Key info

The Queensland Government is investing $371 million in Translink's new Smart Ticketing system that is providing customers more ways to plan and pay for public transport across Queensland.

Smart Ticketing is a Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) initiative that is delivering a world-class public transport ticketing solution for Queensland.

Smart Ticketing is making it easier for you to plan and pay for your travel by:

  • introducing new ways to pay, including contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices;

  • upgrading existing ticketing equipment;

  • delivering new digital products to improve how customers can self-manage travel online via a new website, mobile app and access to real-time service information.

  • being rolled out across South East Queensland and regional urban bus services.

Smart Ticketing is introducing more ways to pay for your travel in Queensland. Contactless debit or credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express will be accepted with Smart Ticketing in addition to go cards and paper tickets.

Contactless debit or credit cards contain a computer chip that communicates wirelessly with payment terminals to complete secure transactions using a technology called near-field communication (NFC).

Smart Ticketing is being delivered in a phased approach to ensure Smart Ticketing technology and equipment is fully functional for customers before the next phase is implemented.

G:link customers can already use contactless debit or credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express or go cards to tap on and off at new Smart Ticketing validators to pay for an adult fare as part of the first Smart Ticketing trial on the Gold Coast.

New Smart Ticketing validators are being progressively installed and activated for go card use at stations across the Queensland Rail Citytrain network, making way for new payment methods expected to be later this year.

Smart Ticketing will be implemented across South East Queensland ferries, buses and regional urban bus services in 2022.

You can still use your go card on new Smart Ticketing equipment. Smart Ticketing is introducing new ways to pay for your travel in Queensland – go cards and paper tickets are still accepted for customers who wish to use them.

Smart Ticketing manages fare payments, travel history and account records in a centralised cloud-based ticketing system to enable secure contactless payments.

Once delivered, Smart Ticketing will be one of the most advanced ticketing systems in the world, set to rival the global ticketing networks in Singapore, New York, Chicago and London.

Just like go card, you still need to tap on at the start of your journey and tap off at the end of your journey to pay for your travel with Smart Ticketing.

To use Smart Ticketing validators successfully you need to present one card or device to tap. Remember to remove your contactless debit, credit or go card from your wallet or case and tap on and off with the same card or device.

Tap your card or device to the centre of the new validator screen to tap on or off and wait for a message to be displayed. You don't need to physically touch the screen.

Since go card was developed in 2003, technology has significantly advanced with contactless payments, smartphones, cloud computing and other smart devices all introduced since go card was launched.

The current card-based system is more than 18 years old and is approaching end of life, meaning the current system and equipment does not have the capability to evolve with changing technology and customer needs and has been superseded by new cloud-based ticketing systems and secure contactless payment technology.

Translink is replacing more than 13,500 devices across South East Queensland and regional urban bus services to enable new Smart Ticketing payment methods.

New Smart Ticketing validators were installed across the Gold Coast Light Rail (G:link) network in July 2020.

Adult customers can now tap on and off new Smart Ticketing validators using contactless debit or credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express or go cards to pay for their travel on G:link as part of the first Smart Ticketing trial.

New Smart Ticketing validators are being progressively installed and activated for go card use at stations across the Queensland Rail Citytrain network, making way for new payment methods expected to be later this year.

Implementation on ferry and bus services across South East Queensland and regional urban bus services will follow in 2022.

Translink Smart Ticketing.

EMV is a payment method based upon a technical standard for smart payment cards and for payment terminals and automated teller machines which can accept them.

EMV originally stood for "Europay, Mastercard, and Visa", the three companies which created the standard.

In 2002, Europay International merged with MasterCard International to form MasterCard, Inc. Today the combined company is known as MasterCard Worldwide.

Smart Ticketing is being delivered in a phased approach to ensure Smart Ticketing technology and equipment is fully functional for customers before the next phase is implemented.

G:link customers can already use contactless debit or credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express or go cards to tap on and off at new Smart Ticketing validators to pay for an adult fare as part of the first Smart Ticketing trial on the Gold Coast.

New Smart Ticketing validators are being progressively installed and activated for go card use at stations across the Queensland Rail Citytrain network, making way for new payment methods expected to be later this year.

Smart Ticketing will be implemented across South East Queensland ferries, buses and regional urban bus services in 2022.

Smart Ticketing is being delivered in a phased approach to ensure Smart Ticketing technology and equipment is fully functional for customers before the next phase is implemented.

G:link customers can already use contactless debit or credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express or go cards to tap on and off at new Smart Ticketing validators to pay for an adult fare as part of the first Smart Ticketing trial on the Gold Coast.

New Smart Ticketing validators are being progressively installed and activated for go card use at stations across the Queensland Rail Citytrain network, making way for new payment methods expected to be later this year.

