Key info

Translink’s new Smart Ticketing payment system will deliver more options to pay for public transport across Queensland.

This is a Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) initiative to provide a payment solution for public transport that is affordable and able to adapt to future growth and technology.

The Queensland Government is investing $371 million into a new ticketing solution to provide customers with more choice in how they pay for public transport across Queensland.

While go cards and paper tickets will continue to be accepted, Translink’s new ticketing solution will:

  • introduce new ways to pay, including contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices;
  • upgrade existing ticketing equipment;
  • make it easier for you to manage your account, via an enhanced website and app; and
  • be rolled out across all South East Queensland and 18 regional urban bus services by the end of 2022

Translink’s new Smart Ticketing payment system will mean you will be able to access the network and pay for your travel using contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices, as well as continuing to use current payment methods. Existing go cards and paper tickets will continue to be accepted.

Contactless debit or credit cards, also known as pay wave, tap-and-go or tap-to-pay cards, contain a computer chip and antenna instead of the magnetic stripe on the back of traditional banking cards.

To complete transactions, the contactless cards communicates wirelessly with a payment terminal in a highly secure manner, mandated by international banking standards, using a technology called near-field communication, or NFC.

Translink’s Smart Ticketing system is currently moving into its testing and trial phase.

A series of trials will occur as part of a progressive rollout, resulting in the new system being fully implemented by 2022.

No, you'll still be able to use your go card as you currently do. Translink’s Smart Ticketing system will provide more options to pay for public transport for those customers who wish to use them.

Translink’s new Smart Ticketing payment system will securely manage payment, travel history and other records in a centralised system, simplifying the account management process for customers.

It will also accept a wide range of payment options, making it easier for you to access the network and pay your fares by using contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices. Current payment methods such as existing go cards and cash/paper tickets will continue to be accepted.

Customers who would like to travel anonymously can continue to purchase paper tickets or use an unregistered go card.

The current go card system is approaching the end of its lifespan and cannot support current or future customer needs and expectations.

Since go card was developed in 2003, technology has significantly advanced – smartphones, credit cards, cloud computing and other smart devices were all introduced after the go card.

The new payment system will be implemented across all modes of public transport in the Translink area of South East Queensland, Toowoomba, Townsville, Mackay and Cairns, and all qconnect urban buses in regional Queensland will be transitioned to the new system by the end of the four year program.

The project will be delivered over the next three years. Detailed design, development and implementation planning is currently underway, with a series of trials taking place last year. The new system will be progressively rolled out ahead of being fully implemented by the end of 2022.

Prior to any trials, we'll be in touch with our customers to ensure they can access the exciting new options.

Translink’s new Smart Ticketing system will be progressively rolled out by 2022. A series of trials and pilots will be undertaken between 2020 and 2022.

We will communicate with customers well in advance of the implementation to enable them to take advantage of new opportunities.

Customers will be able to manage their Smart Ticketing account online and via a new mobile app that will be delivered in 2021.

Smart Ticketing is a four year delivery program with 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.

To deliver new payment options we need to upgrade ticketing equipment across the entire system as the existing ticketing equipment is nearing its end of technical life. Replacement across the entire network takes time.

The project team will oversee the design, development and implementation of the new system software and hardware, replacing more than 14,000 pieces of equipment across the network, 24 busway stations, 35 ferries, 19 tram stations and 154 train stations. Our integrated network means that a significant amount of infrastructure needs to be in place and fully tested before we can switch on new payment options in each area and across each mode.

It is fully funded by the Queensland Government.

$371 million has been allocated to design, build and implement the system across Queensland.

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.

TMR has undertaken extensive research, preparation and engagement to plan and undertake the procurement of the new payment solution. 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 project team is currently undertaking 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. We will expand the trial area and add more functionality to the system when we are happy that the system is performing as it needs to.

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.

Visit translink.com.au/smartticketing 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 ​​​​

Gold Coast trial

We are testing Smart Ticketing technology on new equipment across the Gold Coast Light Rail network to ensure it is fully functional before we roll it out. This testing will ensure the new equipment is capable of accepting go cards, contactless Mastercard and American Express (Amex), smartphones and smart watches for adults travelling on G:link, before we move onto testing other new payment options.

We selected the Gold Coast Light Rail network as the first location in the Translink network to trial Smart Ticketing equipment as it presents the opportunity to significantly benefit locals and visitors alike with easier access to restaurants, cafes and other Gold Coast attractions while also trialling the new technology across an entire mode of transport that is situated in the same geographical region.

From 14 December you will be able to pay with go cards, contactless Mastercard and American Express (Amex), smartphones and smart watches and paper tickets across the entire G:link network.

Smart Ticketing is planned to be available across the entire G:link network, ahead of a progressive implementation of new equipment across the state.

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

New ticket validators have been installed across the G:link network to test new Smart Ticketing features ahead of further trials across the Translink network.

