Big Heaps Of Melburnians Are Hitting Up The City’s 24-Hour Public Transport

It’s a sad fact of living in big cities that options for getting about tend to dry up in big hurry once the sun goes down.

And that lack of options has many negative flow-on effects, particularly for people working late into the night, with people who don’t have a car often forced to use expensive taxi or Uber options just to get home from work.
In an attempt to fix this, and as part of a core election promise, Daniel Andrews and the Victorian State Government implemented a trial of 24-hour public transport that began at the start of the year.
Every weekend, instead of shutting down at around midnight, the city’s bus, train, and tram networks would remain open, allowing people a safe, reliable, and affordable way to get home in the wee hours of the morning.
Despite a blow out in budget costs thanks to some borked calculations – the price of adding extra security at tram stops and train stations blew the cost of the trial out to some $83million – it would appear that Melburnians have turned the experiment into a raging success.
In the 6 months since the trial began, some 35,000 people per weekend have been using the extra services.
VIC state public transport minister Jacinta Allen heralded the numbers as a big success for the services.
“People who work in the hospitality and retail sectors and also in places like our hospitals who’ve never before had an option like a tram or bus option to get to and from work safely.”

“I think it demonstrates the value in having the night network run as a trial for this year because it shows that there are many people who work in and around Melbourne who benefit greatly from this service.”

What’s even more interesting is that, of those 35,000 people using the services every Friday and Saturday night, 20% are shift workers, and a whopping 75% are under the age of 35.

Allen expects the numbers to hold throughout the cold winter months, and increase as Melbourne’s festival and cultural season picks up during events like the AFL Finals, Spring Racing Carnival, and the Christmas and summer seasons.
The trial currently sees all trains depart on all lines from Flinders Street every 60 minutes, trams on routes 19, 67, 75, 86, 96, and 109 once every 30 minutes, and 2:00am buses depart from Southern Cross station bound for Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, and Traralgon.
The positive response to the 24-hour services is expected to result in the policy being adopted permanently once the trial ends.

Source: ABC News.
Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty.