The Andrews Government will launch its Homesafe trial, with all-night public transport to start on weekends from January 1, 2016.
Metro trains will depart from Flinders Street Station every 60 minutes on all lines except Stony Point and Flemington Racecourse. Trams will operate every 30 minutes on six major routes – the 19, 67, 75, 86, 96 and 109 – “providing services to St Kilda, Coburg, Bundoora, Port Melbourne, Carnegie, Box Hill, Vermont South and Brunswick, as well as within the CBD,” the government said on August 6.
Meanwhile, a “revamped and improved” night bus network will include 20 routes, with a mix of routes operating from the city and others providing suburban connections from train stations and from suburban night-time hubs including Dandenong and Frankston.
V/Line coaches will depart from Southern Cross Station at around 2am, bound for Bendigo, Ballarat, Traralgon, and Geelong. The coaches will provide a mix of express and stopping services.
Public transport minister Jacinta Allan joined police minister Wade Noonan to outline the details of the trial.
“A world-class city deserves 24-hour public transport,” Allan said. “It’s good for our economy, for shift workers and for people who want to get home safe after a night out.
“People who live in the outer suburbs and regional areas shouldn’t have to miss out on Melbourne’s vibrant night life. This trial is about giving them a safe and affordable way to get home.”
To support the Homesafe program, the state has given Victoria Police funding for 171 extra transport security officers: 109 Protective Services Officers and 62 transit police.
The roving transit police will patrol all train lines through the night on weekends and use divisional vans to transport alleged offenders or travel quickly to where they are needed.
“Our PSOs and transit police will work throughout the night to help keep the travelling public safe,” Noonan said. “People should be able to go out and enjoy themselves or end a late-night shift and be able to catch safe and reliable public transport home.”
If successful, 24-hour weekend public transport trial will be continued and expanded where necessary.