Good news for all you night owls out there: 24-hour weekend public transport in Melbourne is set to continue into the middle of next year.
The state government first began trialling the Night Network at the beginning of 2016 with metropolitan train services, as well as select tram and bus routes, operating all night long. An average of 35,000 people currently use the network each week, more than 20 percent of whom are shift workers.
"This really is a case of Victorians voting with their feet," said Premier Daniel Andrews, who made the implementation of all night public transport a key election issue. And as someone who lives bang on the 96 tram line, this writer would like to thank him for it.
In a statement released yesterday, the current plan will see the trial extended until June 2017, providing more data to judge the efficacy of the network. According to The Age, some services have proved more popular than others. Specifically, it reported "hundreds of buses" travelling around Melbourne's suburbs with "virtually no passengers". The Shadow Minister for Public Transport David Hodgett has labeled the network a "costly, over-budget flop".
Point is, it looks like the jury is still out on making the network permanent. But at the very least, you'll be able to use it throughout summer.