Smart Ticketing will be implemented across South East Queensland ferries, buses and regional urban bus services in 2022

Customers will be able to manage their Smart Ticketing account online and via a new mobile app that is currently being developed.

Smart Ticketing is a multi-year delivery program implemented in a phased approach to both testing and delivery to ensure a seamless experience and transition for our customers. We are focused on delivering Smart Ticketing right and it’s important we take the time to deliver a system that ensures benefits for our customers both now and in the future.

The project team is overseeing the design, development and implementation of Smart Ticketing system software and hardware, replacing more than 13,500 pieces of equipment across South East Queensland and regional urban centres. Our integrated network means that a significant amount of infrastructure needs to be installed and fully tested before we can switch on new payment options in each area and across each mode.

Smart Ticketing is being implemented across all modes of public transport in South East Queensland and qconnect operated regional urban bus services.

TMR undertook extensive research, preparation and engagement to plan and undertake the procurement of the new payment solution for Queensland. All procurement activities were conducted in accordance with Queensland Government procurement principles to ensure a fair and open process to deliver the best possible outcome.

Local and international suppliers were invited to participate in the Expression of Interest for the new payment system through the Queensland Government QTenders portal.

The project team conducted a rigorous and robust multi-phased procurement process to select and negotiate the most suitable and cost effective outcome.

The successful supplier was selected following a robust, multi-year procurement process. The successful development, implementation and ongoing management of the new payment solution will include significant local presence, using local workers and know-how.

Smart Ticketing is fully funded by the Queensland Government.

$371 million has been allocated to design, build and implement Smart Ticketing across Queensland.

The project team is currently undertaking system development, testing and trials with our technology partner, Cubic Transportation Systems. Through this process we will identify issues to be addressed before progressing from technical testing to customer trials. Smart Ticketing is being delivered in a phased approach to ensure Smart Ticketing technology and equipment is fully functional for customers before the next phase is implemented.

Revenue from tickets is a key contributor to the cost of service delivery and infrastructure upgrades and helps ensure government can provide services across Queensland.

Visit our Smart Ticketing page for more information – we’ll continue to update this project page as the project progresses.

For urgent feedback or questions please complete an online feedback form at Translink.com.au/contact-us/feedback

TMR has an online customer research panel called Transport Talk. It is an initiative to support us to better understand and connect with our customers. Participants of Transport Talk are invited to participate in a range of activities, including interviews, surveys, focus groups and co-design. If you would like to enquire about being a member of Transport Talk, please email TransportTalk@tmr.qld.gov.au

Gold Coast trial

We are currently trialing new Smart Ticketing payment methods across the Gold Coast Light Rail (G:link) network. Customers can tap on and off new Smart Ticketing equipment using a go card, contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to pay for adult fares on G:link.  

We selected the Gold Coast Light Rail network as the first location to trial Smart Ticketing as it enabled Translink to trial an entire mode of transport that is situated in the same geographical region, making it an ideal part of the public transport network to first trial Smart Ticketing on with minimal customer impact.  

From 14 December 2020 you can tap on and off Smart Ticketing validators using a go card, contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to pay for an adult fare on G:link. Remember to keep using your go card or purchase a paper ticket for concession fares during the trial.

Smart Ticketing is available across the entire G:link network and will be progressively implemented across all Gold Coast public transport services before the end of 2022.

The Smart Ticketing project is being delivered in a phased approach, by mode, to ensure each aspect of the system is fully functional for customers before the next phase is implemented.

New Smart Ticketing validators were installed across the G:link network to trial Smart Ticketing ahead of further trials across the entire Translink network. You can still use your go card on these new ticket validators. You can also use a contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to pay for adult fares when travelling on G:link as part of the trial.

We have been trialling Smart Ticketing across the G:link network since December 2020. More equipment and functionality will be added over several months as part of a progressive trial. 

Adult customers can now use a contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to tap on and off at all G:link stations as part of a customer trial to pay for the same adult fare as a go card.

If your journey includes another mode of transport (bus, train) or you wish to travel on a concession fare you will need to continue using your go card or purchase a paper ticket.

  • Make sure you prepare early and get your contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express ready before you tap.

  • Present only one card or device, ensuring you take your card out of your wallet or case and be sure to tap on and off with the same card or smart device each trip.

  • You can still use your go card on Smart Ticketing validators.

You can use your digital wallet, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, linked to your Visa, Mastercard or American Express to pay for your travel on G:link for the same adult fare as a go card as part of the trial.

Smart Ticketing is only available on G:link at this stage. If your journey includes another mode of transport (bus, train or ferry), you'll need to continue using your go card or purchase a paper ticket for the whole journey.

