Melbourne secondary school students will battle it out in a race of speed and skill in the city’s first Public Transport Challenge.
More than 100 students from schools around Melbourne will crisscross 40 of the city’s major landmarks in five hours, covering hundreds of kilometers on trains, trams, buses and ferries, aiming to outwit and outplay in strategy and speed.
Environment Victoria’s sustainable transport officer Charlie Davie said the Metlink EV Public Transport Challenge highlighted students’ concern for the environment.
“Students understand our addiction to cars is making both us and the environment sick. By taking part in today’s Challenge they’re sending a clear message that the environment matters and we must reduce pollution from cars,” said Mr Davie.
“Public transport allows kids to be independent and explore Melbourne, without relying on mum and dad’s taxi. The Challenge will let kids discover just how much of Melbourne is accessible by public transport.”
Metlink CEO Bernie Carolan said the Challenge taught students how the public transport system worked and how to best to use it.
“Leading up to World Environment Day, the Public Transport Challenge encourages young people to use an environmentally friendly form of transport,” said Mr Carolan.
“Engaging young people and encouraging them to be active and catch public transport has many benefits for our community both today and in the future.”
Students from nine schools, between years 7 to 10, in teams of four, including a teacher, will put Melbourne’s public transport to the test, gathering points as they race from such landmarks as the Collingwood Children’s Farm, Scienceworks and Como.
All locations are within 12 kilometres of Challenge HQ – Flinders Street Station. Half an hour before the official start today, teams will receive checkpoint locations and maps. Using Metlink timetables and transport maps each team will plan a route that will maximise their points and take them to their favoured attractions.
Students will also battle it out against a team of public transport staff and a celebrity Whitelion team, a not-for-profit organisation helping young people in the juvenile justice system. Event MC will be ex-Carlton player Glenn Manton. Schools include Princes Hill Secondary as well as Moonee Ponds Central, which provided advice on the event.