Smart Ticketing in Queensland

Smart Ticketing in Queensland

Travelling around Queensland just got even easier. As you visit our platform, you might notice new Smart Ticketing validators. In fact, with their bright pink colour and eye-catching First Nations artwork, they’re hard to miss. The Smart Ticketing project is an exciting initiative that will make it even easier to travel with Airtrain and public transport to get to your destination.

So, what is Smart Ticketing, and what does it mean for you?

What is Smart Ticketing?

It’s been 18 years since the go card was developed, and technology has evolved with contactless payments and smartphones in the meantime. The Queensland Government is investing $371 million in Translink’s new Smart Ticketing system that is providing customers with more ways to plan and pay for public transport across Queensland. Once delivered, we’ll have one of the most advanced ticketing systems in the world.

Over 13,500 new devices will be replaced across South East Queensland to enable new Smart Ticketing payment methods, including contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones, smart watches and other smart devices, in addition to go cards, paper tickets and Airtrain’s e-tickets.

You can already see these new validators installed on the Airtrain platforms, offering our passengers the chance to use them with their go cards. The additional payment options will be rolled out progressively – but you can still use your go card or go access card with the new equipment.

The next time you use Airtrain, check out the new look and updated technology, and be among the early travellers who get to use the new world class system.

The Smart Ticketing Design

The new Smart Ticketing validators are bright pink so they’re hard to miss! The bright pink in the artwork is inspired by the Cooktown orchid. They’re also easier to use – the new validators feature larger, brighter screens, simplified on-screen icons and messages, and a taller, sleeker design.

In a world first, Translink has also commissioned and featured First Nations artwork on Queensland’s public transport equipment and infrastructure. ‘The Connecting Thread’ artwork was developed by local Gilimbaa artist, Elisa Carmichael (Quandamooka), specifically for the Smart Ticketing project. The design symbolises and reflects the many different landscapes of Queensland, recognising the rich contribution of the First Nations people of Queensland through the journeys many Queenslanders and visitors make through the state each day.

You can learn more about the artwork and the artist here.

How do you use Smart Ticketing?

Using Smart Ticketing is easy and convenient. Tap your go card, and then hop on the train or tram. Once your journey is complete, hop off and tap off.  The simplified icons make the system even easier to understand. Hold your card to the centre of the new validator screen to tap on or off. Once you’ve tapped your card, you’ll receive one of three messages:

  • A large white tick, green lights, and a positive sound means your tap was accepted.
  • A large white cross with red lights and a negative sound means your tap was declined.
  • A large white tick with orange lights and an alert tone means your tap was accepted, but there’s something regarding your account that requires attention. You should check your go card account online or contact Translink on 13 12 30.

Once the Smart Ticketing options have been fully rolled out, you can follow the same steps but choose to use a smartphone, smart watch, credit card, or debit card across the Queensland Rail Citytrain network as well as South East Queensland ferries, buses and regional urban bus services. No matter what method of payment you choose, you’ll need to use the same one to tap on and off. Don’t forget to remove your chosen card from your wallet, as the stronger processing power of the validators could mean they read the wrong card.

When will Smart Ticketing be fully functional?

The Smart Ticketing validators are ready for use with a go card, so when you see the bright pink equipment you can proceed as normal. In addition, you can trial new Smart Ticketing payment options with Visa, Mastercard and American Express available across the G:link network, for adult fares only.

For the rest of Queensland’s excellent public transport options, Smart Ticketing will be progressively rolled out across South East Queensland by the end of 2022. The staged approach will help ensure that Smart Ticketing is fully functional for customers before each phase is implemented.

Learning more about Smart Ticketing

There are plenty of ways you can get more information or assistance with the new Smart Ticketing system. Translink have street teams at select stations to help you use new equipment, or you can chat to the friendly staff at the platform.

Translink is available to take calls on 13 12 30 if you have a question or feedback, and follow Translink’s Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all things Smart Ticketing. There is also a great FAQ section that can help you learn more about the system and the rollout.

Travelling with Airtrain

We’re proud to be an important part of the Queensland transport system, helping to link Queensland to the rest of the world. We’re also proud to feature the new ticketing validators and be part of supporting the world-class Smart Ticketing system as it rolls out across Queensland. It’s just another way we’re committing to providing modern, reliable, and convenient transport to all our passengers as they travel to and from our great state.