WHILE free tram travel within the city from 2015 may be welcome news for international students, understanding how it works may be a little tricky. Darren Boon reports.
International students will be among the commuters set to benefit from free travel on trams in the Melbourne CBD and Docklands area from January 1, 2015.
According to Yarra Trams, the free tram zone will cover the area from Queen Victoria Market to Victoria Harbour in Docklands, and up to Spring St, Flinders Street Station and Federation Square in the CBD.
This is welcome news especially for international students living in and around the city, who make up a quarter of the population in the CBD and a third of the population in Carlton due to the close proximity to the University of Melbourne, RMIT University and other education providers.
The implementation of the free travel zones however, may be a little confusing for students, tourists and commuters in general.
If you’re travelling exclusively within the free tram zone, you must remember not to touch on – as doing so will incur the standard two-hour default fare.
Yarra Trams has also advised that if your journey begins or ends outside the boundaries of the free tram zone, you must touch on the myki on the reader “in the normal way to make sure you have a valid ticket”.
In other words, if you’re travelling from the free tram zone to the fare paying zone, you must remember to touch on before you leave the free tram zone, or touch on when you first board.
The same is true of you’re travelling from a fare paying zone to the free tram zone. A student travelling from University of Melbourne to Federation Square for example, will still be required to touch on when boarding the tram on Swanston St outside the university’s Parkville campus.
The free tram zone will take effect in 2015, and tram travellers will still require a topped up, touched on Myki for all areas of the network until December 31, 2014.
For more information about fare changes in 2015 including FAQs on the free tram zone, visit Public Transport Victoria.