Go Cards will no longer be needed for some south-east Queenslanders to take public transport, with a trial of bank-card-based travel to extend to Brisbane’s north-west suburbs.
, new readers will be trialled on Brisbane’s Ferny Grove train line from next week.
But, for now at least, concession cardholders and students will not be included in the trial.
Go Cards will still be accepted, but passengers will also have the option to tap on and off with their smartphones and watches, along with Mastercard, Visa and American Express cards.
During the trial period, the new methods of payment would only apply to adult trips. Down the track, eligible users would have to set up an account linked to their payment method to get concessional discounts.
Passengers leaving the Ferny Grove line, or going beyond Central Station, will still need to use their Go Cards.
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said, once fully rolled out, the system would be in place across the state, making it the largest such integrated system in the world.
But he said there was still a lot of work to do before that boast became reality.
For instance, just to bring it onto the south-east Queensland bus system, we’ll need 131⁄2 thousand installations, he said.
So this is an epic program and to unite all these different disparate systems into one system takes a bit of time.
Mr Bailey said it would allow visitors to Queensland to use public transport without having to buy a Go Card.
Just imagine, for all those people coming here for the Olympics and the Paralympics, this system will have been in place for them for nearly a decade, he said.
Most people will use it by that point and it’ll just be seamless for people coming to enjoy the Games.
The state government had initially planned to have the scheme phased in throughout Queensland by the end of this year, a target that looked unlikely as the Ferny Grove trial was announced.
Mr Bailey defended the delay, citing international supply chain issues as a major logistical challenge.
We’re dealing with Cubic here, who are an international company and they’ve put it in elsewhere and they’ve done it very well, he said.
Supply chains are under strain in a whole lot of different projects.
. . . Anything coming out of Shanghai and China at the moment is a big issue for the whole world economy.
Once fully operational, and after the trial period, concession passengers wanting to use the new methods of payment will need to set up an account linked to their preferred credit or debit account.
So if you got a smartwatch, you might have credit card or debit card, or a lot of people crossing using their mobile phones or their iPhones, whatever you feel comfortable with, you link it, he said.
The thing that you carry with you most often is probably what you’ll choose.