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Tag On To Perth’s Public Transport System

Live in Perth
23rd April 2020 StudyPerth
Live in Perth
23rd April 2020 StudyPerth

Perth’s public transport system is ever-expanding as it responds to the needs of commuters.

From being in and around the city, going south to Fremantle and beyond, heading north to Joondalup and everywhere in between, it has never been easier to explore Perth using the Transperth public transport system.

Check out how Perth’s safe, reliable and clean public transport system makes it easy for students to get around!



The first thing you should know about our student-friendly public transport system is that as an international student, you will receive a 40 per cent discount on all public transport throughout Western Australia! That represents a massive saving for you!

The Transperth website has detailed information about services to universities and TAFE campuses.



A SmartRider is a reusable smart card, which replaces traditional tickets for easy, hassle-free travel on Transperth services.

When you get on a Transperth service or enter the station, you just need to ‘tag on’ by placing your card on the SmartRider machine. Similarly, when you get off the service or leave the station, remember to ‘tag off’ – it is at this point that your fare is paid.

There are some exceptions for ‘tagging on/tagging off’. Visit the Transperth website to learn more.

We would recommend you use a SmartRider for getting around Perth as:

  • Discounts are applied for SmartRider users.
  • You can enable Autoload onto your card, ensuring you never run out of funds on your SmartRider.
  • Your education institution can help you set up your SmartRider for student concession.
  • It is easier than purchasing paper tickets (not to mention, more environmentally-friendly).
  • You can use your SmartRider to pay for parking at stations through the SmartParker system.



Perth’s public transport system is divided into travel zones and is designed to be easy to use for everyone visiting our city. Visit the Transperth Zone Map webpage for more detailed information.



For shorter trips around Perth and surrounding areas, a bus is the best way to get around. Services in and out of the city run approximately every 15 minutes, though it is usually more frequent during peak hour. There may be fewer bus services running outside business hours, on the weekends and public holidays, so check the Transperth App or website for the latest schedules.



The Perth Busport is the heart of the city’s bus system and is accessible via Yagan Square. Not only is it fully underground – a first for Perth – but it is Australia’s first bus station to operate like an airport.

The are 16 bus stands in the busport, with buses departing from different stands for each trip to maximise efficiency.



Perth’s CAT (Central Area Transit) Bus services are free! This means you can get on and off these buses as often as you like without paying a fare.

These buses run regularly – every eight minutes between 7.00am and 7.30pm, and every 15 minutes for an hour or two either side of that period.

There are four CAT services running around Perth’s CBD, two running around Fremantle, and three around Joondalup. Check out the Transperth CAT Bus Timetable webpage for more information.



Transperth’s recent 2018 Passenger Satisfaction Monitor found that approximately 94 per cent of train patrons were satisfied with the train system – an equal all time high!

There are six train lines in Perth, all of which converge at either Perth Station or at Perth Underground:

  • Fremantle Line – connects to Perth Station
  • Midland Line – connects to Perth Station
  • Armadale Line – connects to Perth Station
  • Thornlie Line – connects to Perth Station
  • Joondalup Line – connects to Perth Underground
  • Mandurah Line – connects to Perth Underground

Visit the Transperth train services timetables on the website for more service information.



Transperth operates a ferry service to/from South Perth to Elizabeth Quay Jetty on the Western Promenade – just look for the big, blue canopy at Elizabeth and you’ll find the terminal. SmartRiders are used to travel on the ferry.



Looking to travel outside the metro area by public transport? Western Australia’s Transwa system is perfect for you!

Transwa connects 240 destinations around the regions including Kalbarri, Augusta and Esperance, and provides transport to the major regional centres of Bunbury, Kalgoorlie, Northam, Geraldton and Albany.


In our next blog about getting around Perth, we’ll talk about ride-sharing and taxi services, and using bicycles.

In the meantime, we recommend you visit the Transperth website for more detailed information and download the Transperth App from the App Store. The app is free, and can help you track your service live, plan your journey, and manage your Transperth account.