My girlfriend Zofia recently came back from a trip to Australia, and she wanted to report on the transit there. Here we go!
Melbourne, Australia: where to start with it? We could talk about all the great places you can go and eat, but I’ve been told that’s not the point of this blog….so I guess I’ll have to talk about the transit system there. Oh well.
Let’s talk about the tram system. The cool thing about their trams is that they range from the really terrible tourist-looking trolleys to nice modern day ones. Okay, fine, the tourist-looking ones are meant for tourists, but they do get you places! People who live there use them! Here’s why: they have a zone system where if you travel anywhere within the “Free Tram Zone,” you don’t have to pay a fare at all. Once you’re outside that zone, though, you have to make sure that you pay your fares. I don’t remember what the fare is, but they have a student, adult, and senior one. I looked online and from what I’m getting, the amount you pay depends on the zones that you travel through.
When you want to pay, you have to make sure that you tap your Myki, which is like a CharlieCard for us. When you get onto the tram or bus, you don’t necessarily have to tap on and off. You just have to tap on, but most people tap on and off just to be sure. However, on a train, you must tap on and off – the only way you can get in is if you tap your card, and the only way for you to leave the station is to tap your card again. Make sure you don’t lose that card while you’re sitting on the train, otherwise you’ll be stuck forever and that station will have to become your home. Unless you’re good at climbing over fences – then you can escape! Good luck if you do that!
They have countdown clocks at most tram stations, I believe. Of course they have them at the train stations. As for buses, if you have a smartphone, which you probably do because let’s be honest, who doesn’t have one? Okay, sure, I know one person who doesn’t have one, but other than that everyone has them, so just use the device to track the bus. I actually have no idea if there is an app for that but I feel like there would be. Someday I’ll look into it…