New Year's Eve is a time for gathering together in large crowds for fireworks, parties and general merriment. The best way to manage that is undoubtedly public transport. We've gathered up your options for getting there and back for major Australian cities.
Picture by jo3hug
As a general rule of thumb, services tend to operate on weekend timetables around New Year's Eve, which means fewer services. It'd be very wise indeed to plan ahead so that you know what to expect, and, as with all things public transport, be ready to improvise if a service gets inexplicably cancelled, or is particularly busy. It is New Year's Eve, after all.
Melbourne has for many years now offered free public transport on New Year's Eve, and 2014 proves no exception to that rule. If you're travelling after 6pm, services are totally free on Metropolitan trains, trams, buses and regional town buses, as well as the first V/Line service to each regional destination from Melbourne on New Year's Day. If you tap on with a myki after 6pm you won't be charged, but if you've used your myki earlier in the day remember to tap off before 6pm to avoid extra charges. More information can be found here.
Brisbane gets the same kind of free deal on bus, rail and ferry services, albeit at slightly different times. The freebies kick off from 9pm on New Year's Even and conclude at 5:30am on New Year's Day, after which you'll have to pay to stagger home. More information can be found here.
Adelaide offers free public transport across bus, train and tram, but you'll have to wait until the stroke of midnight to take advantage of them. Timetables are varied as a result, and paid services kick back in at 6am on New Year's Day. For bus travellers, you can ask to be dropped off at any safe point along your route. More details here.
Sydneysider? There's no free public transport for you. Boo! The best that you can get is access to additional trains during the day, and a discounted light rail fare ($5 adult, $3 concession) for unlimited light rail travel. More details here.
There's likewise no sign of any discounted or free travel for Perth residents, but there is the promise of additional services for late night New Year's Eve revellers. More details here.
Hobart (and for that matter, Burnie and Launceston) residents can catch Nightrider buses for a flat $2 fare from 6pm on the 31st up until the last running service. Details can be found here.
In previous years, Canberra residents could take advantage of free Nightrider buses on New Year's Eve, but there's no sign of that any more, replaced instead with a flat $5 bus fare offer. More details here.
Darwin residents are urged to let buses be their "Sober Bob" — presumably that's a territory thing — for New Year's eve, with free buses from 7pm on the 31st until 6:30am on the 1st. More details can be found here.
Know of a choice we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments. Happy New Year!