• long running

Free Train Travel before 7am Weekdays [Melbourne]


This has been around for sometime now, however I can't find anything on Ozbargain and I know some people aren't aware that it applies with Myki.

Free travel on Melbourne's electrified train network for trips finishing before 7.00am (weekdays). However technically it is before 7.15am exactly. I believe they have done this with Myki to allow for trains that are late. If your train arrives after this you will be charged.

You need to have a Myki and positive balance. You need to touch on and off and you wont be deducted anything.

If you only train into and from the city then this essentially halves the cost of your travel as you only pay for a 2 hour fare.

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  • +11 votes

    Awesome, didn't know this thanks!

  • Start time?

    • First train for the day is the start time, end time is 7:15AM exit the gates.

  • Its been around for almost 5 years now.

    It used to be called the "Early Bird" when it was on the Metcard System. You simply had to go ask the guy at the station for a Free "10 x Early Bird" Metcard and you could use it to enter and exit before 7:15AM.

    Make sure you have a positive balance, as they probably have the right to fine you if you don't. Since I remember them advertising the Early Bird option, however some people thought "oh its free, I don't need a Metcard to take advantage of it". Saw a few people during my time who got fined due to this.

  • +18 votes

    Did you know the Vic Govt increased the weekend all day Myki from $3.50 to $6.00 on 1st January 2014.
    This also applies to public holidays.

    That is a 71% increase overnight!
    ( From The Age site.)

  • I don't live in Melbourne, but this is amazing. I hope it stays in deals and gets added to wiki and maybe even the travel section. It is fabulous.

  • Also, if the train is delayed, you have to pay for the trip. I complain to the call center every time I'm charged because I exit the platform at 07:20 because the prior train was cancelled and I should have had a free trip. I worry it'll be scrapped due to labor costs refunding delays.

    • Yes, they factor in the 15min already for delayed trains, etc but if you rely on that time (15mins more sleep at 5am means a lot!) and you can't get through the ticket gate before it hits 7:15 then you're paying full price (and you'll be wondering why you bothered esp as you try to stay awake in the late arvo). Been thee done that. If your train gets cancelled good luck. As with any train ticket there's no guarantee of service delivery.

  • It's been available since 2008 (eg. Metcard Early Bird ticket) and always described in ticket brochures/website. I used to use it. You still need a ticket (Myki now) otherwise you can't get through barrier gates.

    It had nothing to do with Myki. It was to try and spread the peak loads in the city due to overcrowding of trains.
    There are rumors it may be removed in future (as with other changes such as the major increase to weekend ticket prices).

  • So are you able to get off at an earlier stop, at lets say 7:10, for free

    then only pay from the closer station to you final destination? :)

    • +2 votes

      Melbourne uses a two zone system for charging fares. There is no 'per stop' charge. Between zones there is an overlap. You could travel into one zone for free and get off and then do as you say. Though I'm sure most people would want to get to their destination as quickly as possible.

    • Yes, you can but keep in mind there aren't many trains running at that time of the morning and you may need a stopping all stations one (if express bypass that station).

      Also it only applies to trains so if you need to use a bus or tram then you are paying full price anyway (no saving).

  • It is always free travel on the number 8 tram. The girth of ticket inspectors makes it impossible for them to board the dangerously overcrowded number 8. I have not seen an inspector in at least 3 years.

  • I must add that with Metro's 'Summer Timetable'
    (AKA 'we have no staff to backfill xmas and school holiday leave timetable')
    there may not be any trains prior to 7:15am.

    Who agreed to let them suddenly change the timetables and reduce trains??

    • not to mention the taxpayers are paying around 300million per year MORE to metro than connex were.
      (600ish mil connex, vs 900ish metro)

      More money for less services?

      where do I sign up for that sort of deal?!

  • Tempting but not worth the early morning sleep.

  • For a Zone 2 resident heading to Zone 1 (or vice versa), it's a $6.06 saving per day. ($3.58 for Zone 1 only) That's a huge saving considering how much effort ozbsargainers put into saving a dollar!
    (For zone 1 and 2 it's $30.30 per week, $1575 per year if you travel every day)

    At Flinders Street Station, all the gates are open until about 7:05am so about half the passengers don't even bother swiping on or off (just my observations)

    • Given it's free travel at that time of the morning there wouldn't be a need to have the gates closed. I would swipe off though as the system might still charge you the default fare next time you touch on (it won't have known you got off before 7:15 otherwise).

      For people who observe others not touching off at stations or touching on on trams, before assuming otherwise, keep in mind that many have long term passes (ie, prepaid for travel).

    • Wow, that's a big savings when one see it in a year…

  • I use this daily. Good post, OP. A lot of folk are unaware of this.

  • do you still get free zone 1 + zone 2 travel on weekends if you have a zone 1 pass?

  • Sydney should do something like this to encourage early morning travellers.

