With escalating living expenses and Myki fares going south, it makes sense to seek out alternatives and options which will result in substantial savings on public transport. The below list is a compilation of tips and tricks to save money on travel.
The obvious way of saving money on public transport is to take a nice walk instead of jumping on that bus or tram. If your destination is accessible on foot, then giving the public transport a miss, can be a wise thing to do. Take a walk, enjoy the breeze and absorb your surroundings. Not only will you be making some nifty savings on public transport but will also be getting some free and healthy workout.
2. Bikes Bikes are another suitable alternative to public transport. Life on wheels can be free, fun and exciting. You will considerably reduce your travel expenses as well as diminish your carbon footprint.
Trams can save you quite a bit of money if you happen to be living in Zone 2, provided that you have tram access. Since Zone 2 was abolished for trams in 2010, patrons living in Zone 2 areas can enjoy reduced travel expenses by boarding the trams. For example, people living in Burwood can make a saving of approximately $2.50 per day if they hop on a tram as opposed to a train, since Burwood is considered Zone 2 for trains but considered Zone 1 for trams.
4. Myki pass If you are a frequent traveller then buying the Myki pass is more cost-effective than opting for Myki money. You can get a Myki pass for anywhere between 28 days to 365 days. Buying Myki pass contributes towards significant savings on your travel. A Myki pass permits unlimited travel on the nominated zones for the duration of the pass. As a sidenote, Myki passes cannot be suspended. If required to travel to a different zone, you will need to top up your card with Myki money balance to pay the fare for the different zone. Just activate your Myki pass within 12 months from the date of top up and you are all set to go.
5. Free travel In accordance with Metro train's Franchise Agreement with the Victorian Government, Metro is obliged to provide free daily Myki money to patrons if in any given month, Metro train falls behind their service delivery target of 98 per cent or doesn't meet their on-time performance target of 88 per cent. However, to be eligible for these offers amongst other things, you would need to be a monthly, six-monthly or yearly Myki pass holder. So maintain vigilance for performance announcements on Metro website or notification boards in your local train station.
You can also enjoy free travel by taking advantage of the Early Bird option in Myki. Early Bird travel entitlement can be realised by touching on and touching off at train stations before 7:00am on a weekday to automatically receive the free Early Bird fare. To summarise, you get to enjoy free public transport provided that you touch on and touch off by 7:00am.
MYKI is horrendous. Took a very late bus from a dodgy train station and due to bad lighting could not find my card. The driver let me on but that was essentially a 'criminal' action and despite having money and the will to pay a fare, that was of no use. I eventually found the card, touched on, and nothing happened. I asked about it on exit but the driver just shrugged and grunted. VIC Transport's advice was to get off the bus, get past the police picking up dealers, go back to the station (which was shut) for another MYKI and wait another hour for the next bus.
The Melbourne Bike Share system deserves special note here as well. For $54 annual subscription, you can use the bikes any amount of times a year as long as each trip is less than 45 mins in length. Casual users get 30 mins.