The Ultimate Guide to Melbourne Public Transport & Myki Card!

Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, boasts a convenient public transportation system that allows visitors to easily reach the city center and various attractions in the surrounding areas via trams, trains, buses, and more.

In this guide, we will share essential public transportation information for anyone traveling to, working, or studying in Melbourne, including details on various transport systems, ticket prices, schedules, route maps, boarding procedures, and the myki card.


(Most attractions in Melbourne can actually be reached via public transport, excluding those accessible only by car rental or self-drive.)

1. Introduction to Public Transportation

All public transportation in Melbourne is operated by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and includes trams, trains, buses, and ferries. Here is a basic introduction to each:

Type Description
Trams Main transportation in Melbourne city, divided into regular trams (Tram) and vintage trams (City Circle trams). The only difference is slightly different operating hours and the latter has guided tours. Trams can reach almost all Melbourne city attractions, such as Victoria Market, Flinders Street Station, Melbourne Shopping Centre, etc.
Route MapTimetable
Trains Mainly used for long-distance travel, widely distributed, with a broadcast system, can reach suburban attractions such as "Melbourne Zoo" and "Puffing Billy".
Route MapTimetable
Buses Low in practicality, only a few suburban attractions require a bus transfer. There is no broadcast system, so you must know your stop beforehand. Tourists rarely use it.
Route MapTimetable
Ferries There are only 3 routes, with separate fares that don't accept transport cards or their rules. Only used to reach specific attractions, such as "Phillip Island" and others.
Route Map, Fares, Timetable: Click here

Melbourne's transportation system, whether it's trams, trains, or buses, charges fares based on zones. Ticket prices do not vary by mode of transport. The city center is divided into three zones: Free Tram Zone, Zone 1, and Zone 2. The suburbs are further divided into Zones 3 through 13.


A tram route map shows that the city center's gray area is the Free Tram Zone, where tram rides are free (trains and buses still require payment). Beyond that, Zones 1 and 1/2 extend outward, with no suburban areas.


The train route map shows Metropolitan and Regional lines. Metropolitan lines cover Zones 1 and 2 (white background), while Regional lines extend to Zones 3 through 13 (gray background). Flinders Street Station is the starting and ending point for all lines, which form a loop in the city center, also known as the City Loop.

Bus routes also cover Zones 1 through 13, with separate maps available for city and regional area routes.

You can use the official Journey Planner to get comprehensive information on transportation options, including travel directions, boarding times, ticket prices, and maps. It is an invaluable resource for navigating Melbourne's public transport system.

2. myki Card

The myki card is Melbourne's transport card, similar to Queensland's Go Card or Sydney's Opal Card. Paper tickets are no longer sold except at a really few regional train stations, so myki cards are now required. Here are some key points to note:

Q1: Types and costs of myki cards?

There are four types of myki cards: Full Fare, Concession, Child, and Senior. Full Fare cards cost AUD 6, while the others cost AUD 3 each. Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Full Fare: Adults aged 19 and older, international travelers
  • Concession: Local Victorian students, people with disabilities, seniors from other Australian states
  • Child: Children aged 5 to 18 (those under 4 do not need a card)
  • Senior: Local Victorian seniors

Q2: myki card pricing, rules, and promotions?

There are three pricing options when purchasing a myki card:

1. myki Money: Suitable for short-term visitors with limited travel needs. The card is valid for 2 hours within specified zones after the first swipe. If used again after 2 hours, the card will be charged again and become a day pass, with no further deductions for the day (maximum of two charges per day).


(Note that weekend and public holiday fares are the same as weekdays, but the daily cap is AUD 6.4/3.2, cheaper than weekdays)

2. myki Pass: Available as a 7-day or 28-325 day pass, this option is suitable for long-term visitors. The pass is valid for a specified number of days or weeks, starting from the first swipe.


(When purchasing a 325 to 365-day myki Pass, you only need to pay for 325 days, which means you can get up to 40 days free in a year.)

