Melbourne transport

How to go shopping by public transport in Malvern

I found this flyer during a clearout of the PTUA office last week.

Judging from the text it appears to be from late 1992 — perhaps around the time Jeff Kennett was elected in October 1992.

How to go shopping by public transport in Malvern and surrounding suburbs (1992) - 1/2

How to go shopping by public transport in Malvern and surrounding suburbs (1992) - 2/2

What’s changed since then?

Tram routes

Route 69 is now route 16, connecting via St Kilda Beach through to the City/Melbourne University.

The other tram routes are much the same, though route 8 currently runs through to Moreland. There is a proposal for this to connect instead at Domain to route 55, running via William Street, the hospital precinct and the Zoo to West Coburg, forming route 58. PTV want feedback on this.

I think it’s a good idea. It’s part of a plan to better balance out large and small trams where the former are needed, and (if I understand this right, is yet again completely undersold by PTV) is associated with a frequency boost to 10 minutes across the entire tram network. Even if it’s not quite all of the network, they should be shouting about this from the rooftops.

I’m less sure about the route number. If you want to confuse people on the northern end, replace route 55 with route 8. If you want to confuse the people on the southern end, replace the 8 with the 55. Seems to me calling it 58 just confuses everybody.

But I digress.


Tram frequencies are mostly the same, but on Sundays they’ve improved a lot, particularly on Sunday afternoons, mostly to every 12 minutes.

Of course the imagery of tram conductors selling you a ticket isn’t something you’d see now! In fact these days you can’t buy a ticket (or top up a Myki) on a tram at all — both options were originally planned for the Myki system, but removed in the 2011 “de-scoping” by the Coalition state government.

No tram museum in Malvern anymore — you want the Hawthorn tram museum, up the road.


A footnote says a “small increase in fares” is due 1/1/93.

The $1.90 zone 1 2-hour base fare is now $3.76 on Myki.

The 2014 price for Z1 was $3.58. The RBA calculator only goes as far as 2014; it says if the $1.90 in 1992 had gone up only by CPI, it would have been $3.37 in 2014. But remember there was a slight price cut in 2013 when everyone was forced off single tickets onto Myki.

Due to the removal of zone 3 (2007) and the capping of zone 1+2 fares to the zone 1 rate (2015), the $4.50 quoted for zones 1+2+3 back then is now $3.76 as well. (With CPI rises, this would have been $7.97 in 2014. It was actually $6.06 then.)

This reflects what we know about fares — over the years, the removal/capping of zones has meant a real terms cut for those travelling in 2 or 3 zones. But zone 1 has increased in real terms. ‘Cos everyone in zone 1 is rich, right?

Other changes

I’m not sure why they list South Yarra and Malvern as being only on the Dandenong/Pakenham line. (The Cranbourne line didn’t exist then.) The Frankston line served both of those, though maybe they didn’t want people confused by expresses. These days it’s mostly the Dandenong line trains that run express.

The flyer doesn’t mention train frequencies, but outside peak, these have increased a lot since 1992. Back then most trains were every 20 minutes on weekdays, 40 on Sundays. Across the network, Sunday frequencies mostly doubled in 1999, and more recently the Frankston and Dandenong lines got upgraded to every 10 minutes or better, 7 days a week.

As for the shopping centre itself — how has that changed? Others might know better than me, but my guess is Malvern Central (which isn’t really in central Malvern) might be the biggest change there — as well as the de-regulation of shopping hours under Kennett.

Happy shopping!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

26 replies on “How to go shopping by public transport in Malvern”

Funny to remember how things were. Regarding 8 & 55, while many will be unhappy with route 8 not travelling along St Kilda Road and Swanston Street, in the morning peak an 8 tram can empty half it’s load at Domain Interchange, with perhaps half of those leaving then transferring to a 55.

I had no idea the proposed 58 etc tram routes changes are also intended to boost frequency. That’s hugely beneficial – can they really be keeping quiet about that?

Daniel, you wrote:
“As for the shopping centre itself — how has that changed? Others might know better than me, but my guess is Malvern Central (which isn’t really in central Malvern) might be the biggest change there.”

Do you mean that you’re not sure Malvern Central existed in 1992? (Assuming that flyer is from 1992)

It most definitely did. I lived within walking distance of Malvern Station from 1986 to 1992.

I can’t remember if Malvern Central was already built when I first moved to the area in 1986. It may have been still under construction – I can’t recall. There were lots of things being redeveloped in the area at the time. The old Hoyts Cinema on the corner of Glenferrie and Dandenong Roads, for instance, was still there in 1986. I remember seeing Crocodile Dundee there, and being quite pleased that for the first time in my life I could WALK to the cinema! How civilised! But it was gone a few years later, alas, and replaced by some bland office building.

