Melbourne will be the central node of a metropolitan public transport network. Public transport will be the most efficient and attractive way to travel within the municipality and throughout metropolitan Melbourne. This integrated system of rail, tram and bus services will be affordable, responsive to customer needs and fully coordinated with the municipality's cycling and walking paths.
Future Melbourne 2008


There was a large amount of discussion on this Priority. Improving public transport networks to make them more efficient, particularly in terms of being connective across a variety of nodes (within city, city to inner and outer suburbs, inter-suburb and city to airport), frequent (24/hr), and reliable were the key desires. There was also a significant amount of discussion and suggestions for operational improvements. Attractiveness was not specifically discussed, but possibly aspired for in the suggestions for improvements. There was not a significant amount of discussion on integration of different modes and services. Affordability and safety of services were raised.

There was overlap with this Priority and Priorities 6.2. A Cycling City, 6.3. A Walking City and 6.5. SmartCar Driving.

Summary of ideas (total 423 statements)

Public transport networks (127 statements)

Over one third of people under this priority made comments relating to various public transport networks. Many of these were general references to “improving public transport networks”. Many people stated that they wanted better or increased public transport linkages and networks within the city, connecting to the inner and outer suburbs and suburban networks, for easier commutes, and faster travel.

The current hub and spokes model was stated by a few people to no longer work, and alternatives are needed. A ‘spider-web’ transport model was suggested, as were long linear lines of transport. This was one statement describing an overall objective for public transport, requested in different ways by many people.

Public Transport -- making transport, both trams and trains more accessible and easier to get between different areas of the suburbs

A large number of people suggested a train to the airport. This was proposed in a number of ideas and many conversations. The consistent themes were that this is long overdue, having been talked about for a long time and that most other cities of Melbourne’s size have a rail link to their main airport. This was one succinct version of many similar ideas.

Rail to Melbourne airport. -- My idea is nothing new. I propose a train or tram line that goes straight from the cbd to Melbourne Airport. Many cities all over the world have trains that go to their airports and it makes travelling so much easier!

A large number of people commented specifically on train networks; generally desiring extended, cross-connecting networks that support efficient travel around Melbourne. A few specific ideas were provided for what this might look like: underground loops that circle the city all the way out to outer suburbs, have trains come to stations as spokes, have a ring train midway between the CBD and line ends.

Plan for connecting train lines -- Currently all trains connect in one location, the city. This is very inefficient if you're wanting to travel for example from St Albans to Essendon. There should be an extra line added to connect to other lines easier, without having to go through the CBD every single time. Most other cities in the world have this, this would reduce the stress on the city loop and CBD stations as well by not needing to funnel every train through the city stations…

A few people suggested completing the Doncaster rail. Other specific train links suggested were: monorail to Docklands; an east-west link; train lines going to the city from Rowville, Doncaster, Stony Point, Rye, Leongatha, Dimboola, Cobram, Mildura; and, completing the ring road to Ringwood. A few people suggested having underground rail, as well as monorail, subways, skyrail and above-ground rail.

Other singular train-related ideas were to have more trains, more express trains, train accessibility at all stations, more metro stations, reinstating direct access to the city street from Melbourne Central Station, and changing trains to be point to point, so as to increase frequency.

Specific comments and suggestions were the redevelopment of the inner circle line from the 1970s; having a metro inside the city; addressing railway bottlenecks; better linkages for Kensington; addressing bus delays from inner west to the city, through utilising bus priority methods; more tram stops in the CBD; having an outer-city loop; redeveloping the Flinders Street and City loops; better links to Universities (Monash, Deakin, La Trobe) and fixing Punt Road ‘starfish’.

Tram networks were also specifically identified by many people, though comments were diverse. Several people wanted extended or new tramlines to improve travel to and from the city and suburbs. A few people stated that they generally wanted more trams and a few stated that improved trams would aid in traffic congestion.

Specific tram requests included the following; extend to Kensington, direct tram from Chapel to other side of city, express trams from city to Docklands, eradicating Elizabeth-Flinders Street tram bottleneck, addressing missing tram links in Victoria Parade and from Richmond to Southbank, extended line in Burwood, restoration of more W-class trams for tourism, tram from Box Hill to Doncaster, and new tram lines in Frankston-Cranbourne and Geelong to enable growth.

Several people discussed the use of the water around Melbourne for transport, including the Yarra and ferry services from the western and southern suburbs. Some conversation points were in favour of these proposals, but there were also questions raised about decision makers having an appetite for developing this form of transport. This was one of the ideas identifying the benefits of water modes.

Ferry transport -- Establish ferry transport from the outer suburbs and along rivers. Melbourne's waterways are underused as transport infrastructure and alternative travel would reduce the pressure on traffic chokepoints such as the Burnley Tunnel and Westgate

Public transport facilities and infrastructure upgrades (94 statements)

A large number of these comments were general in nature, simply stating “improved public transport” and similar sentiments, including investing in, fixing and creating better systems. References to high-quality public transport (which is well-planned for population growth and distribution), were also made by several people.

Public transport is effective, future proofed for a growing population and improved.

New trains and trams were suggested by a few people and the 86 tram line was specifically identified as being outdated. In several statements people discussed the need for new and improved transport stations, and hubs ( in the city and surrounding suburbs), to improve the efficiency of travel. Specific new stations suggested were an underground station at Brunswick, an underground station at Lygon Street and an MCG railway station. The MCG railway station idea attracted a conversation on the website, with some agreement — could be an event/weekend station, and disagreement — too much cost for occasional use.

Several people stated that the public transport system needs to be integrated with walking and cycling, for example. Several people stated that underground rail, like European cities was desirable. Other suggestions for transport upgrades were more underground services, monorail, flying trams, metro rail and elevated rail.