If you want to pay for multiple people, each person needs to tap on and off with their own go card, contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

Alternatively, you can purchase a paper ticket or adult go card from the large ticket vending machine on G:link platforms.

Yes, you can still tap on and off using your go card on Smart Ticketing equipment.

Yes, you can continue to use your existing go card on the new validators.

No, go card designs have not changed. Any illustrations used for the Smart Ticketing project are indicative only.

Not at this stage. Smart Ticketing is being rolled out progressively, starting with the first trial on the G:link where you can pay using contactless debit or credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express for adult fares. Existing go cards and paper tickets continue to be accepted.

We are focused on delivering these initial new payment options before we explore other payment options.

You must have an accepted payment tap from a Smart Ticketing validator or purchased a paper ticket for valid travel. If your tap was declined, you may need to try again, use a different contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express payment method, go card or purchase a paper ticket.

Initially only contactless Visa, Mastercard and American Express debit and credit cards are accepted. This includes international cards accepted within Australia.

Whilst Visa, Mastercard and American Express have signed on early to support Smart Ticketing, we are hoping all leading bank schemes will follow suit to offer customers Smart Ticketing in the future.

If your contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express card doesn't work on the Smart Ticketing validator you need to contact your bank to discuss the issue.

Smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices that are linked to a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express debit or credit card can be used to pay for the same adult fare as a go card as part of the trial.

If you tap on and off using a different card or device you will be charged the same adult fare as a go card on both payment types.

Even if you tap on with a bank card and tap off with the same bank card linked to your smartphone or smart watch, it is recognised as two different payment methods by the banks and you will incur two fixed fares for two incomplete trips.

Smart Ticketing validators have a much stronger processing power than old go card validators and will try to read every card presented to tap.

If you present your entire wallet, a plastic case with multiple cards (including building access cards) or even your smartphone with a card stored in the back of the case to a Smart Ticketing validator, it will try to read all cards at once.

If this occurs your tap may be declined or the Smart Ticketing validators may read a different card when you tap off than when you tapped on. In this instance you would incur two of the same adult fares as a go card for two incomplete trips.

There are no fees from Translink for using new payment options. Standard fees from your bank will still apply.

If you use your contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or other smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to pay for your travel you will be charged the same adult fare as a go card.

Click here for more information on fares and zones.

No, prepaid debit or credit cards or gift cards are not accepted on Smart Ticketing validators.

On your statement you will see an aggregated fare charge for all trips taken over a 24 hour period. This means you will see one amount for all trips in that 24 hours instead of multiple single fare amounts.

On the day that you use your contactless Mastercard or American Express to tap on and off the G:link, a $1.00 authorisation fee will temporarily appear on your bank account.

A $1.00 authorisation fee is a common security measure banks use to protect customers and validate that your payment method is active, you have funds available and your card is valid and not lost or stolen. 

This is a temporary authorisation fee only and will not be charged to your account or appear on your bank statement. The authorisation will remain on your account until the final aggregated fares for the day are charged to your account. Depending on your bank, it may take a few days before this final fare is charged to your account and the $1.00 authorisation is removed from your account.

Visa uses a different account verification method. If you use your contactless Visa credit or debit card or digital wallet linked to your smartphone, smart watch or smart device, a $1.00 authorisation fee will not appear on your bank account.

For more information on banking fees, charges and transactions, please contact your financial institution.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate funds to pay for your travel when you tap on at the start of your trip.

If you’ve recently received a new contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express card you may need to activate the contactless card before it will work on a Smart Ticketing validator.

This may include making a normal chip and Pin payment before the contactless capability on your card will automatically work. You will not be able to make a chip and Pin payment on a Smart Ticketing validator.

Please follow the card activation instructions provided to you by your financial institution.

The Express Travel mode with Apple Pay allows you to pay for travel journeys without having to wake or unlock your device or open an app. It’s optional when using Smart Ticketing, but we do recommend activating it so you can quickly tap on and off at validators when travelling.

You can activate Express Travel for your preferred card in your Apple Pay settings. For more information on how to do this visit support.apple.com

You can call Translink on 13 12 30 and follow TransLink’s Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all things Smart Ticketing.

If using a go card, you can check your go card account online or call 13 12 30 as you would normally do if you think there was an issue with tapping on or off using one of the new Smart Ticketing validators.

If you have an enquiry regarding fares paid using your contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit or debit card or digital wallet linked to your smartphone, smart watch or smart device and you would like to check your trip history during this trial you can call Translink on 13 12 30. Smart Ticketing is working to deliver a digital solution that will enable you to manage your Smart Ticketing account online and via a new website and mobile app.

If your Visa, Mastercard or American Express fails to work on Smart Ticketing (red cross, red lights, fail tone), you will need to contact your bank to discuss the issue with your card or account.