But Malvern Central definitely existed by early 1988, because that’s when I got a job in one of the shops there. In late 1992 I moved away from the area.

I think the frequency changes haven’t been emphasized too much because it’s only from 12 -> 10 minutes, and the Swanston St is losing a route, so the frequency improvement will only make up for what was lost. The slated improvements of services at all times to at least every 20 should be very beneficial though, as many tram services are still very infrequent up to midday on Sundays.

I use other routes in St Kilda Rd, so my use of the number 8 is occasional, not regular, but re-routing it up William Street doesn’t seem logical to me. Other trams, by the time they get to Domain Interchange, are often already crowded, making it tough for commuters from Toorak Rd who want to go to Swanston St, RMIT or the University (who I suspect are the majority) and who BTW will need to touch on again. Mention has been made that many people get off at Domain Interchange, but how many of these actually transfer to route 55? Perhaps many are office workers heading south in St Kilda Rd?
Even if capacity is maintained off-peak, there doesn’t seem to be any suggestion that capacity will be increased at peak times or evenings, so the re-routing will increase crowding on the remaining trams at these times in the Fed Square/Domain Interchange section. This is often an issue, and in particular some of the trams (especially the 8s) even late on Friday and Saturday evenings are jam-packed here.
Of course, there will be a big transitional issue, especially educating people travelling from the city.
More generally, I’m unclear what “problem” the re-routing is intended to solve. Over-crowding? Well, more or bigger trams is the answer, not deterring passengers on what is obviously a popular route. Punctuality? Well, if both ends of the number 8 route are problematic, terminate route 8 at the University and send the 6 route up Lygon St (as is proposed – even though smaller trams are at present generally used on the route 6 than on route 8). To fully utilise the re-built Domain Interchange? errr….this sounds like a “we know what is best for you” approach (“We’ve built it and you must come”)! To give better access to William St from St Kilda Rd? Well, the proposal doesn’t do that, but if this is a need, then combine routes 5 and 55 (but wait on, this would mean having to abandon the penny-pinching Wattletree Rd shuttle in the evenings).
On the upside, the re-routing will be welcomed by the gentlemen from Toorak on their way to and from lunch at the Australian Club!

I’m not sure that transfers (if reqd) are all that bad, if in fact the 55/8 are the ‘best combination’ to through-route. It certainly works well on the train system for cross-platform interchange, and allows other service improvements (reliability, frequency).

What really strikes me that in 15 years, there’s not a single tram extension… and we’re also now more or less a single-zone fare system, compared to 3.

It was good to see some promotion of PT back then. thanks for sharing.
I thought we had “scatchees” as tickets by late 1980s. Yet the cartoon shows the old paper tickets. Does anyone remember when scatchees replaced paper tickets? Thanks

@Dave – 55-8 through route allows the pointwork at Domain Interchange to be fixed, so there won’t be any waiting for points to throw, or risk of delays if a part fails in peak.

The tram network has been extended since 2000-
a) June 2003 – route 109 extended from Mont Albert to Box Hill
b) July 2005 – route 75 from Blackburn Rd to Vermont South

@David Stosser, sorry I meant short extensions in the area Daniel had posted on to improve network connectivity, so extending #6 250m to Glen Iris station, #16 to Kew Junction/#48, 72 to Doncaster Rd/#48 and/or south to Dandenong Rd, and the like.

A few random points:
– Many people on Route 8 already transfer at South Yarra Station for a quicker journey, and this connection will continue to be available (eg. if you’re heading to Melbourne Central in the morning, it is already faster to transfer).
– Many people traveling into the city on Routes 8 and 55 already need to transfer to other trams in the city to reach their destination, so for those passengers it just changes the transfer point (eg. someone going from Toorak to Dockland can change at Collins/William, rather than Collins/Swanston).
– Paper tickets and scratchies co-existed (scratchies never replaced paper tickets – just supplemented them).
– I think it’s reasonable to say that one of the Swanston Routes needs to head down William. The question is whether this is the right route. I think it is for a number of reasons, including the interchange available at South Yarra (offering connections across the city). By a process of elimination, you probably wouldn’t want to move the 72 as there are already bus connections on Commercial Road to the western end of the city. You wouldn’t want to change the 16 as it already connects with the 86 and 12 to offer connections to the western end of the city. By a process of elimination I think that the 8 is the ideal candidate to link with the 55.
– I agree with Daniel, change the 55 to the 8 rather than call it 58. :) I know it will be confusing for some passengers for the first few weeks, but I think that can be countered.
– The new 58 would have larger trams which is a key part of the proposal.

