I recently caught a flight to Melbourne for a conference and chose the cheap, fast and frequent Skybus service to transport me from Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport to my accommodation in the middle of Melbourne.
Your Choice: Expensive Taxi or Cheap SkyBus
There are no trains or trams from Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport to the city so the only options for transport are:
- Taxi (appx $50 one way/$100 return), or
- Cheap rapid transit Skybus service (roughly 1/4 the price of a taxi for a single traveller, 1/2 the price of a taxi for 2 parents+2 children)
Skybus carried 1.6 million people between Melbourne Airport and the city in 2007. It operates 7 days a week, including public holidays, with an average 20 minute trip between airport and city. Buses run every 10 minutes, 7 days a week including public holidays.
The Skybus city bus terminal is located at Southern Cross Station, Melbourne, near the corner of Little Bourke Street and Spencer Street.
At Melbourne Tullamarine Skybus stops to pickup passengers right outside arrivals at Terminal T1 (Qantas & Jetstar Domestic flights) and Terminal T3 (Virgin Blue Domestic, Tiger Airways, Rex, and all International flights).
- You can buy your ticket online and print it yourself (recommended) or at the Skybus ticket office (pictured at right) when you land at Melbourne Airport/the Skybus ticket office at Southern Cross train station when travelling to the airport
- If you’re flying in and back out from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport buy a RETURN ticket (roughly 20% discount) which is valid for 2 trips within 3 months of ticket purchase
- As an extra FREE service, Skybus has a fleet of mini-buses to transfer you between the Melbourne city bus terminal and your city hotel or motel (recommended that you book hotel transfers in advance)
- Skybus prices are fully inclusive of airport access, road tolls, Australian Goods & Services Tax and hotel shuttle transfers
- Luggage is generously limited to 2 large suitcases per person.
- Skybus is a carbon neutral service (PDF) because they offset bus emissions by planting trees through Greenfleet.
- The Skybus fleet has 100% enhanced mobility impaired access rapid transit vehicles (Book ahead to indicate you require wheelchair access). Equipped with kneel-down suspension, the vehicles are easy to access by mobility-impaired passengers. The Skybus Hotel Shuttle is also mobility enhanced, with wheelchair lifts installed on all Hotel Shuttle mini-buses.
I asked some friends who often fly to/from Melbourne Airport what they thought about the Skybus service:
Yep, the Sky Bus is wonderful – when the freeway clogs up it even goes up the inside so it’s faster than any taxi – Charis Palmer
it’s a very cool service isn’t it? Have used it several times. Boy do they need that in Sydney – Kalena Jordan