If you don’t have your own car, the quickest way to travel around Melbourne is Taxi or Rideshare.
Melbourne Taxi & Rideshare Services
Often the most reliable, convenient and extremely comfortable ways to travel around Melbourne is by taxi. In these changing times there are also now numerous rideshare options, including Uber, Lyft, Ola, Didi, and GoCatch; plus, scooter rental options like Lime and Neuron.
Easy to Find
Melbourne taxis are mostly either bright yellow, white or silver, with clear markings, making them easy to spot in thick traffic.
Uber in particular is a booming rideshare servie — just order via the app, and an Uber driver can arrive at your door in under 5 mins in some areas.
Taxi and rideshare services are available all hours, and if you’ve lost your Melbourne itinerary map, don’t worry because professional drivers know the major hotels, restaurants and attractions. For the growing tech savvy majority, you’ll of course have your smartphone on-hand to do the route planning for you!
To find taxi cabs in Melbourne, you can phone one of the taxi companies to make a booking, or you can wait at one of the many designated taxi ranks in and around the Melbourne CBD (Central Business District). Melbourne Airport also has a 24/7 taxi rank outside the arrivals terminal; and, other major shopping centres and train stations also have taxi stands.
You can also wait on most Melbourne CBD street corners, and catch the driver’s attention by just waving your hand. Unless the driver is unavailable, they will usually stop for you. If the sign on the taxi’s roof is lit up, it means the taxi is available for hire.
A number of ‘taxi totems’ are now located around Melbourne city and in some regional areas. These totems are lit up, making it easier for taxi drivers to see you. They also have signs listing your location, phone numbers, as well as details of other forms of Melbourne public transport, if you want to ring up and book a taxi.
Cost of Taxis
The actual cost for a taxi in Melbourne will of course vary on the length of your trip. Typically, on nights, weekends, public holidays, and during peak hour traffic, taxis are more expensive. A small ‘flag fall’ fee may apply. Rides are normally charged on a per-kilometre rate, but a CityLink or Eastlink tollway fee, airport rank fee and perhaps a booking fee can be added. The taxi driver’s metre should be clearly displayed, so you can check it’s running and easily keep an eye on your fare as it adds up.
Quick tip: if you’re using a metered taxi, check that the driver has the meter on at the start of the ride so they can’t overcharge later. For after midnight rides on Saturday and Friday nights, you may need to negotiate an “off meter price.”