Qld flags expansion of go card system to retailers

Qld flags expansion of go card system to retailers

Summary: Queensland's go card system could see use in places like petrol stations and convenience stores, with the Department of Transport and Main Roads giving advance notice that it will go to market to seek expressions of interest.

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The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads has flagged an expansion of its go card system, used on its public transport networks, to more retailers.

In a statement on Thursday, Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said that the department would go out to tender to seek interest on expanding upon the existing retail contract. This could potentially see the cards used in supermarkets, grocery chains, petrol stations, newsagents, and convenience stores.

It is not the first time that a contactless electronic ticket has been used beyond transport systems. Japan's Suica and Pasmo cards in particular have seen their use extended so that customers can make purchases from vending machines, retail outlets, some restaurants, certain taxis, and various internet purchases made with a laptop with a card reader.

"Availability of go card's facilities is one of the biggest issues people raise with me, and this would deliver more options to purchase, top-up, check their balance, or change expiry dates," Emerson said.

The department said that although go cards are already available at over 580 locations, the approach of installing and operating the current go card top up machines is too costly. By taking advantage of existing electronic payment methods at retailers, it hopes to address this issue.

"This first step would also look to resolve compatibility and security issues with integrating different technology," Emerson said.

The department expects to release an expression of interest in the coming weeks.

Topics: Government, Emerging Tech, Government AU

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • The go card saga

    It may be revealing for an investigative journalist to look at the history of the go card. It was delivered years late and way over budget and continues to be a blight on the Queensland transport landscape.

    I often wonder whether the revenue collected as fares covers the initial implementation and ongoing operating and maintenance costs of the system. It may be cheaper to ditch go card altogether and just make public transport free.
    Fred Fredrickson