Personal Safety
October 3, 2023
Crime Prevention
Travelling safely on public transport

Travelling safely on public transport

When travelling on public travelling on public transport, always stay alert, be aware of your surroundings and who is around you and watch for any signs of potential trouble.

Travelling on public transport in Victoria is one of the safest ways to travel. However, it’s important to know what to do to protect yourself from crime and bad behaviour. Here are our top tips.

Getting to your stop

  • If you park at the station, try to leave your car in a well-lit area and double check that all doors and windows are locked. Make sure your remove all items from the car or put them where they can’t be seen, such as the boot or glove box.
  • If you ride to the station, leave your bike in a secure Parkiteer cage. If there isn’t one, secure it to a fixed object using a heavy-duty D-Lock. 
  • Choose a well-lit and clear walking path that has lots of other pedestrians and passing traffic. Wear light-coloured clothing if possible and stay where you can be easily seen 

Before you get on

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings and who is around you.
  • If you have headphones in/on, keep the volume down or change the setting to “hear through” so you can still hear external sounds. 
  • Plan ahead to long waits for transport, especially at night. Download the PTV, Metro Trains, Yarra Trams or V-Line apps to access timetable information and plan journeys on your smartphone. 
  • When waiting at a stop or station, try to stay in well-lit areas and near other people. Stand or sit where you can be easily seen. On train platforms stay within the designated safety zone. 
  • If you’re topping up your Myki card, check who’s around before you take out cash or your credit cards.
  • Make sure any valuables like phones, wallets or laptops are safely secured in your bag or backpack. If you don’t have a bag, carry your phone and wallet in your front pocket. 
  • Avoid wearing expensive runners if you can. 

Once you're on board

  • Keep your belongings where you can see and touch them. Hold your bag tightly on your lap, rather than leaving it on the floor or in the overhead racks. Keep any expensive items well out of sight.
  • Choose a seat that makes you feel safe and secure – travel in a busy carriage and select seats close to the driver or conductor or near a family group. If you’re travelling alone, try to sit in the first carriage and avoid isolated or secluded spots.
  • Know where safety features such as emergency buttons, CCTV cameras, alarms and public transport staff are located.
  • Always trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or are uncomfortable with the person near you or sense that something isn’t right, change seats or carriages. If you feel threatened, tell the driver or conductor immediately.
  • Carry a fully charged mobile phone with you and use it if there’s an emergency. It can also be handy to carry a portable charger. Keep important numbers saved, such Triple Zero, the Police Assistance Line or helplines. 
  • Support other passengers. If you witness someone being harassed or abused, offer support by speaking up, intervening or moving to sit near them if it’s safe to do so. If you don’t feel safe, alert the driver or conductor. Having supportive bystanders present can reassure the victim and discourage offenders.
  • Whenever possible, travel with friends or in groups. There is safety in numbers, and potential offenders are less likely to target a group of people.

When you get off

  • Be sure to notice who gets off with you and where they are moving.  
  • Arrange for someone to pick you up. Text them before your train arrives so they’re waiting for you.  
  • If you’ll be returning at night, park your car as close to the station or stop as possible, in a well-lit area. 
  • If you feel unsafe walking to your car, the connecting bus or your bike, ask a Protective Services Officer to accompany you.

Protective Service Officers

  • Protective Service Officers (PSOs) are located at 216 train stations across metro Melbourne and 4 large regional stations daily between 6pm and the last train.
  • They also patrol train stations, trains, trams, major bus interchanges and surrounding areas every day and night.

Reporting an incident

  • If you are in immediate danger or it’s an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) straight away.
  • If you are experiencing unwanted sexual or anti-social behaviour on public transport, which is non-urgent, you can notify Victoria Police by texting STOPIT to 0499 455 455 (STOPIT is not monitored live).
  • If you wish to formally report a crime and the matter is non urgent call the Police Assistance LIne on 131 444 or submit an online report.
  • If you feel unsafe, alert the PSOs, public transport staff, police, the driver, conductor or other passengers to help. 
  • If you witness or experience abusive behaviour, report it straight away – use the emergency intercom, alert the driver or conductor, or notify PSOs or public transport staff. If necessary, contact the police.
  • Only take photos or videos of the incident if it’s safe to do so and you can do it discreetly. The offender may become even more abusive and violent if they see you filming them.

Get Police Assistance

For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
Call: 000
To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
Call: 131 444
To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000

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Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

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