Part 1: 10 Things You Need to Think About When Moving to Melbourne
This post marks the start of a 10-post series that Leading Out has asked me to write for you. These posts will appear once a week, over the Australian summer months, to give you time to get ready for 2009.
Part 1: Public Transportation in Melbourne
More good news on public transportation in Melbourne—it’s cheaper than Sydney and moves pretty well. With the purchase of one card, you can access buses, trains and trams. The deal is this, for longer journeys, take the train, for city journeys, take a tram and for awkward journeys you take a bus.
The best aspect of the MET system are the MET shops where you will find very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff who will enthusiastically hand you free timetables for your train line.
Connex runs the train system and they are… sort of reliable. Apparently they are working to get more trains…yeah, well, we’ll see. What really needs to happen is the building of more exhange platforms so commuters could easily switch lines. That would get far more people commuting. As it is now, Richmond, Flinders and South Yarra are the main exchange stations, and they are as far in as the CBD.
Do You Need a Car in Melbourne?
It’s pretty great to have a car in Melbourne, as it is anywhere (especially if you are running late) but you really don’t need one.
But you can get anywhere you need to go without a car. If you need to get somewhere important (especially for the first time) make sure you look it up online. The transportation system is good, but it’s not infallible. And always take the route earlier than you need to take in case they cancel the train (they do that sometimes).
Regarding “Connex” and their Employees:
Don’t expect to get any help from the Connex people working at the stations. It is widely accepted by commuters that Connex workes are unhelpful: they don’t sell tickets; they don’t know train time tables; they stand there and “work” the ticket machine which works by itself.
Apparently they are “officers”. But I’ve seen them chase a number of people, and they always get away. I’ve also seen them ignore people who deserve chasing.
Mostly, the Connex workers just tell you off (which isn’t even efficient, or as funny, Karma “fare evaders” posters–which are quite effective ad campaign (they make me want to stamp my ticket, and I have a “monthly”). So, it’s not like me to bag someone’s job, but I really don’t know how their salary is justified (If you know why it is, please tell me!) and how it wouldn’t be better spent on more trains.
however are pretty good. They are clean, secure and while the odd timetable might get a bit slowed down, you can get an SMS message from Track-Tracker letting you know when to expect the next train.
Where to Buy a METCard:
You can get cards at Newsagencies and 711s and any place with a little blue banner “METcards sold here” out the front.
You can buy a “monthly” (pass), a “daily” and a “2-hourly” pass. There are also two zones which you need to pay attention.
METCard Fees–Who Pays ‘Full Fee’:
As a teacher you’ll be paying Full Fee (only elderly and students qualify for “concession” prices).