You can use your go card in the same way you always have on these new ticket validators and from 14 December you can use go cards, contactless Mastercard and American Express (Amex), smartphones and smart watches for adults travelling on G:link as part of a system trial.

This testing is proposed to occur in a safe and appropriate manner while locals and visitors to the Gold Coast are known to be active on the network. This allows our team to effectively test and refine the system with some customer groups before we offer new Smart Ticketing options to all of our customers.

We have been trialling and testing for a number of months. More equipment and functionality will be added over several months as part of a progressive system trial.

Adult customers can now use a contactless Mastercard or American Express card, smartphone or smart watch 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 Mastercard and American Express card, smartphone or smart watch ready before you tap.
  • Present one card only, ensuring you take your card out of your wallet or case and be sure to tap on and off with the same card or smartphone or smart watch per trip.
  • You can still use your go card as you would normally on Smart Ticketing validators.

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

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 Mastercard or American Express card, go card or purchase a paper ticket.

Initially only contactless Mastercard and American Express (Amex) debit and credit cards are accepted. This includes international cards accepted within Australia.

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

If your contactless Mastercard or Amex card doesn't work on the Smart Ticketing validator you will need to contact your bank to discuss the issue.

Smartphones and smart watches that are linked to a contactless Mastercard or American Express debit or credit card can be used to pay the same adult fare as a go card as part of our limited customer 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 read for when you tapped on. In this instance you would incur two of the same adult fares as a go card for two incomplete trips.

Only Mastercard and American Express have agreed to participate in this initial trial within the budget allocated for this part of the project. We are working towards offering as many of the leading bank schemes as possible, including Visa, in the future.

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

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

If you use your contactless Mastercard or American Express card, smartphone or smart watch 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.

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

If you’ve recently received a new contactless 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.

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.

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

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

A $1.00 authorisation 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.

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

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

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 Mastercard or American Express card, smartphone or smart watch or 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 mobile app that will be delivered in 2021.

If your contactless Mastercard or American Express card, smartphone or smart watch failed 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.

Translink’s Smart Ticketing Street Team will be located across G:link stations to help you tap on and off using Smart Ticketing validators during the launch. The team will be dressed in bright pink uniforms and can help answer your questions.

You can also call Translink on 13 12 20 and follow Translink’s Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all things Smart Ticketing.

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.

Initially, new Smart Ticketing contactless debit and credit card 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 will be able to 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 by 2022.

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

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

Queensland Rail network testing

We are testing Smart Ticketing technology on new equipment to ensure it is fully functional before we roll it out across the Queensland Rail network. This testing will ensure the new equipment is capable of accepting go cards and new Smart Ticketing options including contactless credit cards and debit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices for adults travelling on the heavy rail network.

Initial testing commenced in September 2020 and was extended to 10 Queensland Rail stations in December 2020. Testing will be followed by a series of customer trials in 2021 that will expand over several months to cover all Queensland Rail stations.

Customers will be able to use Smart Ticketing on the heavy rail network by the end of 2021.

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

We are currently testing new Smart Ticketing equipment at 10 Queensland Rail stations including Gympie North, Eumundi, Woombye, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Murrumba Downs, Petrie, Strathpine, Northgate and Albion.

The equipment is not available for public use at this stage as we work to ensure Smart Ticketing is fully functional on these devices before rolling out new ways you can pay for your travel across the Queensland Rail network.

We selected these stations as they offer ticket validators with fairly low usage, which means there is little or no impact to customers.

This testing is proposed to occur in a safe and appropriate manner while the level of activity on the network is low. This allows our team to discreetly test and refine the system before we offer new Smart Ticketing options to customers.

Testing commenced in September 2020. More equipment and functionality will be added over several months across the network as part of a progressive system trial.

Regional Queensland rollout

Yes. Existing ticketing systems will be replaced with the new payment system providing customers on urban buses in regional Queensland use the same payment options as those in South East Queensland.

The first round of trials happened in regional Queensland in 2019. These provided a controlled environment for us to work on any tweaks that might be required before a bigger rollout in areas like South East Queensland.

Trial locations include Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Fraser Coast (Maryborough and Hervey Bay), Innisfail and Bowen.

Currently there are no plans to change existing fares in regional areas or to extend to prescribed school bus services.

The new payment system will be available across all of Translink and qconnect’s existing regional urban public transport 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

The first round of trials happened in regional Queensland in 2019. These provided a controlled environment for us to work on any tweaks that might be required before a bigger rollout in areas like South East Queensland.

Trial locations include Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Fraser Coast (Maryborough and Hervey Bay), Innisfail and Bowen.

The regional trials provided us with an opportunity to test project elements as part of the project development process. Bus operator partners in the selected regional trial locations have new ticketing equipment (driver console units) installed on their bus fleet, as they continue to sell paper tickets to customers throughout the trial. The trial has also included an assessment of the viability of real-time information.

