By Juliano Oliveira
The first step in the introduction of a new ticketing system in Queensland has started with an express gate trial at Brisbane Central Station. In the next few years, the government plans to introduce more than 13,500 new devices that will accept credit or debit cards, and smartphones in addition to go cards and paper tickets.
The current test consists of keeping four express gate exits at the Edward Street side of the station and making use of visual and technological changes designed, according to the Queensland Government, to improve customers’ exit times during the month-long trial. TransLink staff will be assisting the passengers throughout the trial.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said commuters could try the revamped gates at Brisbane’s busiest train station between 7am and 9am from October 22 to November 22 by simply using their go card. “These trials and tests are part of building a world-class ticketing system for Queensland. It’s a crucial step in creating a system that means all Queenslanders will be able to use their smartphones, smartwatches, credit or debit cards to easily catch public transport,” he said.
Initially, the trial will collect data about customer behaviour at the gates. With this information on hands, the government will decide what improvements should be made to the system. “It will also be about listening to customers who have wanted faster gates, especially during peak times,” affirms Mr Bailey.
Researchers Professor Alexander Paz, Transport and Main Roads Chair and Associate Professor Jonathan Bunker from QUT’s School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, working on the trial responses said the trial would determine the future of the new, streamlined system for passengers.
“The Express Gates trial is consistent with TMR’s goals as a customer-centric organisation. Before deploying major expensive changes to the existing system, TransLink is field-testing the effects on travellers, of alternative ways like this to operate fare gates,” Professor Paz said.
Within the project is also the installation of some of the new Smart Ticketing equipment on North Stradbroke Island Buses who will be trialling the driver unit and printer on Minjerribah later this month. Minjerribah will be the first of five regions to do so and will be followed by Innisfail, Bowen, Maryborough and Hervey Bay, says the government.