The death of the Go Card is nigh.
The death of the Go Card is nigh.

Could this be the death of the Go Card?


THE death of the multi-million $134 million Go Card ticketing system has begun with commuters to use bank cards and even their smartphones to ride on the state's public transport network.

The Sunday Mail can reveal a trial is set to start later this year or early in 2019 to test drive the newest way to pay for travel.

Travellers will eventually no longer need to pay up to $10 for a Go Card to travel on Queensland's TransLink system and can instead "tap and go" to pay for their commute.

News Corp has been told the new technology could initially begin through a trial on Brisbane's Airtrain service for airport commuters.

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A trial to start later this year will test a new way to travel, using credit cards and smartphones.
A trial to start later this year will test a new way to travel, using credit cards and smartphones.

Findings would be used to determine the success of the technology before it's deployed across the southeast's public transport network including every train station, ferry, bus and tram.

The move is expected to speed up tapping on and off services and eliminate the need for commuters to carry multiple cards.

A TransLink spokesman told the Sunday Mail:

"The future of public transport ticketing across Queensland's TransLink network will involve credit and debit card contactless payments,'' he said.

"We have been working closely with a number of companies to explore world-class technology solutions to upgrade the current go card ticketing system."

The spokesman said a number of short-listed parties have been asked to propose a
wide range of technology solutions and "must include the use of contactless bank cards to pay for trips."

"The procurement process is expected to be finalised in 2018 before a trial in 2018/19,'' he said.

The Go Card system was developed by Cubic Corporation after they were awarded the multi-million contract in 2003 to design, build, operate and also maintain the new smartcard ticketing system.

The New Generation Rollingstock trains. Picture: Liam Kidston
The New Generation Rollingstock trains. Picture: Liam Kidston

It was rolled out in Brisbane 10 years ago and more than 1.2 billion trips have been taken since its introduction - this includes about 3 million Go Card trips per week.

More than 9.2 million Go Cards have been issued and have been used on 87.1 per cent of all trips taken across the TransLink network in the April to June quarter of 2017.

This is up from 86.8 per cent for the same quarter in 2016.

Commuters with contactless payment technology within their smartphone or smartwatch could also use their devices to pay once the new technology is rolled out.

On some peak bus services commuters must have a valid Go Card or paper ticket before boarding the bus which can catch out those with insufficient funds on their cards.

Such contactless technology is already in use at more than 80 locations across the world including London's transport network which uses the acclaimed Oyster card.

It is understood technology in Melbourne's Myki network and Sydney's Opal network has already been implemented but is yet to be turned on for customers to use.

University of Melbourne enterprise fellow for cyber security Dr Greg Adamson said it was important people were assured their personal details would be safe if using bank cards to travel.

"One of the problems is how do we know a particular organisation has the capacity to protect information,'' Dr Adamson said.

"What is the mechanism to make sure the information stays where it needs to stay?"