Queensland is looking to follow in the footsteps of New York and London, with a trail for a new, contactless payment system for local transportation, to the benefit of people looking for transport options alongside the common Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle, with the project expected to cost $371 million.
The new system will allow passenger in Queensland to pay for tickets to the state’s public transport systems with contactless payments, like bank cards or mobile phones. That being said, the new system will still allow for paper tickets and Go Ahead cards, so that passengers don’t get cut off.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey spoke on the proposed system, saying that commuters and tourists in the regional areas of QLD will have their own integrated ticket, which will make public transport more convenient, and, hopefully, lead to more people using Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle as regional tourism gets a leg up. The new system will also allow for real-time tracking, which will help the government keep track of transport in the regional areas.
The system is expected to be rolled out to several regions, covering Airlie Beach and Proserpine, Bundaberg, Cairns, Mackay, Maryborough and Warwick, North Stradbroke Island, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, and Townsville, among others.
Bailey explained how the trials will go, saying that the Transport Ministry will test the system on different modes and areas so they can fine tune the system and iron out any issues, then they’ll progressively roll it out until they decide on a launch date for the entirety of Queensland, sometime in 2021-22.
The intention, Bailey says, is to keep Go Cards and paper tickets around as a purely voluntary option, but they’ve noted that, in cities that have used similar systems, people see the advantages and switch quickly. But for people who prefer Go Cards and paper tickets, they won’t be left out, as Bailey reports that they have no plans to phase those options out.
The company that’ll be handling the system in Queensland is Cubic, the same company that launched a similar system in New York. They will be cooperating with Trans Link in order to implement the system in the state.