Last weekend saw the beginning of a saviour for weekend party goers, a 12 month trial of 24 hour trains, trams and buses on some routes on weekends. Individuals in Victoria now get to enjoy their night life without worrying about the cab fare.
I know that if this system were up and running in Sydney, I’d be making the walk to the station rather than the nightrider.
Viability of the service
Almost 10,000 Victorians used the new 24 hour system in the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday during the first full weekend of the Night Network. Data collected on the system has shown that 9862 people touched on with their myki (similar to Opal) last weekend outside of regular services during the Night Network debut run.
Nonetheless, this data is only preliminary as it doesn’t take into account externalities such as fare evading, using trams in the free zone of people using myki passes. The government reports that the number of people illustrates a good take up of late night public transport with nearly 10,000 people representing more than a 300% increase in patronage, compared to NightRider bus services in October 2015. A clear sign of promising viability for the 24/7 transport trial.
Prior to its inauguration, a survey of 1000 people found 91% of people were likely to use 24 hour service during the 12 month trial. The survey also found that 90% of respondents were very pleased at the idea of affordable late night transport – being the biggest benefit of the Night Network. I know that I’d prefer to pay $3.50 than $70 with a cab.
Smooth sails on the track?
Local neighbours of each train station have spoken out, complaining about the trains using their loud horns all night, keeping people awake.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said 24 hour travel put Melbourne at the forefront of big cities around the world.
“Initial myki touch on data from the first weekend has shown three times as many people used Night Network compared to NightRider services – but we want to see even more Victorians taking advantage of this great new service”, Ms Allan said.
So, I encourage everyone to get out there and enjoy the nightlife on offer, knowing that you’re able to take the Night Network home. Sydney could only be so lucky.
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