Queensland's Gold Coast light rail gets first dibs on Cubic's transport ticketing system

The introduction of the smart ticketing system is part of the Queensland government's AU$371 million commitment to upgrade the state's public transport ticketing system.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor
Image: Cubic Transportation Systems

Commuters on Queensland's Gold Coast light rail network will now be able to use their credit and debit cards, smartphones, or smartwatches to pay for rides.

A total of 156 Cubic's platform validators were installed at 19 Gold Coast light rail stations as part of ongoing trials between Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) and the Queensland government as they continue work to overhaul the state's transport ticket system.

The launch of the contactless payment systems on the Gold Coast light rail network marks the first project to come out of the Queensland government's AU$371 million commitment to provide the state with a new ticketing system, which is due for full deployment by 2022.

"Today is possible due to a strong and productive partnership between transit provider TransLink, G:link light rail and our technology partner Cubic Transportation Systems," Queensland Minister for Transport Mark Bailey said.

CTS was awarded the contract back in 2018, and is charged with designing, building, and operating the new ticketing system, as well as assuming responsibility for upgrading the current system to enable the use of contactless payments and allow for gathering real-time passenger information.

Operation and maintenance of the system are also included in the agreement.

Read more: Mobility as a Service could convert car drivers to bus riders (TechRepublic)  

The Queensland government earmarked AU$371 million for the upgrade of the public transport ticketing system as part of its 2018-19 Budget.

Cubic currently supplies the state with its go card and is also the provider of the Opal public transport system in New South Wales.

Last October, the Queensland government, together with Queensland University Technology and local research firm Sprout Logic, ran a month-long trial of its express smart ticketing gates at Brisbane's Central Station.

As part of the trial, four express gate exits were installed. They were used to collect insight into how customers used the gates and how it could be used effectively when rolled out.

The state government said the data collected would be used to deliver an independent academic research report on the key findings and recommendations for future gate improvements.

"The trial will assist in understanding key customer behaviours at the gates and assist us in determining how we can improve all aspects of customer behaviour at gates," Bailey said at the time.

"It will also be about listening to customers who have wanted faster gates, especially during peak times."  

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