The Queensland government is set to begin trialling its next generation public transport ticketing system after passing laws to allow commuters to use credit and debit cards and smartphones as tickets.
Transport minister Mark Bailey said a series of regional trials of the upgraded Go Card smart card system would take place from “late 2019” following passage of the state's Personalised Transport Ombudsman Bill.
“Trial sites include Innisfail and Bowen in North Queensland, as well as Minjerribah, otherwise known as North Stradbroke Island, Maryborough and Hervey Bay,” he told the state’s parliament this week.
“The regional trials will provide TransLink with an opportunity to test and refine elements of the smart ticketing system before it is rolled out across Queensland, including Townsville.”
The new ticketing system is being rolled out by the government at the cost of $379 million to give commuters to option to pay with credit and debit cards and smartphones for the first time.
The upgrade will see new readers and faster fare gates installed across the public transport network, which will extend beyond the metropolitan south east to 18 rural areas, as well as an updated app.
Incumbent Go Card operator Cubic Transportation, which also delivers NSW’s Opal Card and London’s Oyster Card systems, was selected for the rollout in June 2018 after a three-year procurement process.
The bill, though primarily focused on creating a personalised transport ombudsman to resolve complaints, amends existing laws to support additional ticket types on the new system.
It enables the pilot by redefining the definition of ticket, so that it extends to contactless payment methods like debit and credit cards, smartphones and other wearables.
The bill also amends “existing provisions relating to unclaimed credit on passenger accounts to allow the continued use of unclaimed credit under the new smart ticketing solutions”.