Initially, new Smart Ticketing contactless payment options can only be used to pay for the same adult fare as a go card across G:link as part of this trial.

You can travel on any concession fares you are entitled to using your concession go card or by purchasing a paper ticket.

Concession fares will be available with Smart Ticketing once the system is fully rolled out.

If you would like to enquire about a refund or have an enquiry regarding fares paid using your contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express you can call Translink on 13 12 30.

 

Queensland Rail Citytrain trial

We are testing Smart Ticketing technology on new equipment to ensure it is fully functional before we roll it out across the Queensland Rail Citytrain network. This testing will ensure the new equipment is initially capable of accepting go cards and go access cards.

More than 500 Smart Ticketing validators and gates will be progressively installed across all 154 Queensland Rail Citytrain stations over the coming months to make way for new payment methods expected to be available later this year.

Smart Ticketing validators have been progressively installed and activated for go card and go access card use at Queensland Rail Citytrain stations since June 2021, making way for new payment methods expected to be available later this year.

No other new payment options for example, contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express payments are available at this time.

The Smart Ticketing project is being delivered as a phased rollout to ensure that each aspect of the system is fully functional for customers before the next phase is implemented.

Yes, you can still use your go card or go access card on the new Smart Ticketing equipment.

You can use your go card or go access card with the new Smart Ticketing equipment. To use the equipment follow these three steps:

  • Prepare early! Remove your go card or go access card from your wallet or case.

  • Tap on, hop on.

  • Hop off, tap off.

Tap your go card or go access card to the centre of the validator screen to tap on or off. You don't need to physically touch the screen.

No other payment options for example, direct debit or credit card payment are available at this time.

The new Smart Ticketing validators feature larger, brighter screens with a hood, simplified on-screen icons and messaging, and a taller sleeker design.

Smart Ticketing validators are bright pink and wrapped in Translink's 'The Connecting Thread' First Nations artwork.

If you get a large white tick with green lights and a positive sound your tap was accepted.

If you get a large white cross with red lights and a negative sound your tap was declined. 

If you get a large white tick with orange lights and an alert sound, your tap was accepted, however there is something regarding your go card account that requires your attention and you should contact Translink on 13 12 30.

To improve customer accessibility one ticket validator has been relocated at some Queensland Rail Citytrain stations as part of the Smart Ticketing project. These stations are Hemmant, Wynnum, Kuraby, Fruitgrove and Coopers Plains.

An additional ticket validator has also been installed at each of the following stations.

  • Banoon

  • Virginia

  • Southbank

  • Sunshine
  • Grovely
  • Keperra
  • Eagle Junction

Smart Ticketing is being rolled out progressively across the Queensland Rail Citytrain network over the coming months.

Translink’s Smart Ticketing Street Team will be located at select stations to help you tap on and off using Smart Ticketing validators during the initial stages of the equipment installation. The team will be wearing bright pink uniforms and can help answer your questions.

You can also call Translink on 13 12 30 and follow Translink’s Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all things Smart Ticketing. 

Following the network-wide installation and testing of new equipment on the Queensland Rail Citytrain network, a progressive rollout of Smart Ticketing contactless payment methods will commence from late 2021.

The Smart Ticketing project is being delivered in a phased approach, by mode, ensuring that each aspect of the system is operational and functioning correctly before the next phase is implemented.

Regional Queensland rollout

Yes, Smart Ticketing will be rolled out across qconnect operated regional urban bus services to deliver regional Queensland customers the same new contactless payment options in addition to paper tickets.

Translink currently deliver qconnect services in partnership with regional urban bus operators in the following areas:

  • Airlie Beach and Proserpine
  • Bowen
  • Bundaberg
  • Cairns
  • Gladstone
  • Gympie
  • Hervey Bay
  • Innisfail
  • Kilcoy to Caboolture
  • Mackay
  • Maryborough
  • North Stradbroke Island
  • Rockhampton
  • Sunshine Coast Hinterland
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville and Magnetic Island
  • Warwick
  • Yeppoon

Smart Ticketing will be rolled out to qconnect regional urban bus services. This includes qconnect operators who operate an integrated fleet with select school services.

The first Smart Ticketing trials were conducted in regional Queensland in 2019 with operating partners in Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Fraser Coast (Maryborough and Hervey Bay), Innisfail and Bowen. The regional bus trials provided a controlled environment to test and refine Smart Ticketing technology and equipment installed on bus fleets with drivers and operators in these regional areas as they continue to sell paper tickets to customers as part of the trial.

No. The regional bus trials focus on Smart Ticketing driver equipment, technology and ensuring reliability of real-time service information for regional customers.

Smart Ticketing is being delivered in regional areas where TMR has current contracts to provide qconnect urban bus services.