Communication and information system upgrades were also raised. Specifically, updating the network maps and renaming train lines were suggested by a few people. For example: alphabetical, Line B for Belgrave; colour coded; or, named after their station or general direction, ‘Northern Line’. Ensuring that transport systems were intuitive to use, and technologically advanced, were also identified as good approaches to take.

Other infrastructure upgrades suggested were: general upgrades to stops and substations, provision of MYKI facilities on the 86 line and at major stops from RMIT Bundoora into the city, raised platforms at tram stops, install lifts and escalators on all platforms inside city metro, install platform windows for all metro stations, non-reflective mast heads and removing or reducing level crossings.

Public transport amenity suggestions included musical tones on station entry, better lighting, tactile paths in trains, keeping graffiti and litter under control and cleaning all vandalised walls.

Efficient, frequent and accessible public transport (77 statements)

A large number of people generally stated that they want more efficient public transport. Efficiency was often coupled with descriptions of a network that was fast, for example: a bullet train; more express routes; better use of priority rules; reliable, particularly in terms of reducing delays, break downs and re-routes; frequent; and, easy to use.

Better Public Transport -- Melbourne should have more efficient and reliable train services in anticipation of a larger population and metropolitan span. In short, the transport system shouldn't break down after bad weather e.g. heavy rains or summer heat.

A large number of people made comments on public transport and availability of services. Many people wanted 24-hour public transport (note overlap with enabling Priority 3.2.), or at least more frequent services at night, during the weekends and public holidays. Several people stated that public transport was currently overcrowded and that new services were required to meet the needs of the community. Craigieburn and Cranbourne train lines were identified specifically. These were a couple of the statements identifying public transport needs.

Public Transport improvements -- More frequency for all public transport (trains, trams and busses). Also more carriages to get more people using the public transport system. This will also avoid not being able to get on a busy team, train etc.

Trams and transport -- 24hour transport on weekends, more carriages, more space for the ever growing city. We need more space and more constant timing of the transport.

Ensuring the accessibility of public transport was important for several people. This meant that trams, trains and buses catered for children, people with prams/wheelchairs and shopping carts, older persons, elderly, people with a disability, blind, deaf, blind-deaf and more generally all members of the public. Changes suggested low level trams/buses, better signals, wider pathways, flat trams and an ‘Access Tram’ that slows gently and allows time for users to get on and off.

Public transport affordability (41 statements)

A large number of people made comments about public transport affordability. A public transport system with low fares, that were affordable for all people, was a top priority in people’s statements.

Lower PT fares -- Melbourne's PT is among the most expensive in the world . For many low-income people an $8 or $4 quickly adds up and they often have to choose between paying for PT or paying for essentials such as rent and food. Make PT more accessible to the people who need them most by lowering costs and further reducing fare evasion.

Several people suggested public transport should be affordable, subsidised or free for students to support education and a few statements were in support of affordable public transport for under 18 year olds, disabled and elderly. A few people also suggested subsidised public transport as part of a bonus scheme for employees to encourage people who work in the CBD to catch public transport and subsequently reduce car use. This was one comment related to affordability.

Affordable transport for concessions -- All City of Melbourne public transport should be free or at least affordable for people who have a concession card eg. Students, disabled, elderly.

The free-tram zone was commented on by several people. Extending it to the museum, outside the CBD, Crown, Rod Laver, Hisense, Aami Park and Melbourne University were all suggestions. A few people commented that making it free for sporting events would enable better access. One person stated that the free zone should either be abolished or made accessible for the entire community and not just be a benefit for the inner city dwellers and tourists. One person suggested more free transport in popular areas such as the Crown Casino.

A few people suggested that a pay per trip model was the way to go and two people desired free or cheaper weekend travel. A couple of statements disagreed with free transport, as money would need to be raised elsewhere to pay for the system, and it would add congestion.

Public transport safety (22 statements)

Many people were in support of safer public transport for all people. Some of these were general statements of “safe public transport” but many were specific to trams. Several people stated that tram stops were unsafe and a few identified specific issues: too steep; cars driving through; leaving passengers in the middle of the road; and, not very accessible to people with a disability, parents with prams, children and elderly. Tram boarding/exiting was also raised in terms of congestion, difficulty getting off and not being provided with enough time to get off. One person suggested flickering lights to indicate when a tram was approaching. Congestion on trams from people wearing bags was also raised by one person.

Safe Trams stops for users -- I can´t believe that some tram stops leave the passengers in the middle of the road with no pedestrian crossing to reach the footpath. For me, this is a very serious problem. The transport authorities should do something. Many people get injured every year because of the very poor tram stops.

Several people raised safety issues in relation to trains, particularly the train platform gap, poor lighting and a desire for wider footpaths, police and surveillance cameras. Ensuring pedestrian safety in areas of high-volume public transport was also raised by one person. Another person suggested banning phones/internet use on transport, though no reason was provided.

MYKI (12 Statements)

People stated that they wanted a more functional, efficient MYKI service. Ensuring machines are available, easy to use and in working order was identified by a few people. A few people also suggested creating an app for ease of topping up.

Technology - I would like to see Melbourne put pressure on the state government for an update to Myki. It takes far too long to update with a credit card in the machines. It would be easy enough for this to be linked with an iPhone app or similar.

Singular comments included: making MYKI available for international students, providing a refundable option, replacing it entirely and integrating it with Bike Share. MYKI is also discussed under Priority 3.6. A great place to visit.

Brief supportive statements (49 statements)

Many short statements were made which suggested that public transport is important. Many of these simple state, “public transport”. This is one of the statements

effective and hugely popular public transport system,