Melbourne to be 24/7

Melbourne will undertake a trial of 24 hour public transport services from next year

Regional and suburban residents of Melbourne will have 24-hour transport every weekend from next year as part of a trial of services.

The Victorian Government will trial all-night public transport on weekends from January 1, 2016.

Minister for public transport Jacinta Allan and minister for police Wade Noonan outlined details of the one-year Homesafe trial, which will get people home safe on public transport to the suburbs and regional areas.

Allan says a world-class city deserves 24-hour public transport.

"It’s good for our economy, for shift workers and for people who want to get home safe after a night out," she says.

"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."

During the trial, metro trains will depart from Flinders Street Station every 60 minutes on all lines except Stony Point and Flemington Racecourse.

Trams will also operate every 30 minutes on six key routes providing services to St Kilda, Coburg, Bundoora, Port Melbourne, Carnegie, Box Hill, Vermont South and Brunswick, as well as within the CBD.

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.

To support the Homesafe initiative, the government has given Victoria Police funding for 171 extra transport security officers – 109 Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and 62 transit police.

Noonan says: "our PSOs and transit police will work throughout the night to help keep the travelling public safe".

"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."

The 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.

If successful, 24-hour weekend public transport trial will be continued and expanded where necessary.

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