I forgot to add, back in 1992, before that, and until now there was/is a good connection between the 16, and 8 (at Toorak/Glenferrie Rds).

They’re proposing to break it by adding 125m walk, and a set of traffic lights between these two services. That’s at least 2-4 minutes extra time to transfer, for every single transfer – 800/day on current numbers. Neither route is really frequent enough at present that just missing a tram doesn’t hurt. It’s painful enough with poor reliability (worst in Melbourne) on the 16.
If you think this worsening of the connection is unacceptable, take a look at the proposal here and send feedback:
Alternatives include moving proposed stabling to the east side of Toorak Rd, using ‘rollover’ (Bridge Rd, Macarthur St) platforms to provide level boarding in the current location, or terminating 8 (58) trams in Glenferrie Rd south.
I can’t believe that a proposal that reduces connectivity saw the light of day.

Finally – since the brochure does talk about Malvern depot – what is it with depot runs never showing up on TramTracker? So frustrating to have a ‘d’ tram sail past after you thought the next service wasn’t for 13 minutes, and started the walk home/to the station. Plus it’s not like that depot is great at actually logging trams into TT for their first run of the day, either… (don’t worry, this feedback also provided direct to Yarra Trams, for all the good it does – these ‘small’ things cumulatively matter to the ease of public transport experience, compared to a car which 99.99% of the time, is where/when you expect it [i.e. where you left it]).

I could not understand the title. Are they advising Malvern residents how to shop somewhere else ? Or are they encouraging people who live elsewhere, to come to Malvern ?

Apart from that, I like this. It is often very difficult for people who are not fulltime public transport users to know which nearby places they can get to easily, as well as those they can’t.

If in doubt, people tend to assume that they can’t, so they drive instead.

That Toorak Rd plan looks like a lemon. There’s no way to “send feedback” apart from calling them.

That promotional leaflet is a very handy way to promote public transport to a location.

There should be a whole series of them, covering many different locations. They should work two ways, help promote the shops, and compensate for the loss of parking with these new tram stops, as well as promote how easy it is to use public transport getting to the locations.

Also, we could have other like flyers for everything from Fountain Gate S/C, to Mid Valley in Morewell, and various points of interest such as the Melbourne Zoo, Soverigen Hill and more.

You really need three maps for each;
#1, Something highlighting the venue and where transport stops are located
#2, Network of direct routes and services, and if possible inclusive of all modes.
#3, A small summary of connecting services, including access to/from the city if a direct link does not exist.

You say the above example was just after Kennet got in?
Was it done under the authority of Kennet, or would it have been done under Kerner but took that long to develop and release?

Re the PDF of the plans for #8 terminus?

The image in the first page is upside down.

Here is me thinking it is similar of what they did in Adelaide, at the then new CDB terminus.

I prefer the new number #58. Given the route will be totally different to the old #8. If we where to keep either #55 or #8, #55 would be better than #8, as you are doing nothing more than extending #55.

I feel that keeping #8 with the new route, you are more likely to have more confusion keeping it, as people who jump on #8, will often think it goes along the old #8 route. Numbering it #58, should jog peoples out of that habbit of the tram going via Swanston street, and empathise the need to change at the domain for access to Swanston Street.

Given it retains the #8 as the units, should mitigate the confusion factor somewhat, compared to calling it with another units value such as #09 or #51 etc.

I may suggest #5 would be the best candidate to be diverted via Willam, and terminate at Dudley street, otherwise #6 could be ok.

These days if I saw a promotion for how to go shopping in an area I’d expect it to be funded by local retailers or maybe by the council.
Did PTV have similar brochures for other areas? Malvern doesn’t really have much of an identity as a shopping area per se. I see it more as 3 separate areas: Glenferrie Rd / High St / Malvern Central.
Does PTV promote its services in this sort of way any more? I’ve seen suggestions to catch the train to major events, but not specific suburban areas.

Hi Dan,
please reply is there only 6 authorised officers on v line because i saw 6 on a train between gisborne and sunbury yesterday?

@Jason, I don’t know if PTV had brochures for other areas; I don’t recall seeing any. I have long thought they have a problem with promotion – virtually nobody knows about the 10 minute services, for instance (and they’re making the same mistake again in only quietly mentioning it in relation to the proposed tram change).

@Tom, there used to be only a small number of V/Line and bus Authorised Officers. I don’t know whether that’s still the case, but there are now a lot of multi-modal AOs — see this recent post.

