How Melbourne's toll roads operate
Melbourne has two toll road operators - Transurban who manage CityLink (parts of M1, M2 and Batman Avenue) and ConnectEast who manage EastLink (part of M3).
There are no toll booths on Melbourne's toll roads. Collection of tolls is done automatically, without slowing down or stopping. At each toll point, vehicles pass under a gantry which is fitted with both communication scanners and cameras.
If a motorist has fitted a small electronic tag to the windscreen of their vehicle, the gantry scanner communicates with that tag to register usage of the toll road to the motorist's toll account.
For vehicles not fitted with electronic tags, overhead cameras use number plate recognition technology to identify the vehicle for billing purposes.
CityLink consists of three tolled roads:
- Southern Link (M1) - Monash Freeway between Power Street (Southbank) and Toorak Road (Malvern). It includes the Domain and Burnley Tunnels.
- Western Link (M2) - Tullamarine Freeway between West Gate Freeway (Port Melbourne) and Bell Street (Strathmore). It includes the Bolte Bridge
- Batman Avenue - between Flinders Street and Olympic Boulevard (Melbourne). It extends from south of entrance "A" to north of entrance "B" at Melbourne Park.
See CityLink or phone 13 26 29 (+61 3 9945 0800 from overseas).
EastLink consists of one continuous toll road:
- EastLink (M3) between Springvale Road (Nunawading) and Frankston Freeway (Seaford), including the Melba and Mullum Mullum Tunnels
See EastLink or phone (03) 9955 1400 (+61 3 9955 1400 from overseas).
Toll road signage
Toll roads in Melbourne have blue signage with gold coloured lettering. This is in contrast to the green signage with white lettering used on roads that do not require the payment of tolls for their use.
Visitors to Melbourne
Are you driving a rental vehicle?
Most hire car operators will have arrangements in place allowing you to drive the vehicle on Melbourne's toll roads without restriction and you will be automatically billed for any usage. These arrangements will either consist of an electronic tag fitted to the vehicle's windscreen or the registration of the vehicle's number plate with toll road operators for identification during your rental period. Confirm these arrangements when collecting your vehicle. Additional processing charges may be added to standard toll fees.
If your hire car operator is covering all toll usage, you should not contact toll road operators to buy toll passes or pay for usage, otherwise you may end up paying twice.
Are you driving a private vehicle fitted with an electronic tag?
Electronic tags issued by any toll road operator in Australia will work on all of Melbourne's toll roads. Simply drive though toll gantries without stopping and usage charges will be automatically billed to your own toll road account.
Are you driving a private vehicle without an electronic tag?
If you currently have a toll road account with any toll road operator in Australia and you have registered your vehicle's number plate with them, simply drive though toll gantries without stopping. Toll charges will be automatically billed to your own toll road account. You will be charged a number plate matching fee as an electronic tag has not been detected, however this is waived for motorcycles.
If you don't have a toll road account, you will need to make payment either prior to or no more than 3 days after using a toll road.
Casual toll road passes can be purchased by either:
- Visiting the CityLink or EastLink website and making payment online
- Phoning CityLink on 13 26 29 or EastLink on (03) 9955 1400
- Purchasing a pass over the counter at any post office in Victoria
- Purchasing a pass at selected newsagents and service stations
When purchasing a casual pass, you will be asked to provide your vehicle's registration number so that it can be recognised by cameras when driving through toll gantries.
CityLink casual passes provide unlimited travel for 24 hours for a fixed fee on either the entire tollway or just the "Tulla" section between Bell Street and Flemington Road. There is a special weekend pass that offers unlimited travel on the entire CityLink tollway from midday on Friday to Sunday night for the same cost as a weekday 24 hour pass.
EastLink casual passes are single trip passes that cover one journey of any length in one direction on the tollway. Therefore a return trip on EastLink requires the purchase of two passes.
A convenient option for visitors to Melbourne planning to make multiple trips on any of Melbourne's toll roads over an extended period of time is a Melbourne Pass. No electronic tag is required and tolls are automatically charged to your nominated credit card using number plate recognition technology when driving through toll points. This arrangement simplifies things as you don't need to keep buying casual passes and you only accumulate charges when you actually use toll roads. The Melbourne Pass is valid for up to 30 days and can be extended for up to another 30 days if required.
Are you unsure if you used a toll road in your private vehicle?
If you are not sure if you used a toll road and don't have an electronic tag, toll account or you have not purchased a toll pass within 3 days of travel, then toll operators will automatically post you out an invoice to pay.
To avoid having an invoice issued, which attracts additional processing fees, ensure you contact the appropriate toll road operator within 3 days of your journey to arrange payment.