WA govt wants smartphone, card payments for SmartRider system

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WA govt wants smartphone, card payments for SmartRider system
Credit: EurovisionNim.

Govt to replace public transport ticketing platform.

The Western Australian government will spend $33.8 million overhauling its SmartRider contactless public transport ticketing system with an eye towards smartphone and bank card-based payments.

SmartRider is the RFID smartcard system for public bus, train and ferry services in Western Australia, allowing commuters to tap on and off while travelling through the transport network.

The MIFARE-based cards and Wayfarer ticketing machines went live to the public in January 2007.

The Western Australian government said its new $33.8 million investment - part of the 2017-18 budget unveiled last week - would "modernise" the 2007 platform and include "flexible" payment options.

The system also needs to be reinforced to cater to future commuter growth as part of the state's $1.3 billion Metronet rail project, it said.

Transport minister Rita Saffioti said all card readers as well as the back-end platform would be replaced.

"The existing SmartRider system has served the public of Western Australia very well but, as with all technology, there comes a time when both infrastructure and networks need to be upgraded and replaced," Saffioti said in a statement.

"More sophisticated card encryption technologies will be developed, while flexible payment options such as smartphone or debit or credit card tag-on capabilities are being investigated."

The next system is "expected" to be ready by 2021, in time for the completion of two of the first Metronet projects.

The Queensland government is also looking to introduce smartphone and bank card payments into its public transport network as part of its Go Card refresh, and Transport for NSW recently enabled card and mobile wallet payments on its longest Sydney ferry route in a trial of the technology.

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