Public transport

Around 75% of RACV members use public transport at least once a month and around one in five travel on public transport at least weekly.

Why public transport?

The benefits of using public transport include:

  • Health. Walking to and from the station or stop can increase physical activity and improve health.
  • Environmental. On average, public transport consumes 3.4 times less energy per passenger kilometre than cars.
  • Congestion. One full tram can remove 140 cars from the road, while one full train can remove 800 cars.
  • Economy. In 2009 there were around 13 million people employed worldwide in the public transport sector, so public transport investment can provide more jobs for people and improve the economy.
  • Social inclusion. Public transport provides an option for people who cannot afford the operating costs associated with a vehicle, ensuring accessible transport for everybody regardless of income.
  • Safety. A person is 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash travelling by car than on public transport.
  • Cost. A myki zone 1 and 2 seven-day pass is $39 and provides access to all trains, trams and buses within zones 1 and 2. This is compared with the weekly cost of owning and running a small car, which will is around $160, or a medium car which will set you back almost $200.

Plan your trip

Following these three simple steps will ensure you are able to efficiently and safely travel on public transport: 

1. Plan your journey with the following tools: 

  • Public transport maps. This includes more detailed route maps for metropolitan train, tram and bus.
  • Journey planner. You can specify the origin, destination and ideal arrival time, and the PTV journey planner will detail the best way to travel using public transport.
  • Timetables. If you are aware of the line or route, timetables can provide departure times for trains, trams, buses, NightRider and SmartBus services.
  • Service alterations. Provides details of planned changes to services due to special events and scheduled maintenance.

2. Purchase your myki which is a reusable plastic card topped up with money and used to pay for public transport trips around Victoria. For more information RACV has prepared a myki fact sheet.

3. Travel on public transport. Tips include:

  • Arrive at your station/stop early.
  • Use your myki card to 'touch on'.
  • Remember there are simple methods to improve your train safety, tram safety and bus safety.
  • When the journey is finished, take all your belongings and 'touch off' your myki.

Getting around on public transport using myki

Train safety

Below are a number of safety tips for passengers while waiting at the train station, boarding and alighting the train and on the train journey.

Safety tips at the train station

  • Stand behind the yellow line.
  • When moving around the train station avoid running and be careful using escalators.
  • Only cross the train tracks at designated pedestrian crossings.
  • In the unlikely event you are harassed, consider drawing attention to the situation or moving somewhere that is closer to other passengers or station staff.
  • No rollerblading, skateboarding or bicycle riding.
  • If you feel threatened, stand at the train station safety zone which is the well-lit area marked by signs and yellow lines near the emergency communication system.
  • In an emergency contact train station staff by pressing the red button on the emergency and information communication system.  

Safety tips boarding and alighting the train

  • Until the train has completely stopped wait behind the yellow line.
  • Keep the train doors clear so people can get off the train before you board.
  • People boarding with a pram or shopping trolley should use the front carriage. When boarding, push the pram first then lift the back inside. When getting off the train, step off first then pull the pram towards you.
  • Never attempt to board a train when it is about to leave the platform; wait for the next train to arrive.
  • In an emergency press the red button to speak to the train driver, who can then contact police.

Safety tips on the train

  • Sit on a seat in the carriage or if standing use a hand rail to help with balance.
  • When the train is moving, avoid changing carriages.
  • At night use the front carriage to be closer to the driver.
  • Sit near other passengers.
  • Schoolbags, shopping bags or briefcases need to be stowed correctly to avoid blocking the train aisle.
  • Offer your seat to elderly people, those with special needs and pregnant women.

Source: Public Transport Victoria, “train safety,” retrieved November 2013.

Tram safety

Below are a number of safety tips for passengers while waiting at the tram stop, boarding the tram, alighting the tram and on the tram journey. For more information about driving safely while sharing the roads with trams click here.

Safety tips waiting for the tram

  • Always stand behind the line marking.
  • Do not lean against the safety railing at platform or roadside stops.
  • Never lean or walk out into the path of oncoming trams or traffic.
  • Check the destination board on the oncoming tram and if it is your tram give the driver a wave to ensure you're visible.
  • Have your myki ready to validate.
  • Remember tram stops and shelters are non smoking areas.

Safety tips getting on the tram

  • When boarding from a kerbside stop, wait for all traffic to stop completely before you walk out onto the road to board the tram.
  • Wait for passengers to get off the tram before you board.
  • Use the handrails to steady yourself when the tram moves.
  • Never bring food or drink to consume on board a tram.

