With Melbourne Cup happening next week on Tuesday, punters are being warned to pre-book their travel to and from events ahead of time to ensure they are not left stranded and out of pocket.
Those who chance it and try to book a rideshare on the day could end up paying seven times the normal fare, and with many drivers working across multiple rideshare platforms, there could be driver shortages.
Daniel Rombouts, founder of Get Picked Up,
the largest Australian owned rideshare company, can provide insight into ridesharing, how to avoid surge pricing and make it work for you.
On Tuesday, November 5, almost 100,000 people will be trying to make their way to Flemington Racecourse to be part of Australia’s most famous racing event.
There are a number of transport options Melbourne punters can consider:
YOUR OWN CAR
If you have a driver willing to monitor how much they drink, there is limited public car parking in the centre car park for $20. Enter via Smithfield Road at the Stables. There is almost no street parking unless you are a resident.
It’s not particularly friendly to slinky slim heels or a perfect pressed suit and tie, but public transport options are plentiful on Melbourne Cup Day. Special trains run direct to Flemington Racecourse from Flinders St, Southern Cross and North Melbourne stations on race days and a Flemington Racecourse public transport map is provided.
There will also be extra trams. Use route 57. Bus 472 takes you to the Riverbank entrance. Bus 404 takes you to the Stables Drive entrance and there are two free shuttle buses to take you home. Both leave every 15 minutes – one to Southern Cross Station from 3pm, the other to Footscray Station every 15 minutes from 4 pm.
Get Picked Up is the largest Australian-owned rideshare company. It is a pre-booked service only so absolute certainty is built into its system. Your driver will turn up at the designated time. If you have used Get Picked Up before you may also request your preferred driver. Its prices are structured to favour long distances and it takes great pride in its customer service.
Uber has its own pick-up and drop-off zones as the official rideshare partner of the Melbourne Cup for the second year. Find them by checking the Uber app for prompt or by following the signs at Flemington. UberX and Uber Pool are both available to Flemington, but not from it. Yes, Uber will be very busy so you could be left waiting for a long time and yes, there will be price surging.
If you want to match your winning outfit with an equally statement set of wheels, you can hire anything from a convertible and BMW to electric car or 7-seater through Car Next Door. With the option to rent from your neighbours by the hour or day, it’s both a convenient and competitive way to get behind the wheel of one of these cars. You’ll just have to contend with parking and watch the alcohol intake.
Taxis will be in high demand. Pre-book and allow some extra time in case your taxi is late. The highest peak time is usually around midday. The second highest is about 7pm. There is a large taxi line towards the Epson Road entrance to get you home.
An expensive option but the price of a larger limo can be split between up to ten people. Limos get you into the carnival spirit. The larger (and more expensive ones) come with party trappings such as a wet bar, LED lighting, flat screen TVs, iPod and iPhone Docks, CD & DVD players as well as music videos and songs to choose from. Premium examples include Enriklimousine’s Dark Angel 10 Seater Black Chrysler Limousine and Black Beauty’s Presidential Black Chrysler 300C stretch limousine with gull wings that seats up to 11 people. Note: these are subject to availability.
Fun. Elegant. Expensive. Microflite will take you from the Melbourne Heliport at Batman Park (opposite Crown Casino) to Flemington but you must pre-book. Uber has created a partnership with Microflite, Uber Chopper on Demand, to take you back to Melbourne Heliport. Numbers are limited and the one-way cost is $1,000 for up to six people. Use the Uber app.
Coming Out Of Town
The SkyBus express service will take you from Tullamarine Airport to the city centre for $20-$25 and that price includes your public transport fee for the day. A taxi to Flemington from Tullamarine will cost you upwards of $50.