For the topic of “Accessibility in Tourism” our group tried to dig a little deeper into the case of Melbourne to answer the following questions:
1. What public transport does Melbourne have?
♦ Trams (Free city services starting 1 Jan 2015)
♦ Buses / Coaches
♦ Visitor Shuttles (daily services except Christmas)
♦ Nightrider Buses (a late night bus service that operates on Fridays and Saturdays)
♦ Bike share (since 2010, ten docking locations with more than 100 bikes available at the moment, Melbourne Bike Share)
♦ Car share (many choices including companies like Flexicar)
♦ Boats & Ferries (water taxis, e.g. the Yarra Loop service)
By using public transport system, visitors can get around Melbourne at ease (see figure 1 below). Train and tram services run between 5am and midnight, Monday to Thursday, with extended hours to around 1am on Friday and Saturday nights. On Sunday, trains and trams run from 7am to 11pm. Many of Melbourne’s bus routes run from 6am – 9pm Mon – Fri, 8am – 9pm Saturday and 9am – 9pm Sunday.
The visitor shuttle stops at 13 key city locations. It runs every 30 minutes, seven days a week between 9.30am and 4.30pm (except Christmas Day). The full trip takes approximately 90 minutes and includes on-board commentary.Tickets cost $5, while children aged under 10 travel free.
Getting to the airport: With SkyBus it is convenient: Buses run every 10 minutes from 6am to 11pm and every 15 to 30 minutes at other times.
Information & Help: Mobile phone users can take advantage of the app developed for information. There is also a good online service provided to assist the planning of trip with public transport: journey planner. If the visitors prefer the face-to-face information on using public transport or advice about what type of ticket to use, they have another option: visit the PTV Hub centrally located at Southern Cross Station.
Figure 1: A public transportation map of Melbourne (Source: Melbourne’s Bike Path Page).
2. What are the features that make Melbourne sustainable (in relation to transport in general)?
◊ High rate of public transport usage (17.7% in 2006, and a more recent figure provided by Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2010 suggests an even higher rate of 37%);
◊ Abundant transport budget goes to the public transportation development (2 days ago $1.5 billion went into planning, design and land acquisition for the Melbourne Metro Rail project. Source: Yahoo News);
◊ City’s commitment to become a cycling city, with a safe and easy bicycle network for cyclists of all ages and abilities (see City of Melbourne for more);
◊ Continuous growth & improvement of public transportation system ( In July 2014, 3,260 extra bus services, 470 new tram services and more than 200 train services were added to the existing public transportation system. Source: ABC Melbourne).
Figure 2: Improvement of public transport in Melbourne, 2014. (Source: ABC Melbourne)
3. How accessible is Melbourne for disabled people?
Public transport in Melbourne is being made very accessible for people with disabilities. A range of services are provided to people who are:
〉using a wheelchair;
〉visually impaired (audible signals at crossings / special phone Apps / Guide dogs);
〉suffering from hearing loss (a TTY facility is available);
〉looking for mobility equipment to hire or a place to park the mobility equipment;
〉having financial difficulty to afford the public transport.
Free & Discounted Travel: Authorised person may get to travel with no change if they hold Free Travel passes. One of the many types of travel passes is Access Travel Pass that will be issued to people who:
- have a significant permanent disability,
- be a permanent resident of Victoria
- be able to travel independently on Victoria’s public transport network (without any assistance from a carer or companion),
- be unable to touch on or touch off myki independently.
There are also other programmes that allow people to travel with discounts, benefits or for free on chosen dates and times, such as the Carer Card Programme.
And the Public Transport Access Committee (PTAC) strives to find solutions to transport difficulties with well planned roads, cycle paths and public transport services that enable people to travel to/within their destinations in the most efficient manner.
1. Melbournites will soon be able to use Google Maps to plan a public transport journey across the city 😉
Click photo below to read more.
2. Why Melbourne needs a sustainable transport system?
ABC Melbourne. (2014). Almost 4,000 new train, tram and bus services to begin in Melbourne from late July. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-27/almost-4000-new-train-tram-and-bus-services-to-begin-melbourne/5554860
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/4602.2~Oct+2009~Chapter~Public%20Transport
Jager, C. (2015). Melbourne Public Transport Information Is Finally In Google Maps. Retrieved from http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/03/melbourne-public-transport-information-is-finally-in-google-maps/
Melbourne’s Bike Path Page. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.baywx.com/WWW/bike.html
Public Transport Victoria. (2015). Retrieved from http://ptv.vic.gov.au
Yahoo News. (2015). Retrieved from https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/27411495/vic-budget-has-1-5b-for-public-transport/