Safety tips on the tram

  • Hold onto the handrails as the tram may move off without you realising or brake suddenly.
  • Stay clear of the doorways once you have validated your myki.
  • When seated, place any bags on your lap or on the floor between your feet.
  • Offer your seat to elderly people, pregnant women and people who are mobility impaired.
  • If a seat is not available, move to an empty part of the tram, using the handrails to steady yourself.
  • Do not obstruct the doors when they are closing.
  • Allow other passengers room to move around you if they need to get off the tram.

Safety tips getting off the tram

  • Provide the driver with plenty of notice for your stop by using the stop cord or button.
  • Never obstruct the tram doors while they are closing. If you need the doors to be reopened, call the stop again to get the driver's attention.
  • When getting off the tram always watch your step and check for traffic.
  • Once you are off the tram, stay within the safety zone until the road is clear and it's safe to cross.
  • Never walk out behind a tram to cross tram tracks as you may not see trams coming in the opposite direction.

Source: Public Transport Victoria, “tram safety,” retrieved November 2013.

Bus safety

Below are a number of safety tips for passengers while waiting at the bus stop, boarding the bus, alighting the bus and on the bus journey. For more information about driving safely while sharing the road with buses click here.

Safety tips at the bus stop

  • Get to the bus stop five minutes before the bus is due to arrive.
  • Stand back from the kerb as the bus pulls in.
  • Be sure the bus driver can see you and you can see the driver.
  • Have your myki ready to validate.

Safety tips boarding the bus

  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door has opened before approaching the bus.
  • Wait for passengers to get off the bus before you board.
  • Watch your step and use the handrail.
  • If you need help boarding the bus or require assistance with your destination or route, ask the driver.

Safety tips on the bus

  • Remain seated throughout the journey or hold on to a rail or strap.
  • Do not speak to or distract the driver while the bus is moving.
  • Offer your seat to elderly people, pregnant women and people who are mobility impaired.
  • Do not block doorways and allow other passengers room to move if they are getting off the bus.
  • When standing, place bags on the floor between your feet.

Safety tips getting off the bus

  • Press the stop button in time to allow the driver to stop the bus safely and smoothly.
  • Stay in your seat until the bus has come to a complete stop.
  • After you have alighted, never attempt to cross the road in front of or behind the bus. 
  • Wait at the stop well clear of the bus until it has driven away before crossing the road.


Source: Public Transport Victoria, “bus safety,” retrieved November 2013.

Travelling with children on public transport

Find out how to travel safely on public transport with a pram and with children. Remember that children aged three years and under travel for free on public transport right across Victoria. It’s also free to take a pram or stroller on public transport.

Safety tips - travelling with a pram

  • Hold on to your pram and make sure your child is strapped in securely.
  • Apply the parking brake at all times to prevent rolling.
  • Stand with your pram behind the line on train platforms and tram stops and away from the curb at bus stops.
  • Make sure your pram is parked parallel to the platform or footpath edge.
  • Board the train at the front carriage so the driver can clearly see you.
  • When leaving the train, tram or bus, watch the gap, exit backwards, and if travelling by tram check for traffic.
  • At train stations, use the escalators with care and use lifts where they are available.

Safety tips - on-board public transport

  • Try to travel outside peak times. Peak times are before 9am and between 4pm - 6pm.
  • Keep children seated where possible. If you and your children don’t take a seat, make sure you all have something to hold on to.
  • Never leave your child alone on board a train, tram or bus.
  • If you’re travelling with more than one child, keep everyone together by holding hands to make sure nobody is left behind.
  • Make sure your belongings are stored safely and avoid blocking the aisle.
  • On longer trips, bring along toys or activities to help make the journey fun.
Source: Public Transport Victoria. “Travelling with children” Retrieved November 2013

On track survey

A RACV infographic on track survey results

The RACV On Track survey is run every two years in conjunction with Leader Community Newspaper.

The survey provides RACV members and the public with an opportunity to have their say on how Victoria's rail network is performing. The results of the survey are shared with the public and key stakeholders in an effort to improve our rail network.

For any enquiries related to the On Track survey, please email publicpolicyadmin@racv.com.au

Public transport advocacy

As Victoria's population continues to surge, an effective, efficient and connected public transport network is essential to accommodate this growth and keep our cities moving. RACV members are road users of all types including public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

RACV advocates for better public transport services and infrastructure, together with better roads, as part of an integrated approach to improving our transport system and providing better mobility options for all Victorians.

Improved public transport gives people more choice in how they travel and helps alleviate road congestion, reduce pollution and keep people connected to each other and their communities.

RACV Car Share gives members 24/7 access to a car without the expense of owning one