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SmartRider trial an Australian first

Western Australia chalks up an Australian first today when SmartRider, a state-of-the-art cashless public transport ticketing system, goes into operation for the first time.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the plastic card - which would ultimately replace MultiRider tickets and provide an alternative to cash on Transperth's bus, train and ferry services - would undergo a four-week trial in the Stirling area before being introduced into general use within the next eight to nine months.

Ms MacTiernan said the trial, to assess its useability for passengers and drivers, would be carried out by 450 volunteer passengers using Stirling Station and connecting buses.



"We have already had a good indication of how well this new ticket will be received, in the overwhelming number of people volunteering to participate in the trial," the Minister said.

"More than 600 people from the trial area were keen to give it a go.

"While they will be given a card with a credit of $20 on it - or $10 concession - and discounted fares during the trial, the volunteers were keen to be the first in Australia to use this fully-integrated smartcard ticketing system."

Ms MacTiernan said the 450 people selected would join 50 Public Transport Authority staff in using the new credit-card sized ticket, which was tapped on a reading device on the station platform or bus.

The volunteers would be required to use the card at least twice a week, add value to the card at least once, and make an account inquiry to see how the system worked.

"This is another huge step in keeping Perth's public transport system as the most modern and convenient in Australia, and one of the best in the world," the Minister said.

"The embedded computer chip and aerial mean the card can be activated while still inside a wallet or purse, ending the days of needing to manually enter a card into a mechanically-operated reader.

"Passengers will tag on and tag off to activate the card at the start and end of each journey - and at each interchange, if are any are involved - and will not need to know what the fare is.

"The new system incorporates a global positioning system to determine the correct minimum fare to be deducted from the card, taking the timeframe and appropriate zone coverage into account.

"It will be possible to top-up credit on the card at value-adding machines on major train stations and selected bus stations, or by automatic electronic transfer if arrangements are made with the cardholder's financial institution."

Ms MacTiernan said that, in full operation, passengers would also be able to add value (or credit) to the card at Transperth InfoCentres (there were four in the city, at the busport, the Wellington Street bus and train stations, and in Plaza Arcade), and selected retail outlets, by B-Pay, or on board buses and ferries.

"SmartRider is the safe, cash-free way of buying a ticket," she said.

"It is more flexible, it is not restricted by the number of zones, it can be cancelled if lost or stolen and it makes boarding quicker and easier for passengers.

"As well as providing Perth with an Australian first, SmartRider will help reduce fare evasion and will provide better statistical information for infrastructure planning."

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