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5 Ways to Get Home at Night Without Catching a Taxi

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by Paul Bonadio (subscribe)
Portfolio -
Published March 23rd 2012
It's 2am. The last train departed an hour ago and you're stuck outside Flinders Street Station with a McFlurry and $2.35 in your pocket. You want to catch a cab home but don't like the idea of paying the equivalent of Greece's debt to get there. You remember how you refused a lift home earlier in the night with your designated driver (let's call him Terence). What you wouldn't do for that lift right now.

Let's face it; we've all been there before. Traditionally we end up splurging the cash on a taxi and regretting it the next time a bank statement comes through. Those of us living outside a 25km radius of Melbourne know such pain all too well.

Anywho, the question remains; are there any alternatives to climbing into a cab? The good news is that yes, there are. The bad news is that it can often come at a cost, not least of all to your dignity.

1 Sleep at a Nearby Friend's Place

Chances are you'll have a friend who lives near the city and is willing to lend a room. Sure, they'll be slightly annoyed by the 3am wake up call, but when you explain the extremity of the situation, he/she won't mind. Don't forget to repay the favour, e.g. clean the gutters.

2 - The Nightrider

There are many folks who swear by the Nightrider. With multiple routes covering most metropolitan areas, it provides a safe and accessible alternative. Buses depart every hour from Swanston Street every Sunday and Saturday morning.

Pretty self-explanatory, really. Credit:

3 Ring Terence Back

With any luck Terence has stopped over at a local eatery and has been biding his time waiting for the order. A quick text asking him to double back is not such a crazy idea. Lose a friend to gain a lift home? Depending on how close you are with Tez, it might be worth the stretch (usually not, though).

4 - Tram Cab Combo

Riding a tram to the end of the line and catching a cab home is a cost efficient method. Trams run for slightly longer than trains, so the option is viable. They are also quite safe and if you get lonely the conductor is usually up for an early morning chin-wag.

The humble cab. Credit:

5 - The Train Home in the Morning.

Yuck. Watching the sun rise over Flinders Street Station while waiting for the first train home is as depressing as watching this. It may be cheap, but it's hardly safe and you may start questioning your life's worth afterwards. Again, yuck.

Important note: Some of the above are not 100% safe, especially if attempting by yourself. Please only try these methods if you really really (yes, two reallys) don't want to spend the money.
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Why? Because cabs are expensive. Then there's the hygiene...
Where: Melbourne
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