Smart Ticketing will support existing or similar ticketing products in addition to new payment options such as contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

Real-time service information (real-time) enables you to check actual times for when your bus will arrive, providing a more seamless public transport experience.

Real-time is currently available for Translink bus, train, ferry and tram services in South East Queensland and buses in Cairns.

Real-time will be rolled out as part of Smart Ticketing across South East Queensland and regional urban bus services.

Real-time service information is a prediction based on the vehicle's current GPS location which is then compared with the scheduled time. Real-time predictions are available for services operating within the next 60 minutes. These services display real-time predictions as a countdown. Services that are more than 60 minutes away will display their scheduled timetable.

To get real-time information about your service, check your stop or station page by:

Web: Visit our real-time stops and stations search and enter your location (stop/station/terminal name, stop ID or address). Services due to depart within the next 60 minutes will show a real-time countdown.

App: Download the MyTranslink app on to your smartphone, go to the 'Find stops' search and enter your location (stop/station/terminal name, stop ID or address). You can then save this stop for future use.

QR code: With your smartphone, view the printed timetable at your stop and scan the QR code displayed (if available) to go straight to real-time info.

Call: Ring our Contact Centre on 13 12 30 anytime.

Please note that real-time information is not currently available via the Translink journey planner or MyTranslink app for Cairns, Mackay or Toowoomba services.

If real-time is not available, services may display their normal scheduled timetable. When this occurs, the word 'scheduled' will appear under the service's departure time.

Some trains may also show as 'cancelled' or 'skipped' or indicate a change to the platform. These instances may occur if the vehicle is impacted by delays, network connectivity issues or is required to travel outside the service's normal route.

Real-time service information will be tested, trialled and delivered as part of Smart Ticketing in a phased approach before it is made available across all regional urban bus services. 

We will be sharing local updates as soon as real-time is available in regional urban areas. Visit the Smart Ticketing page or get in touch if you can't find the answer you're looking for.

The Smart Ticketing project team is working closely with operators to ensure regional Queensland customers can use the same new Smart Ticketing equipment and contactless payment options as South East Queensland customers. This includes working closely with qconnect regional urban bus operators.

We will be sharing local updates as soon as real-time is available in regional urban areas. Visit the Smart Ticketing page or get in touch if you can't find the answer you're looking for.

Ticketing options

While go cards and paper tickets will continue to be available, new payment options include contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

You will still be able to use cash to pay for public transport by topping up your current go card account or purchasing a paper ticket.

The option to pay for travel using cash and paper tickets has been included in the smart ticketing system planning, but due to COVID-19 impacts, the Translink network is currently cashless. The long term approach will be confirmed after the COVID-19 impacts have reduced.

Yes, you will still be able to use your existing go card.

Translink’s Smart Ticketing system will provide more options to pay for public transport for those customers who wish to use them.

Yes, using a contactless debit or credit card, smartphone or smart watch to pay for travel accrues the same frequent traveller discounts as using your go card. This includes the eight and half price discount that applies if you make eight paid journeys on the same card in a week (Monday to Sunday) then you will receive half price travel on every additional trip made during the rest of the week.

Discounts are not transferrable from one payment option to another so you will need to tap on and off with the same card or device to accrue frequent traveller discounts.

Eight and half price travel does not apply to Airtrain journeys.  

Since go card was developed in 2003, technology has significantly advanced with contactless payments, smartphones, cloud computing and other smart devices all introduced since go card was launched.

The current card-based system is more than 18 years old and is approaching end of life, meaning the current system and equipment does not have the capability to evolve with changing technology and customer needs and has been superseded by new cloud-based ticketing systems and secure contactless payment technology.

Currently customers need to continue using their go card on Smart Ticketing validators or purchase a paper ticket to travel on concession fares.

Customers will be able to use a contactless credit or debit card, smartphone, smart watch or smart device linked to their Smart Ticketing account to pay concession fares they are entitled to once the system is fully rolled out.

Smart Ticketing is delivering new digital products to improve how customers can self-manage their travel account online and record individual account requirements such as concessions online via a new website and mobile app.

TMR is working to ensure that the new devices are inclusive and accessible to all, including customers with concession entitlements.

School services, that do not form part of the Translink or qconnect networks, will not receive the Smart Ticketing solution.

Currently customers need to continue using their go card on Smart Ticketing validators or purchase a paper ticket to travel on concession fares.

Customers will be able to use a contactless credit or debit card, smartphone, smart watch or smart device linked to their Smart Ticketing account to pay concession fares they are entitled to once the system is fully rolled out.

Smart Ticketing is delivering new digital products to improve how customers can self-manage their travel account online and record individual account requirements such as concessions online via a new website and mobile app.

TMR is working to ensure that the new devices are inclusive and accessible to all, including customers with concession entitlements.

