Getting around Melbourne is easy. In fact the city is served by an extensive public transport network which is of world-standard. It has one of the world's most extensive tram networks, almost 300 bus routes and a train system with more than 15 lines. Unlike many major cities in the world, Melbourne has an integrated public transport ticketing system even though all transport has been privatised. With Metcard, you can buy one ticket and use it on bus, train and tram services for a specified time period.
Trams are the main form of transport throughout the Central Business District and run up and down most main streets. One way to get around the Central Business District is to catch the City Circle Tram, a free service that runs around the perimeter of the central city.
Trains are the main mode of transport throughout the greater Melbourne area and they provide the fastest travel from inner, middle and outer suburbs to the city. There are two main above ground railway stations and three underground stations in the CBD. Flinders Street Station, at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, is the main terminus for Melbourne metropolitan rail services (see buildings entry).
Southern Cross Station is at the intersection of Bourke and Spencer Streets. The station is the terminus of the state's regional railway network operated by V/Line, The Overland rail service to Adelaide, and the Countrylink XPT service to Sydney. It is one of five stations on the City Loop, a mostly underground railway that encircles the CBD. Southern Cross Station also has a bus terminal, from which operates the "Skybus" service to Melbourne Airport, and various intra and interstate coach services.
Trams offer slower but more frequent service between the city and inner suburbs and they are fun to ride. Melbourne is home to the third largest tram network in the world. Melbourne's current tram network began with the introduction of cable trams in 1885 and then electric trams in 1906. The tram network now provides extensive coverage of most inner suburbs with several routes extending into the middle suburbs.
Melbourne's trams contribute greatly to the city's distinctive character and are held in great affection by the people of Melbourne. I strongly suggest a ride, perhaps along St Kilda Rd to St Kilda beach. You really get to see working Melbourne.
Buses serve suburbs distant from rail lines, act as feeders to railway stations and allow cross-suburban and local travel not available via train or tram.
All train and tram routes operate 7 days per week. Service is typically from before 6am to after 11pm, with later starts on Sunday and later finishes on Friday and Saturday nights. There is an all-night bus system to many areas.
A variety of fares are available, from single trip fares, to better value fares, such as daily, weekly, monthly and yearly fares. Metcard works on all public transport but not the airport bus to the city.