Melbourne – the second most livable city in the world (behind Vancouver of course!) has SO many popular modes of transportation that are used everyday. I’ve decided to compile a list.
First of all, Melbourne is known for it’s trams. Trams were used in many “colonies” within Australia when this country was first settled and populated, but then many cities decided to abandon them because they weren’t feasible. People laughed at Melbourne when they decided to keep them, but now with the price of gas increasing exponentially, some cities are looking to adopt trams once again.
Let me tell you one thing about the trams though, they are slow as ANYTHING; especially when you are going through the city and each block they have to stop to pick/drop people off. When you take them during the day or late at night tho, and you get all the lights, they FLOOR it! The trams here remind me of the B-Line in Van, you just kinda hop on and hop off with the 3-door boarding system!
Like I mentioned earlier – slow. I can walk faster than them for the most part, which is why I’ve resorted to walking almost everywhere.
Right so obviously it’s a big city, so it has buses everywhere. I have not, however, taken a public transit bus to anywhere else in the city, but judging from their outward appearance, they seem pretty nice. All the buses I’ve seen have a sign that says “air conditioning, leg room” etc so I wouldn’t see why they wouldn’t be good?
Flinders Street train station was one of the biggest buildings built in Melbourne when it was first established as a city. It is very ornate, and very big, and is in the center of town. I believe it has more than 12 platforms that are in use currently, and services pretty much every line that runs in Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs.
It’s very central, relatively easy to use, and there are always people around to ask where to go if you get lost (yes, it’s THAT big).
It’s BIG, which means it’s HELLA crowded especially during peak times like mornings or evenings. You don’t want to get caught up in that!
If you’ve ever been to Melbourne you will notice that throughout the city there are these blue bike stands everywhere with bikes that you can pay for and use for the day. In Melbourne, there is a law that you have to wear a helmet when you ride a bike and it is actually enforced, unlike Vancouver. If I remember correctly, you also have to have a light on your bike for when it gets dark. In order for you to comply with their laws, there are also helmet stands beside the bike stands that you can get a helmet for the day. The roads are equipped with very good bike lanes because there are high volumes of bicyclists that use this as their preferred method of commuting everyday.
Like I’ve mentioned before, the actual CBD of Melbourne isn’t very large, so it is quite easy to walk through it. The suburbs however are spread out in every direction from the CBD.
Exercise! Especially when the weather is nice outside, there are so many things that you can see just by walking around that you wouldn’t be able to see by taking the bus, train or tram. Especially the laneways!
Rain. As the footpaths are made up of this wierd tile, they get super super slippery when it rains, and my thongs are NOT used to that, so I slip like there is no tomorrow.
Self explanatory, but since I live in the city, I would NEVER drive, unless I had to leave and commute on a daily basis to the suburbs. Owning a car in the city means you have to pay for parking, AND share the road with:trams, bikes, other cars, pedestrians. I say that’s one too many things for me. Also don’t forget about the hook turns that you have to do because of the trams. This is a special turn in which you have to make a right turn from the FAR left lane. Confusing, yes.
All this mentioned this is how I get to the airport when I need to:
1. Walk to the tram stop.
2. Take the tram to the train station.
3. Take the train to the main train station.
4. Catch a bus from the main train station to the airport.
5. Take the plane to my destination.
I pretty much take every form of transportation possible! Walk, tram, train, bus, plane. Because the trams take so damn long, I usually walk to the train station myself!
There are also random horse carriages around the city, that I’m sure you could use if you really wanted to, to get around!