Customers, including tourists, can still use go seeQ or go explore cards on Smart Ticketing validators.

Translink is committed to ensuring a secure, privacy compliant payment solution for Queensland. As part of our commitment, we are working with the Queensland Privacy Commissioner and other stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for customers, including ensuring customers can travel anonymously – if they wish.

All Smart Ticketing devices are secure, privacy compliant, ticketing payment solutions, certified to the same global standards required of any banking system or device. This includes end-to-end EMV compliance, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance and Payment Card Industry PIN (Personal Identification Number) Transaction Security (PCI-PTS) compliance.

Yes, customers who would like to travel anonymously can continue to do so using paper tickets, go cards or Smart Ticketing payment methods.

Translink's Senior Network Officers (SNOs) are on the ground actively supporting customers to ensure everyone uses Smart Ticketing successfully. This includes providing customer service, safety and revenue protection across the Translink network.

SNOs will carry a new mobile device to support customers in the field with Smart Ticketing.

This mobile device provides a secure method for SNOs to verify a customer’s travel history against their selected payment method.  

The device detects your travel taps with Smart Ticketing, it does not access your personal banking information.

All Smart Ticketing devices are secure, privacy compliant, ticketing payment solutions, certified to the same global standards required of any banking system or device.

This includes end-to-end EMV compliance, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance and Payment Card Industry PIN (Personal Identification Number) Transaction Security (PCI-PTS) compliance.

Yes. You will still be able to purchase paper tickets.

The option to pay for travel using cash and paper tickets has been included in the system planning, but due to COVID-19 impacts, the Translink network is currently cashless. The long term approach will be confirmed after the COVID-19 impacts have reduced.

Yes, our retail network will continue to support go card.

Yes. If you would like to travel anonymously, you can continue to purchase paper tickets with cash, or use an unregistered go card to travel on public transport.

No. Funding for Smart Ticketing is not linked to public transport fares. Any changes to Translink’s fares are considered independently by the Queensland Government.

Fare changes are considered independently by the Queensland Government and are not linked to the new payment system.

Any changes to Translink or qconnect fares are considered independently by the Queensland Government and are not linked to procurement of the new payment system.

Any changes to Translink or qconnect fares are considered independently by the Queensland Government and are not linked to the new payment system.

Any changes to Translink or qconnect fares or zones are considered independently by the Queensland Government and are not linked to the new payment system.

The Smart Ticketing project does not include the review of fares and zones in South East Queensland and regional urban areas. Any changes to Translink’s fares are considered independently by the Queensland Government.

Yes. Existing concessions will continue. Smart Ticketing is delivering new digital products to improve how customers can self-manage their travel account online and record individual account requirements such as concessions online via a new website and mobile app.

New network equipment

Yes, based on feedback from customers, we know there are issues with sunlight, light reflection, rain and moisture affecting the visibility of the screen and making it difficult for customers to see what is displayed on there. We have listened to the feedback and taken it into consideration for the new design.

The new Smart Ticketing validators feature larger, brighter screens with a hood, simplified on-screen icons and messaging, and a taller sleeker design. The new equipment supports payments from contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices as well as go cards.

Smart Ticketing validators are bright pink and wrapped in Translink's 'The Connecting Thread' First Nations artwork.

Yes. The new ticketing equipment features simplified sounds, lights and on-screen messages to make it easier to see and hear if you have successfully tapped on or off to pay for your travel. These visual and audio cues make these new validators more inclusive and accessible for all customers.

If you are continuing your journey or transferring from one mode of transport to another (train, bus, ferry or tram), you will see a large white tick with green lights and a positive sound indicating your tap was accepted.

If you get a large white tick with green lights and a positive sound your tap was accepted.

If you get a large white cross with red lights and a negative sound your tap was declined.

If you get a large white tick or exclamation mark with orange lights and an alert sound, your tap was accepted, however there is something regarding your go card account that requires your attention and you should contact Translink on 13 12 30.

If your payment worked, a tick with green lights will be displayed on the ticket validator.

If you get a large white tick with green lights and a positive sound your tap was accepted.

If you get a large white cross with red lights and a negative sound your tap was declined. 

If you get a large white tick or exclamation mark or tick with orange lights and an alert sound, your tap was accepted, however there is something regarding your go card account that requires your attention and you should contact Translink on 13 12 30.

No. The new Smart Ticketing validators do not have a built-in camera.

Functional differences from current equipment include larger, brighter screens with a hood, simplified on-screen icons and messaging, and a taller sleeker design. This new equipment is also designed to support payments from contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices as well as go cards.

The new Smart Ticketing validators feature simplified on-screen icons and sounds that are recognised globally.