3. myki Explorer: A one-day sightseeing package for AUD 16 (AUD 6 card fee + AUD 10 credit) allows you to use all transportation within Zone 1 and Zone 2. The difference from myki Money is that this package comes with discounts for various Melbourne attractions. Although the transportation cost alone is not cheaper than myki Money, the package can be worth considering when combined with the attraction discounts.

Lastly, if you are traveling to regional areas outside Zone 3, you can refer to the "regional fare table". However, as the map indicates, all tram lines are within the city area, and only a very few remote buses and trains require regional fares. Tourists are unlikely to use them.

Q3: Any other benefits of myki cards?

When you first use myki Money after 6 pm on any day, you will be charged for a 2-hour fare, but no further charges will apply until 3 am the following day. Additionally, travel on the "City Loop" train line is free before 7:15 am on weekdays.

Q4: How to use the myki card?

Except when riding trams within the "Free Tram Zone," you must swipe your card when getting on and off trains or buses, regardless of the zones.

When boarding and alighting trams outside the "Free Tram Zone," you only need to swipe when boarding; swiping when alighting is optional.


(Many stations in Melbourne do not have gates, but if you do not swipe your card to enter the station and are caught by station staff, you will be fined about AUD 240. So always be honest and swipe your card!)

Q5: Where can I purchase and top up myki cards?

  • Melbourne Airport
  • Major newsstands and convenience stores (e.g., 7-11)
  • Station top-up machines (adult cards only)
  • Google Pay (currently for Android users only)
  • Station ticket centers
  • PTV service centers
  • Call 1800 800 007 (card delivered in about 7 days)
  • Purchase and top up online through the official website (register your card to check balance and usage records; transfer funds from lost cards)

(Please note that myki cards cannot be purchased or topped up on trams.)

Q6: How to get a refund of the remaining balance on a myki card?

You can apply for a refund online (for physical cards, mail to Mailbox, Reply Paid 4318, Melbourne VIC 8060), at a PTV service center, or by calling 1800 800 007. You can also transfer the remaining balance of myki Pass days to myki Money (calculated from the application date, not the last usage date).

(When purchasing a 325 to 365-day myki Pass, you only need to pay for 325 days, which means you can get up to 40 days free in a year.)

Q7: Do I need to buy a myki card?

If you are on a short trip and only traveling within the "Free Tram Zone," you do not need to purchase a myki card. Most city attractions are accessible by tram, and you do not need to swipe your card. It is recommended to purchase a myki card if you plan to travel to the suburbs or surrounding areas, or if you are staying in Melbourne for an extended period, studying, or working on a holiday.


(When boarding a tram, you do not need to wave; the driver will stop if you are at the curb. To alight, press the bell; if it's an older tram, you will see a blue cord above the seats – just pull that.)

3. Other points to note

1. Each Australian state has its own electronic ticketing system, which is not interchangeable. For example, Brisbane's Go Card and Sydney's Opal Card cannot be used in Melbourne, and Melbourne's myki Card cannot be used in other cities.

2. If you swipe in and out of the same train station within 15 minutes, you will not be charged. (So, if you enter the wrong station, don't worry; just swipe out within 15 minutes.)

3. You can have both myki Money and myki Pass on the same card and choose which one to top up. If both have a balance, myki Pass will be used first when swiping.

4. If you purchase a myki Pass and travel beyond the city area (Zone 2), myki Money fares will apply. However, if you travel to an area where myki cards are not accepted (suburban end), you will need to purchase a paper ticket separately.

5. If you forget to swipe out when alighting a train, the default fare will be the highest 2-hour fare for that route. For example, if you board a suburban train in Zone 1 and alight in Zone 2 but forget to swipe out, you will be charged the maximum fare for Zone 13.


That concludes our introduction to Melbourne's public transportation system in Australia. In comparison to other Australian cities, Melbourne's public transportation is quite convenient for tourists, students, and working holidaymakers. If you find this article helpful, feel free to share it with others!

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