The Victorian state government will give away 250,000 free public transport travel vouchers to Victorians to get people back into the city.
The vouchers will be available through the PTV website from Thursday 16 December and will be emailed to passengers, so they can be printed or viewed on a smartphone. Passengers will simply show the voucher to station staff when entering or exiting the public transport network on the valid date of travel.
However, from 1 January 2022, metropolitan public transport fares will increase by 2.3 per cent on average. After freezing fares last year, the increase will add 20 cents to the daily Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 1+2 metropolitan fares. The average regional fare increase across the network will be 1.1 per cent.
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There will be 50,000 vouchers available for each of five different event categories across December and January, with the categories covering:
- Christmas events
- Galleries and attractions
- Performing arts
The government will also provide free public transport on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. On Christmas Day, metropolitan and regional public transport will be free from 3am until 3am on Boxing Day and will run to a regular public holiday timetable.
Passengers on reserved V/Line services still need to book their travel so they can be issued a ticket free of charge.
On New Year’s Eve, all train, tram and bus services will be free from 6pm on 31 December until 6am on 1 January. The first V/Line train services departing Melbourne on each line will also be free, even if they leave after 6am on New Year’s Day. Customers travelling during these free travel periods do not need to touch on or off with their myki.
A normal weekday public transport timetable will be in place between 6pm and midnight on New Year’s Eve, with additional services after midnight.
Metropolitan trains will run to a 15-minute frequency between midnight and 1am, a 30-minute frequency between 1am and 2am, and every hour from 2am. On the tram network, most services will operate all night – running to a 15 to 20-minute frequency between midnight and 2am, and every 60 minutes from 2am. The newly expanded Night Network bus service will also run all night.
“Victorians will no doubt be keen this festive season to celebrate their hard-won freedom, so we’re making sure they have travel options to do just that,” Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said.
“This year, we’re not only making public transport free on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, we are also giving Melbourne a quarter of a million free reasons to head into the city this Summer to enjoy the best Melbourne has to offer.”
“After freezing fares last year, we’re keeping this year’s public transport fare rise as low as possible to allow us to support a sustainable return to public transport.”