Translink has undertaken extensive research, customer engagement and testing with a broad range of accessibility and advocacy groups to ensure the new Smart Ticketing equipment is functional, accessible and user-friendly for everyone.

Non-English speaking customers with specific needs may call 13 12 30 and request a three-way conversation with an interpreter. We also have some travel information available in other languages.

The new ticket validator has been designed in accordance with Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Commonwealth Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 and AS1428.2-1992 Design for access and mobility.

This enables customers with varying abilities, their families and their carers to fully participate in community life and eliminate discrimination.

Braille plates are installed on the new Smart Ticketing validators to help customers tap on and tap off. The Braille plates have been designed in consultation with accessibility advocates and individuals in accordance with the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT) and Australian Standards AS 1428.4.2:2018.

Translink has undertaken extensive research, customer engagement and testing with a broad range of accessibility and advocacy groups to ensure the new Smart Ticketing equipment is functional, accessible and user-friendly for everyone.

Most of the ticket validators and existing ticketing equipment will remain in the same location as they are now. They will only be moved if there are known issues with where they are currently located.

If your plans change and you decide to no longer travel, you can tap the same card or device at the same station between 11 seconds up to 20 minutes to successfully cancel your tap on.

Your tap has been successfully cancelled. The Smart Ticketing validator has accepted two taps within 11 seconds up to 20 minutes from the same card or device at the same station. For immediate travel you must tap on again.

You have already tapped on. The Smart Ticketing validator has read two taps from the same card or device within 10 seconds. Only one tap was accepted and you are ready to travel.

If you want to pay for multiple people, each person needs to tap on and off with their own go card, contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or other smart devices linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Alternatively, you can purchase a paper ticket/s.

Your tap was accepted, however your go card is expiring soon. Please visit a retailer to have the expiry date extended.

Your tap was accepted, however the balance on your go card is low. You can top-up your go card online, at a fare machine, retailer or call Translink on 13 12 30.

Your tap was successful however there is an issue with your go card account. Please call Translink on 13 12 30 for more information.

Your tap was not accepted. Please try again by presenting your go card, contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or other smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to the centre of the validator screen to tap on or off. 

Remember to remove the card that you would like to use from your wallet or case and present one card or device to tap on and off.

More than one card has been detected by the validator for payment. Please remove the card that you would like to use from your wallet or case and present one card or device to tap on and off.

 

You may have held your card, smartphone or smart watch near the reader for too long.

Your card, smartphone or smart watch has already been read and you do not need to tap on again.

Remember to use the same card or device to tap on at the start of your journey and tap off at the end of your journey.

There are insufficient funds available on your go card for travel. For immediate travel please top-up your go card or use a contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or other smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to tap on and off. Alternatively purchase a paper ticket.

Your card is invalid and cannot be used to tap on and off for travel. Please use a valid go card, contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or other smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to tap on/off. Alternatively purchase a paper ticket.

If your go card is invalid please call Translink on 13 12 30.

If your bank card is invalid, please contact your bank or financial institution.

Your card is not accepted and cannot be used to tap on/off for travel. It may be from a non-participating scheme, reported lost, stolen or has been blocked by your financial institution.

Please use a valid go card, contactless debit or credit card, smartphone, smart watch or other smart device linked to Visa, Mastercard or American Express to tap on and off. Alternatively purchase a paper ticket.

For more information regarding your Visa, Mastercard or American Express, please contact your financial institution.

Your card has expired. For immediate travel, please use a valid go card, Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Alternatively, purchase a paper ticket.

To extend your go card expiration date, please visit a retailer.

Your Translink pass has expired. For immediate travel, please use a valid go card, Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Alternatively, purchase a paper ticket.

To extend your pass expiration date, please visit a retailer.

Smart Ticketing brand

A dedicated Smart Ticketing project brand was developed to:

  • Create recognition of the Smart Ticketing project
  • Build interest, excitement and support for the new ticketing solution
  • Provide a platform to clearly differentiate project activities from whole of Translink business

  • Ensure a strong focus for the project on delivering an innovative, accessible public transport payment system for Queensland.

The new Smart Ticketing system presented TMR the opportunity to explore a refreshed visual identity for Translink since the brand was first established more than 18 years ago. The Smart Ticketing brand strategy aims to:

  • Ensure customer functionality and inclusivity remains front of mind and design at all times;
  • Ensure that new ticketing equipment stands out and is easily identifiable;
  • Refresh the visual identity of the Translink brand whilst retaining the positive values and goodwill associated with the go card;
  • Deliver a brand representative of the state-of-the-art Smart Ticketing solution Translink will deliver for Queenslanders.

Inspired by the Cooktown orchid, the Smart Ticketing project brand was designed to embody Queensland’s vibrant personality and reflect the innovative, inclusive ticketing solution the project is delivering for Queenslanders.

