Major trial launched for new public transport smartcard
From today, about 2,000 Perth commuters will put Transperth's revolutionary smartcard-based ticketing system to the test, ahead of next year's full rollout.
SmartRider will become Australia's first, fully integrated, state-of-the-art smartcard public transport ticketing system.
New SmartRider hardware has been installed across the public transport system, including:
- smartcard processors on all buses, ferries and at train stations;
- fare gates at 11 high-patronage train stations; and
- wireless communication systems.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the 2,000-strong control group would be able to use their SmartRider cards on all buses, trains and ferries.
"During the next few months, our SmartRider pioneers will put the new smartcard technology through its paces," she said.
"The process of identifying any glitches or issues ahead of the system's full implementation will be exhaustive.
"Our volunteer pioneers include students, seniors, standard and concession fare holders and Public Transport Authority employees."
Ms MacTiernan said a comprehensive public education program, including extensive advertising and a series of public briefing sessions in shopping centres, would be held over the next few months, before the system was introduced to the broader public.
"We are on the cusp of introducing one of the most technologically significant improvements ever to Perth's public transport system - it is vital that the community is fully briefed on how the system will work and the benefits it will provide," the Minister said.
The existing MultiRider system will stay in place until at least March 2006 and cash fares will remain available after SmartRider is introduced.
The new SmartRider smartcard is the size of a credit card that allows commuters to tag on when they enter the system and tag off when they exit.
Each SmartRider card contains an embedded computer micro-chip and an aerial which allows it to record when and where you tagged on and off and to calculate the lowest, appropriate fare.
The card can be used without removing it from a wallet and purse, and transactions are processed within a fraction of a second, which means quicker boarding times.
"This trial is a crucial step in delivering a faster, more efficient and convenient public transport system," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The applications for this technology are limitless.
"This is all part of our commitment to delivering a world-class public transport system which, at the end of the day, is good for the environment, the liveability of our city and people's hip pockets."