By Juliano Oliveira
Public transport on the Gold Coast will accept payments through smartphones, debit or credit cards and smartwatches as of December 14.
The coastal city in the south of Queensland will be the first to implement the $371 million statewide smart ticketing project.
Devices installed at Gold Coast tram stations will take MasterCard, AMEX and smart technology payment methods in addition to the existing go card and paper ticket system.
Commuters will be able to pay with their devices at any of the Gold Coast’s 19 light rail stations:
- Parkwood East
- Gold Coast University Hospital
- Griffith University
- Queen Street
- Nerang Street
- Southport South
- Broadwater Parklands
- Main Beach
- Surfers Paradise North
- Cypress Avenue
- Cavill Avenue
- Surfers Paradise
- Florida Gardens
- Broadbeach North
- Broadbeach South
Over the next three years, the Government expects to roll out the full project across the state.
“The Palaszczuk Government is building light rail to Burleigh, three new train stations on the Gold Coast and now Australia’s sixth-largest city will lead the way on new ways to pay,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
“It’s a huge coup for the city’s $12 billion tourism and hospitality industry alongside our other tourism initiatives and our record $4 billion spent on Gold Coast roads and transport that’ll support jobs as part of Queensland’s economic recovery.
“As part of the ongoing trial, commuters will simply have to touch their MasterCard, AMEX or smart device to the ticketing machine before hopping on board a tram, and tapping off when they depart.”
Mr Bailey affirmed that TransLink staff would be on the ground throughout the trial to help commuters with the system.
North Stradbroke Island, Innisfail, Bowen, Maryborough and Hervey Bay buses have already been trialled on parts with the method now tested on the Gold Coast.
“Today’s milestone means that in just three years commuters in Queensland will have one ticket system from Cairns to Coolangatta,” Mr Bailey said.
TransLink’s Matt Longland said more card companies would be approached in the future.
“So far, Mastercard and American Express have signed on early to support Smart Ticketing which is great, and we are hopeful that other major card networks will follow in the future.”
G: link Chairman John Witheriff said the new system would significantly differentiate how their customers travel across the network.
“Customers can continue to use their go card or purchase paper tickets as usual, and for those taking advantage of the new ways they can pay with Smart Ticketing, we are encouraging them to prepare early, present one card or device to pay with, and make sure they tap on and off with that same payment method.”