More Qlders to enjoy ‘tap and go’ benefits on PT

Commuters in regional Queensland would enjoy the same benefits as their city counterparts as the State Government prepared to overhaul the way Queenslanders paid for their public transport tickets.

The State Government had previously announced bank cards and smart devices would soon be used to pay for public transport and on Wednesday it revealed the proposed technology would also be rolled out to 18 regional locations around Queensland.

The ticketing overhaul, welcomed by RACQ, would bring Queensland’s public transport system in line with global cities like London, Chicago and Vancouver.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the announcement would make public transport use more convenient and hopefully encourage more commuters to choose the bus or train when travelling to work.

“Any move to encourage people to get out of their cars and onto public transport is a good one. Having more people choose buses and trains will reduce congestion on our roads” Dr Michael said.

“The way we pay for things has changed a lot since the go card was first introduced 10 years ago. Commuters will be able to ‘tap and go’ with a credit or debit card like they do when buying a coffee.

“The current system requiring a go card or paper ticket is quite restrictive and doesn’t make things easy for visitors and tourists looking to get around.

“We’re also happy the government has confirmed paper tickets and go cards will remain available for those without access to credit cards or smartphones.”

Dr Michael welcomed the rollout to regional centres but said its success hinged on effective communication with the community on how to use the system.

“This is a big change for regional public transport users, many of whom haven’t even had access to the go card system before. To encourage people to use regional buses there needs to be a good community education push,” she said.

Current go card operator Cubic has been awarded the contract for the new system after a two-year tender process. The new payment system was expected to be delivered in the next four years.

Where the new system would be rolled out in regional Queensland:

  • Cairns
  • Innisfail
  • Townsville and Magnetic Island
  • Bowen
  • Airlie Beach and Proserpine
  • Mackay
  • Yeppoon
  • Rockhampton
  • Gladstone
  • Bundaberg
  • Maryborough
  • Hervey Bay
  • Gympie
  • Sunshine Coast hinterland
  • North Stradbroke Island
  • Kilcoy/Woodford to Caboolture
  • Toowoomba