@Dave – just like the train system, the tram system has some trips which are not “advertised” or part of the contract and can be cancelled at any time without penalty. Most (but not all) depot trams fall into this category, and as such they don’t appear in timetables, or on tramtracker. Generally (but not always), a depot tram is scheduled to run just after or just before a “regular” trip (one going all the way to the usual destination). Trams are assigned electronically by fleet operations, nothing to do with particular depots whether trams appear in tramtracker at certain times of the day.

In relation to the 8/55 merger, I am surprised people haven’t raised the problem of Toorak Rd traffic congestion and what impact this will have on the remainder of the proposed route. Route 55 is a very busy, frequent route in the peak (4 minute headways for a portion of the PM peak) and having 3 or 4 (or more) trams become bunched on the Toorak Rd side heading to West Coburg will be a disaster for passengers trying to get towards West Coburg. You already see this occurring with the 8 towards Moreland (and towards Toorak, as Lygon St isn’t particularly quiet these days either), but to an extent this is mitigated by the 1 (which is less prone to late running). Longer routes might make sense in settings where most or all of the tram’s journey is separate from traffic, but that is not the case in Melbourne, especially roads like Toorak Rd, Lygon St.

I’m a fairly frequent shopper in Glenferrie Rd Malvern, and because I live outside the tram network I have to use the trains. Unfortunately whereas most trains on the Dandenong/ Pakenham line used to stop at Malvern, now you have to get off at Caulfield, touch off, run out of the station and touch on to get on a Frankston line train on platform 1. This is frustrating when you only want to go 1 station, and of course, more often than not, there isn’t enough to time to sprint down the ramp and onto platform 1 so you miss the train. I estimate this adds about 15-20 minutes to my trip to Malvern from Hughesdale on average. Then the whole process happens in reverse on the way back. Quite often I’ll just walk from Glenferrie Rd to Caulfield just to avoid the change. I wonder what all the boys going to De La Salle
College from Carnegie/Murrumbeena/Hughesdale do ( and there are a lot of them). For me this change has been one of the most frustrating over recent years.

@Ange, I can see how this would be annoying.

A big part of the problem is that on weekends, they’ve timed the inbound trains to depart Caulfield at exactly the same time, so it’s inevitable that anybody trying to change trains will just miss their connection. Outbound is a 3 minute connection, so also risky.

I’m not sure how it would add 15-20 mins “on average” to the trip – in theory it should add 10-12 (about 2 mins to change platforms, and a max 10 min wait unless there are delays). But it’s still annoying… especially when the weather isn’t nice.

Given what the Metro rail tunnel will do, it’d be good to get Caulfield reconfigured for cross-platform interchange (in both directions). It works well where provided at places like Richmond.

Meanwhile, they should tweak the timetables so the connection at Caulfield is better.

“Cos everyone in zone 1 is rich, right?”

Nothing to do with deliberate provocative comments about zone 1 being rich. Zone 2 and 3 were deliberately and stupidly priced too high from the start. They were priced deliberately to force out the residents and deter them from catching public transport.

That is why zone 2 and 3 have “fallen” and zone 1 is now “higher”. It is called later governments actually realizing they were destroying the Melbourne by making the price of driving in from the suburbs similar to the cost of public transport.

I agree with Marcus. It’s not like it was well planned – otherwise the removal of zone 3 in 2007 wouldn’t have caught the Myki system on the hop, and left anomalies like Lara station, which is now in zones 2, 3 and 4!

Likewise if we’d known Melbourne would one day be (effectively) a single zone, a lot of heartache training people to touch-off after every trip could have been avoided.

It’s also led to anger from people living just outside zone 2, who now pay far more per kilometre for their trips into Melbourne than some of their metropolitan cousins – see some examples here:

Of course, there are benefits, and I’d assume in some cases it has opened up inner-city job/education opportunities for Z2 people who might have found the fares unaffordable otherwise. But it was still basically politically motivated.

(I see we’ve covered some of this ground before, in the comment discussion here)

The Malvern issue is something I would really like PTUA to pursue…I know that Malvern isn’t an “interchange” station, but it is obviously more significant than Armadale/Toorak/Hawksburn.

Surely the extra minute or so that would be added to the journey times by having Dandenong group trains stop here most of the time is not such a problem from a timetabling aspect?

I would like to see it go back to a situation where a majority of trains stop at Malvern, with only some peak expresses skipping it.

At the very least, as you mention, Caulfield group services should be timed so that quick connections can be made at Caulfield for those that are forced to change.

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