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You Can Now Ditch Your Go Card on Gold Coast Trams Thanks to Queensland's Smart-Ticketing Trial

The Queensland Government is aiming to roll out digital ticketing across the entire state within three years.
By Sarah Ward
December 22, 2020
By Sarah Ward
December 22, 2020

When Queensland's Go Cards were introduced, they were billed as a quicker, easier way to pay for public transport — but if you've ever had trouble topping up, been wrongly slugged for not touching off or been forced to pay paper ticketing prices after leaving your card at home, then you might disagree. In fact, you've probably been dreaming of a day when you won't need that little piece of plastic. Well, we have good news: ditching your Go Card is about to become a reality.

Back in 2018, it as revealed that the Queensland Government was planning to trial and implement electronic payment methods for public transport — and, as of this month, the first such trial is underway. If catching a tram on the Gold Coast is in your future, you can now pay for your ticket using your smartphone, MasterCard or AMEX credit or debit card, or smart watch.

In effect since Monday, December 14, the trial is part of the Queensland Government $371 million smart-ticketing project — which is designed to complement rather than replace the existing system. So, if you do happen to be attached to your Go Card for some reason, you can keep using it.

And, this test run is ongoing, taking place across 19 the Gold Coast's 19 light rail stations from Helensvale right through to Broadbeach South. Patrons just need to touch their phone, card or watch to the bright pink ticketing machine before boarding a tram, then tap off when they hop off.

A caveat: if catching a tram is just part of your public transport journey, you'll still want to use your Go Card, given that you can't transfer your ticket to a bus or train under the current trial. Also, the test is only available for adult fares, not concessions.

If you aren't visiting the Goldie any time soon — or you aren't jumping on a tram while you're there — the plan is to roll out the system across all of Queensland in the next three years. Exact timings of when Brisbanites can expect to ditch their Go Cards hasn't yet been revealed, however.

Smart ticketing is currently being trialled on the Gold Coast tram network, across 19 light rail stations. For further details, check out the Queensland Government statement and head to the Translink website.

Top image: Bahnfrend via Wikimedia Commons.

Published on December 22, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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