The next stage of the trial will take place in South East Queensland this year.

No. The trials focus on the ticketing equipment and hardware as well as making sure that real-time information can be confidently provided to customers.

Regional urban bus services, operating as part of qconnect, will receive TransLink’s new Smart Ticketing solution. This includes qconnect operators who operate an integrated fleet with select school services.

qconnect operators who have their own ticketing system will have it replaced with the Smart Ticketing solution as part of the phased roll out.

The project rollout includes areas where TMR has current contracts to provide qconnect urban bus services.

The regional trial in Fraser Coast included a fare and zone review to make the network easier for customers to understand and access. Any further changes to existing fares and zones will be considered by TMR as part of periodical reviews.

The system will be able to support and offer the existing products and payment options in addition to enabling the new payment options such as contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices.

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

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

As part of Smart Ticketing, real-time will be trialled and made available across all of Translink's and qconnect's existing regional urban public transport areas in Queensland, including:

  • 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

Real-time 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.

As part of rolling Smart Ticketing out in Queensland, real-time will be trialled in some areas before it is available across all of Translink's and qconnect's existing regional urban public transport areas.

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

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

Translink’s new Smart Ticketing payment system will mean you will be able to access the network and pay for your travel using contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices, as well as continuing to use current payment methods. Existing go cards and paper tickets will continue to be accepted.

Yes, you will be able to travel on any concessions you are entitled to once the system is fully rolled out.

The system will be easy to log into and record your individual account requirements such as concession.

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

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, using a contactless debit or credit card, smartphone or smart watch to pay for travel will accrue the same frequent traveller discounts as using your go card. 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 the discounts.

Children can continue to travel with their current go card. If they have any of the new options, including smartphones and smart watches, they will be able to use those too.

More details will be available closer to the implementation dates.

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

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.

While go cards and paper tickets will continue to be available, new travel payment options will include other technology such as contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices – making it easier to catch public transport.

We are committed to ensuring a secure, privacy compliant payment solution.

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 will be able to travel anonymously – if they wish.

More information will be made available here as the detailed system design is finalised.

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.

go card designs have not changed and you can continue to your existing go card as you usually would. 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 Mastercard or American Express contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones and smart watches 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 move onto testing and investigating other payment options.

Yes, you will still be able to use 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. Existing concessions will continue, although there are expected to be opportunities to streamline and improve how concessions are applied.

Tourists and visitors can still use go seeQ or go explore cards as they normally would on Smart Ticketing validators.

The project does not include the review of fare prices, any changes to Translink’s 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.

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 are considered independently by the Queensland Government and are not linked to procurement of the new payment system.

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

New network equipment

No, you will still need to tap on at the start of your journey and tap off at the end of your journey with the same card or smart device.

Yes, the current devices on our network will be upgraded with new Smart Ticketing equipment that will support payment from contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices as well as go card.

TMR will work to ensure that the new devices are inclusive and accessible to all, including customers travelling on existing concession products.

New Smart Ticketing equipment has been rolled out across the Gold Coast Light Rail (G:link) network, with implementation on train, ferry and bus services across South East Queensland and 18 regional urban centres expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

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.

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 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.

Translink Smart Ticketing.

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

These new validators will be progressively rolled out as part of Translink’s Smart Ticketing project. We will communicate with customers during the implementation to enable them to take advantage of new opportunities.

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 available.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 Mastercard or American Express, smartphone or smart watch.

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 Mastercard or American Express card, smartphone or smart watch 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 Mastercard or American Express card, smartphone or smart watch to tap on and off. Alternatively purchase a paper ticket.

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

For more information regarding your card, please contact your financial institution.

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

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

Translink's Senior Network Officers (SNOs) are on the ground actively supporting customers on G:link to ensure everyone uses Smart Ticketing in the right way. This includes providing customer service, safety and revenue protection in 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 credit or debit card, smartphone or smart watch that guarantees privacy.

The device 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.

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

Following broad support amongst customers, the project brand is being extended to deliver a refreshed visual identity for Translink.

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 16 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 will deliver 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.

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 will feature on Queensland's public transport ticketing equipment and infrastructure that will be 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. Gold Coast customers are the first to see new ticketing validators and equipment featuring the artwork. New ticketing validators have been installed on G:link stations as part of the planned rollout of Smart Ticketing. The artwork also features on G:link tram number 15, providing a spectacular visual image for Queenslanders and our visitors.

The Smart Ticketing project is being delivered as a phased rollout, by mode, ensuring that each aspect of the system is operational and functioning correctly before the next phase is implemented. A series of trials will occur as part of a progressive rollout, resulting in the new system being fully implemented by 2022.

Through the government's Reconciliation Action Plan, we are committed to recognising and celebrating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Queensland.

The Connecting Thread artwork is one way we are recognising the rich contribution of the Indigenous people of 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 journeys many Queenslanders and visitors make through 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. 

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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