get around the city.

Oh wait, I heard that there is a free tram to take me around the city, is that true?

City circle trams run from 10am-6pm each day and they are free for all. But they don’t run on some public holidays. For example Christmas day. They run every 12 minutes. They are brown small trams, which go around the city and Docklands, and you can explore the city’s landmarks. On board the tram there is an audio commentary about all the famous landmarks that it passes.

Trains

To the suburbs

Metro is the train company that runs all of the metropolitan lines. See appendix A for the route map. Trains go to the outer suburbs and into the city. In the weekday mornings most trains go through the loop and to Flinders st station, where they terminate. Some of them go direct to Flinders St Station and then go back out to the suburbs or into the loop and then go out. In the afternoon they go the other way to pick up passengers and take them home. You can check the timetables for your line at: www.metrotrains.com.au. On the weekends trains can either go direct to Flinders St Station or go through the loop. Trains run from 5am-12pm midnight. You can buy tickets from the front counter (staffed stations) or from the ticket machine. If for some reason you couldn’t purchase a ticket, say the machine was broken, or there was no one at the counter you can tell the inspector when they check your ticket. They either get on the train or they are at the barriers at the other end. Don’t attempt to buy a zone 1 ticket when you are going from zone 1 to zone 2, as the inspectors are very likely to fine you for this mistake. Do not jump over the barriers because you will be fined for this too. Also I have known someone to do this too: give out a whole lot of different numbers and names. In the end though they got into lots of trouble and they were fined hundreds of dollars. Do not attempt to do this, as eventually they will find out who you are and fine you by a lot. It is not worth the trouble.

If you are going to explore any suburbs check out: www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au to find out if the suburb is in zone 2 and when your last tram/train/ buses are.

Before you board the train let others off the train. Then you can board it. Once inside, move down the carriage. When the train is about to go, you will hear three beeps. This is to let you know that the doors are closing. Do not hold the doors for anyone as you may be fined for this. The fine is more than $250.

Wait for the train to stop at the station fully before you get off. When getting out, watch out for the gap between the train and the platform. Once off the train, stand behind the yellow lines.

If you see that something or someone is unsafe, you can press the red emergency button to talk to the driver. They will then turn on their CCTV cameras and call the police or authorised officers. If you or someone is ill let the driver know. But don’t give them false alarms or otherwise you’ll be fined.

But if you think that you have been treated unfairly or fined unfairly by Metro when you get the fine you can appeal it to the Department of Transport. If you need to do this get someone from the Student Union or the legal service at RMIT to help you write the letter. And don’t leave it to the last minute…do it as soon as you can. Ticket inspectors often come on the trains late at night and check tickets. There are also some protective services officers meant to help you when you need it. don’t be afraid to ask them to assist you if there is trouble on your train or at the station.

To the country

Want to explore the country? Then you will need a special country ticket, which can be purchased at some staffed stations as well as Southern Cross station. This station is located on the corner of Bourke and Spencer Sts in the city. It hosts all the major country lines as well as the metropolitan lines.  DO NOT BUY A CONCESSION TICKET without a Concession card as you will be made to pay the difference by the Authorised officers who regularly check tickets on every train. If someone is being aggressive and scaring you, or if you are sick, tell the authorised officers. They are there on all Vline trains.

Don’t bring alcohol, as it will be confiscated off you.

You can also catch coaches for the country from this station as well as Skybus. Most if not all the country trains and coaches are run by Vline. Vline is a reliable country train and bus service, which transports passengers to and from the country to the CBD and other country towns in Victoria.

You can look up timetables and work out train/bus fares online at: http://www.vline.com.au. On the weekdays during the peak hours, most trains stop at North Melbourne and then go into Southern Cross (morning) or to the country towns (afternoon) You can buy day to day, return, weekly, monthly and yearly tickets. They do have an EFTPOS policy of spending $8 or more dollars on tickets to use their EFTPOS and credit facilities. There are ATMs around in Southern Cross station. If you attempt to use EFTPOS for purchases under $8 they will be ticked off.

If you are hungry before you board the train, there is food at the corner of Collins and Spencer sts. Or you can walk over to Spencer st shopping centre food court.

There is a bookshop, newsagency, pharmacy and flower shop nearby the station at the corner of Collins and Spencer sts. So you can easily buy all your needs before you get on the train/coach.

They have rules about luggage. If you carry more than two pieces of luggage, you will most likely tick off the officers as well as other passengers. So don’t carry more than you need. On the coaches, luggage will be stowed in the luggage compartment, under the seats. So for your security make sure that you lock your bags and don’t carry valuables in your luggage.

They also have rules about hot food and drinks on coaches. If you buy hot food or drink, finish them off before you go on the bus or otherwise you might just tick everyone off.

On the trains it is fine for you to have any sort of food or drink as long as it doesn’t smell. For some long distance services Vline does have catering, but you have to pay for it.

Some country towns don’t have EFTPOS/ATM facilities out there, so it is a good idea to withdraw the monies that you need for your stay.

If you are going to a country town, get to your destination well before dark. Many shops close at 5:30pm on a weekday. Most shops close all day on Sunday and open for part of Saturday in all country towns.

Don’t go to the country on hot days: as there may be a bushfire happening and you won’t enjoy it as much. Also trains might be a bit slower, making you get to your destination late.

 

Buses

Sometimes you may not live near a train or a tram, so the humble bus is all you have got to take you to the station or the city. Buses in Doncaster take people to the city, as there is no train station out there. The closest station is Box hill station.

Depending on what time of the day and what sort of mood the driver is in, the bus driver may be able to help you in terms of ticket choice and destination. Don’t be afraid to ask the driver any questions especially if you are new to Melbourne, as he knows his way around and he might know a bit about Melbourne. Don’t give the bus driver $50 or $100 notes, as they’ll get pissed off and they do have a policy of giving no more than $10 change.

No food or drink, except water is allowed on the buses. Dogs, surfboards, skis and bikes are not allowed on the bus.

Prams, Wheelchairs and shopping trolleys are allowed on the bus for free. If you are sitting and not carrying too many things and there are steps, you should offer to help those that have these items. It is good manners to do so.

If you need help with your pram or your shopping trolley, you might just want to ask your fellow passengers to help you.  Or some people might just offer to help you themselves.

Failing to give up your seat on a bus for the elderly, disabled, young mum, young child and pregnant women could see you being fined.

For further information check out:

www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au

And you can also play this fun game at http://www.grogger.com.au

 

 

 

(Inside a vine train)

 

 

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