​Queensland's go card to replace 'bureaucratic nightmare' concession card system

The Queensland government has brought the tertiary transport concession card application process online to TransLink's website to eliminate the need for extra paperwork.

The Queensland government will be replacing the existing paper-based tertiary transport concession card (TTCC) system used in South East Queensland with an online application process that will be found on TransLink's website, as part of rolling out the go electronic ticket card solution.

The TTCC was introduced by the former Liberal party, which the Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe has described as a "bureaucratic nightmare" for students and tertiary institutions.

He believes by linking the tertiary concession to the go card, it will eliminate the need for extra paperwork and for people to reapply every year for their concession, and to be notified automatically if their eligibility changes.

"Instead of completing an annual paper-based application and waiting, like they had to with the LNP's TTCC, tertiary and post-secondary students will be able to apply for concession fares on public transport with just the click of a button or a simple phone call," he said.

"The new online application process is quick and easy to complete and students will experience faster processing times and will be notified automatically by text or email when concession fares have been automatically applied to their go card."

Hinchliffe said the online system has also been designed to allow students travelling outside the go card network -- regional Queensland -- to apply with their education institution for an annual tertiary concession sticker. There are already 97 institutions in Queensland accepting online applications, with Hinchliffe noting that all institutions will be online before semester one starts.

The University of Queensland, the Queensland University of Technology, and Griffith University trialled the system in November and December last year, and have since rolled it out.

"This solution will take the hassle out of student travel and means more than 100,000 tertiary students in South East Queensland and more than 90,000 students in regional Queensland will be able to easily access concession fares," Hinchliffe said.

The government reassured that in order to give eligible students sufficient time to apply for a go card, they can continue to access concession fares by showing their student ID on public transport, while post-secondary students intending to continue their studies at a tertiary institution can show their high school ID until March 31, 2016.

In May last year, it was revealed New South Wales' version of the go card, the Opal card, was being used by the New South Wales Police and the Department of Immigration as a data collection hub. While the cards themselves do not store data, Transport for New South Wales keeps personal information, trip history, and other data collected on passengers for seven years.

ZDNet first revealed back in 2014 that Opal card data could be accessed by police without a warrant if there is reasonable evidence that an offence has occurred.

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