Mask up on public transport or risk a $200 on the spot fine

Victoria Police will be at train stations, tram stops and bus stops throughout metro Melbourne and regional Victoria in a crackdown to ensure commuters are wearing face masks on public transport.

Fitted face masks are still mandatory when travelling on public transport, in ride share vehicles and in taxis throughout Victoria.

Government data shows 49 per cent of commuters either did not wear a mask or wore it incorrectly on trains. This was the same for 46 per cent of commuters on trams.^

Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said Victorians must do everything they can to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as the “pandemic is far from over”*. He said around half of all passengers on public transport were not wearing a mask and that he was “concerned by the level of complacency” of mask wearing on public transport.

Public Transport Ombudsman Simon McKenzie added that in Victoria’s constant changing COVID-19 environment, people should make sure they keep up-to-date before they travel.

“It’s very important that passengers check what they need to do to comply with the latest public health advice and conditions of travel on public transport – whether it’s wearing a mask correctly or making sure you have enough money on your myki,” Mr McKenzie said.

Mr McKenzie added that if people are unsure, they should check with the PTV call centre on 1800 800 007 before they travel.

Image shows people wearing face masks whilst using public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic. The photo has been taken from inside a train and shows five people sitting on the train while wearing face masks. Also visible through the open train door are four people walking on the station platform past signs for Flinders Street Station and Platform 1.

Free face masks

Minister Carroll told the ABC* that if people didn’t have a face mask with them, they could ask the ticket office at stations for a face mask before travelling.

"We'll be handing out masks at some 70 metropolitan train stations, some 50 V/Line stations, at tram stops. We're going to do everything we can to make sure Victorians mask up on public transport," Minister Carroll told the ABC*.

The Victoria Police Superintendent Andrew Humberstone said that police were responding to concerns from people within the community about diminishing mask compliance on public transport.

He said that police and PSOs would be offering free face masks as they take an "educational approach" about COVID-19 with passengers who didn’t wear a mask on public transport.

"We understand it may be easy to forget to pack a mask as you rush for the train in the morning or leave the pub after a few post-work drinks," Superintendent Humberstone said. 

However Superintendent Humberstone added that commuters who refused to wear mask when they were offered by police without a valid reason would be fined.

Minister Carroll told 3AW radio that anyone who refused to wear a mask when offered one would be handed out a $200 on-the-spot fine.

“If you say no, that will then be open for the police at their discretion to fine you. We’re really serious about this,” Minister Carroll said.**

For tips from the Public Transport Ombudsman on travelling on public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic check out: ‘Five ways you can travel safely on public transport

How to contact us

If you have a complaint about public transport you haven’t been able to resolve with the operator, we want to hear from you. You can call the PTO on 1800 466 865 or you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your phone number and a time that is best to contact you between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. (If we are unable to call you at this time, we will suggest another time.)

We can also be contacted via our online complaint form or you can send us a message via Facebook. We can also be contacted via The National Relay Service and Translating and Interpreting Service.

If you need any assistance with planning your travel, you can call PTV on 1800 800 007.

The PTO office is open during standard business hours, or enquiries can be lodged out of hours via the online complaint form via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone on 1800 466 865 (leave a message out of hours).

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^Source: Masks on trains: Police will issue fines to people not wearing masks on Melbourne’s public transport system ( 

*Source: Victorian commuters face fines for refusing to wear a mask on public transport in compliance crackdown - ABC News 

**Source: Mask blitz: Commuters who refuse to wear masks face $200 on-the-spot fines (