Contract signing provides glimpse of public transport future
20 October 2003
A key element in the future of public transport was unveiled in Perth yesterday.
Transperth's new SmartRider ticketing system went on display at a function to mark the signing of a $30million Public Transport Authority of Western Australia contract with Delairco Bartrol/Wayfarer Transit Systems.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Perth's public transport users would be the first in Australia to be offered a fully-integrated smartcard ticketing system when SmartRider was introduced late next year.
"This system offers a whole raft of benefits for Transperth and its patrons in the areas of safety and security, efficiency, economy and customer service," Ms MacTiernan said.
"By the end of 2004, people using Transperth bus, train and ferry services will be able to pay their fare by simply tagging on and off at the beginning and end of each journey. This will be done by passing the card over a sensor.
"The SmartRider, which is about the size of a credit card, will have an embedded chip and aerial, enabling it to interact with a reading device on a station platform or bus.
"Passengers need not know the zones they travel or what the fare should be - the system will automatically calculate the lowest appropriate fare and display this at the end of each trip.
"Cardholders will be able to top up their SmartRider credit at special machines at major stations, selected newsagents, or by telephone or Internet through banks or credit societies and, because the cards can be registered, lost or stolen cards can be hot-listed."
Cash tickets will still be available but the user-friendly features of the new card - which will replace the 10-year-old MultiRider magnetic stripe system - are expected to make it very popular.
Ms MacTiernan said the ease of use - SmartRider could be used while still in a wallet or purse - would benefit people with manual disabilities and speed up the boarding process. It would also generate accurate patronage data, which would help refine timetabling and scheduling.
"Fare gates will be built at all major train stations and stand-alone readers - or validators - will be installed at all the others," she said.
"The introduction of the fare gates will help reduce fare evasion and increase security.
"There will also be staff present at all gate centres.
"Hand-held readers will enable our transit guards to ensure that passengers have correctly validated their cards at the start of each journey."
The SmartRider initiative will replace all other proposed ticketing strategies, including ticket machines on trains.
Delairco/Wayfarer was named as the preferred tenderer in mid-July. The contract, which covers supply, installation, maintenance and management services over 10 years, will inject millions of dollars into the Perth economy. Major elements of the various SmartRider machines will be WA-made and assembled.
Ms MacTiernan said Delairco/Wayfarer would expand its national service centre in Perth to maintain not only the Transperth system, but also similar ticketing systems across Australia.
Following a review of the tender process by the State Supply Commission, Ms MacTiernan said the State Government was confident that the SmartRider would provide best value for money.
The Gallop Government is making transport a better choice by investing in Transperth Network.