    • Wish Sydney done this exactly. Oh wait, we just got tap on tap off cards while Melbourne has had it for years now.

      Oh wait, the Opal cards only range to 7 or so stations. Yeah makes no sense.

      • Have just seen Opal readers on stations on the North shore line - so it's getting here (don't think they are actually functional yet)

    • I got on 6am trains and they were pretty full. The system is overloaded from pretty much 7.15 onwards in sydney. Wouldn't achieve a heck of a lot. They need to fi xe system first.

    • This would be awesome in Sydney, I suspect a lot of the early starters would return home before the peak too, so a double bonus!

  • +11 votes

    Damn. Now my nice quiet 530am train ride will be filled with tightarse ozbargainers

    • LOL Metro would apologies for the cancellation of this service due to ozbargaining

      • I swear to god I heard the following announcement last year.

        "The 6.10 train to Flinders St has been delayed due to lateness "


      Dont worry tight people wont wake up before 10
      They just like the sound of such a deal, not in act though

    • Unlikely since most people will happily pay the $4-6 for the extra sleep.

  • It's great that you're posting this - a work colleague who moved here in 2008 and takes the train most days only found out about this last week! So there are definitely people out there that don't know.

  • Cant believe 1) they still offer this and 2) so many people dont know about it. I used to do this all the time train used to get into southern cross at 7:08 but it used to be a crapfight if you got delayed for any reason. Kicking up a stink when a train was canceled was fun too although always managed to win that argument and still travel free

  • +3 votes

    Is there any deal for NSW? prices were to the roof, now gone again to the clouds!

    public transport in Australia is very expensive, low quality, unreliable and slow

  • The deal is old news, and great that it's free. As much of a tightarse that I am, I ain't getting into work 90 mins early to save $3~..

    • I wouldnt have seen it in forums. Glad you posted, thanks op

    • I don't agree that it should be in the forum, an old deal is still a good deal, especially if a lot don't know about it.

      It hasn't been posted on Ozbargain before, but you are allowed to post the same deal every 6 months so that people are aware.

  • Thanks, didnt know about this :)

  • from 3.50 to 6 on weekends.. its crazy…

  • For Sydneysiders and visitors:

    Sunday Family Fun Day passes are $2.50 for unlimited travel on trains, buses and most ferries. Fantastic value, particularly if you want to cruise around the harbour (Watsons Bay, and under the bridge). Take one of the many night ferries to Manly purely to see the harbour lights as you return.

    • That's good, but only for famalies. $2.50 per person and "The travelling group must be related and include at least one adult and one child" http://www.sydneytrains.info/tickets/which/funday

      • Buy a family's worth and give the other one away. All the tickets are the same. They ask how many of each you want. Simple process. At $5 for a single or couple it's as cheap as chips.

        • To the neg voter: we can debate the "honesty"/ethics of single fare/special discounts to "families" any time you're available. Should give you plenty of time to think of arguments about the ethics of inequitable offers, especially where taxpayer funds are involved. I'm a family man myself and I fail to see why singles should be discriminated against with this arrangement on public transport. Does it cost the taxpayer more to transport a single than it does an adult family man, or an orphan more than a child with a parent? Do singles take up more space or weigh more?

  • Melbourne's electrified train network

    is there a non-electrified one? :)

  • so theres gonna be like only 1 train per line before 7:15am weekdays?
    haha, just joking, maybe, or expecting something like cancelled, delayed, whatever.

  • isn't ironic that if ur morning train is late, by more than 15mins, ie arrives at 7.16, you not only get to work later, you also have to pay for it too.

    Good one metro

  • From 2011: Passengers give free morning travel the flick
    It's not that easy to get up so early esp if you have to work till the regular end of the day. You either have to go to bed early or give up an hours sleep!
    You will grow to despise people who have late arvo meetings (esp if they are unproductive like most) and the fact that people think you always leave early (work less?) because there is no one in the office to see you do an hours work before everyone else! ;-)

    • Activate the snooze button on your alarm clock when you're on the train, so you catch up on that 5 minutes extra snooze.

  • I took advantage of the free morning travel whole of last year while I was still working in the city. It's great having to save $3.58/day, got me out of bed early for a morning workout at a nearby gym before starting the work day. Don't know why people complain about having to get up earlier when you can still catch a bit of snooze on the train.

    It's a different story if you need to catch a bus to the station though, I still had to pay if I caught a bus to the train station which totally negates the benefit.

    Still a very good initiative and I have a feeling it won't last long given the increase in weekend fares and tightening of 2 hour fares.

    • Not all get a seat. On my line they are all gone after my station event at that early hour. 20mins shut eye on a noisy train doesn't compare to 20mins extra quality sleep in bed for most but some seem to seem through anything. The hours people can enter and are required to be at work will be different so could be a longer day. In summary it's good to have the choice while it lasts but the value will vary per person.