Customer testing was undertaken with a particular focus on identifying and testing colours to represent the Smart Ticketing project brand that would easily be identified on ticketing infrastructure by people with varying abilities including colour limitations.

It is critical that the Smart Ticketing project ensures people with varying abilities, including varying degrees of vision and colour impairment, can easily identify where to ‘tap’ cards and purchase tickets. Feedback has been received from customers that indicated the current ticketing infrastructure and equipment was difficult to locate as it didn’t ‘stand out enough visually’.

The colour palette was based on existing global colour research for visibility and was inclusive of requirements within the rail corridor that excluded red and green as colours. The Queensland Cooktown Orchid was the inspiration for the signature colour.

The Cooktown orchid pink far out-performed alternate colour options through customer testing with respect to gaining, maintaining and regaining customer attention. The brand’s pink colour palette was also the most accessible and inclusive colour for people with varying abilities to identify and locate, especially on ticketing infrastructure.

A group of customers of varied demographics and patronage participated in testing and development.

Eye-line tracking technology was used to test participant’s time to focus, duration of focus and frequency of focus on the brand in three different colours.

Participants were also asked to provide prompted recall information and results could be drawn about effectiveness of the logo colour on ticketing equipment.

Marlu is a pink kangaroo, created to help educate customers on how to use Smart Ticketing.

The name Marlu means kangaroo and comes from the Warlpiri language.

The Warlpiri language is one of the Ngarrkic languages of the large Pama–Nyungan family and is one of the largest Aboriginal languages in Australia in terms of number of speakers.

Through the Smart Ticketing Project, Translink recognises and celebrates the rich and lasting contribution of First Nations Peoples and culture across Queensland.

Smart Ticketing validators are wrapped in Translink's 'The Connecting Thread' First Nations artwork.

The Connecting Thread artwork was developed by local Gilimbaa artist, Elisa Carmichael (Quandamooka) specifically for the Translink Smart Ticketing project.

The Smart Ticketing project is the first organisation globally to incorporate Indigenous art into ticketing infrastructure as a recognition of our First Nations people and the rich contribution they bring to Australia's culture and identity.

The design symbolises and reflects the landscapes of Queensland from top to bottom. It recognises the rich contribution of the First Nations people of Queensland through the journeys many Queenslanders and visitors make through the state each day.

The artwork explores Rainforest Country, Bush Country, Freshwater Country, Saltwater Country and Desert Country.

We are travelling in the pathways of those who have travelled tens of thousands of years before us. Many of the major highways, roads and waterways are travelling routes for the First Peoples of the land. Over tens of thousands of years our ancestors' footprints have paved the way for the routes we travel today. The artwork honours the footprints of First Nations people; guiding the way for safe travel and caring for Country and environment across Queensland.

One of the most important items for First Nations people is string. Threads of string support daily life activities and ceremonial gatherings. String is carried for all journey's made. When one thread comes together and is woven with many, its strength is formed. Placing woven string elements over the pattern inspired by Country honours connection to Country and the significance of caring, working and living with the environment.

Translink’s The Connecting Thread artwork was unveiled on 20 July 2020. It features on Queensland's public transport ticketing equipment and infrastructure that is being rolled out as part of the government's Smart Ticketing project across Queensland.

The artwork will feature on Queensland's public transport ticketing equipment and infrastructure. New Smart Ticketing validators featuring The Connecting Thread artwork have already been installed across the Gold Coast Light Rail G:link network and are progressively being installed at Queensland Rail Citytrain stations as part of the planned rollout of Smart Ticketing.

The Smart Ticketing project is being delivered in a phased approach, by mode, ensuring that each aspect of the system is fully functional for customers before the next phase is implemented.

Through the government's Reconciliation Action Plan, we are committed to recognising and celebrating the rich and lasting contribution of First Nations Peoples and culture in Queensland.

Translink set out to harness the social and cultural power of public art to transform functional public transport ticketing equipment and infrastructure across Queensland into a vehicle for the maintenance, expression and transmission of our First Nations culture. The Connecting Thread artwork is just one way we are recognising the rich contribution of our First Nations people in Queensland and the pathways of those who have travelled tens of thousands of years before us.

The artwork was delivered in partnership with Gilimbaa and Gilimbaa artist Elisa Jane Carmichael (Quandamooka). The artwork recognises the rich contribution of the First Nations people of Queensland through the pathways many Queenslanders and visitors travel throughout the state each day.

 

Have a question that is not answered here?

Use our feedback form if you have a question, complaint or want to bring something to our attention about Smart Ticketing. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Visit feedback form

 

Want to know more about this project?

Visit the project page for more information about Smart Ticketing. This page will continue to be updated as Smart Ticketing is rolled out from Cairns to Coolangatta.

Visit project page