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This article is about the Melbourne public transport network. The same name is also used for public transport in Wellington.


Metlink, formerly The Met, is the marketing body and umbrella brand for public train, tram and bus transport operators in Greater Melbournemarker, Victoriamarker, Australia.

Responsibilities

The Met logo, the previous umbrella brand for metropolitan transport in Melbourne, in the 1980's and 1990's
Metlink is responsible for the promotion of travel by public transport. It publishes timetables, maps and guides, operates the multi-modal website www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au, provides a journey planner, call centre, market research and data collection. Metlink also accepts and processes customer feedback, and tracks lost property.

As well as re-branding the network, the Metlink initiative was intended to better integrate information about train, tram and bus transport in Melbourne, and therefore provide passengers with more information about connecting services.

During the re-privatisation of Melbourne's public transport system in April, 2004, the Metlink brand was transferred to a new company, Metlink Victoria Pty Ltd, whose role is also to perform several minor functions previously performed by the State Government and the franchise operators. Its ownership was then handed over to the two remaining major operators - Yarra Trams and Connex Melbourne. While they do not have a controlling interest, representatives of the Bus Association of Victoria and V/Line have input into Metlink.

Metlink also has responsibility for the Revenue Clearing House, the passenger information website (formerly Victrip), the 131 638 (131 MET) telephone service and the Met Shop.

Branding

A diagram of a CRT screen pair
Metlink signage colour coded by transport mode


Metlink has developed a master style guide for timetables, maps and other customer information, to complement the graphic design style of signage. The Metlink brand signage was implemented in 2003, with railway stations, tram and bus stops throughout Melbourne converted to Metlink-branded signage, replacing the inconsistent signage previously used by the various (some now defunct) public transport operators.

Under the Metlink branding system, railway station signage and timetables are colour-coded Blue, tram stop signs and timetables are colour-coded Green, and the bus network is colour-coded Orange. Additionally, the regional train network is colour-coded Purple.

Marketing

Metlink also acts as a marketing entity for public transport, and has released several TV advertisements. However, this is not an exclusive arrangement, as a separate set of TV advertisements was produced by Connex (featuring Sheena Easton and a trainload of passengers singing her 1980 hit Morning Train ) during April and May 2004. In mid-2005 Connex launched another independent print & TV advertising campaign, this time focusing on its safety initiatives, and featuring Humpty Dumpty. In 2006, Connex launched a TV campaign Don't Hold Others Back focusing on encouraging courtesy on the Melbourne Rail Network.

Metlink has also been active in encouraging use of 'value Metcards' (pre-purchased multi-trip and periodical tickets) and is known for running a "humorous" campaign called BATBYGOBSTOPL (Buying A Ticket Before You Get On Board Saves Time Or Problems Later). In July 2007, Metlink launched a new campaign, "I Highly Recommend You Get on the Bus", featuring musical comedian Frank Woodley, to promote improvements in bus services.

Viclink

Victoria's regional bus and rail services will at some future date be brought under a similar brand to Metlink named Viclink. Signage upgrades at regional railway stations have started from October 2006.

References

  1. About Metlink
  2. The Age: 'Transport goes back to the future' - June 10 2003
  3. The Age: 'Metlink brand cleans up public transport's image' - July 25, 2005
  4. The Age: 'Can't find platform 4, Flinders Street? Try Warrandyte' - October 25, 2004
  5. Metlink highly recommends you get on the bus
  6. Railpage: Viclinking V/Line Stations


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