The government of Western Australia (WA) is investing AU$33.8 million as part of the 2017-18 State Budget to modernise SmartRider, Transperth's cashless ticketing system. SmartRider was introduced a decade ago.
A new system will be introduced to cater for future patronage growth expected as part of METRONET and to accommodate advances in technology. (METRONET is the long term blueprint to connect Perth’s suburbs, reduce road congestion and meet Perth's future planning needs.)
All SmartRider readers across the network will be replaced during the system overhaul, and the back-end technology will be upgraded. More sophisticated card encryption technologies will be developed.
The press release also stated that flexible payment options such as smartphone or debit or credit card tag-on capabilities are being investigated. The contactless card and mobile phone pay-as-you-go system could be similar to the system that has been successfully implemented by Transport for London.
The upgraded system is expected to be ready by 2021 – in time for the completion of the METRONET rail extension to Yanchep and Thornlie to Cockburn line.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said, “This upgrade will improve security and make the SmartRider system more user-friendly in preparation for our METRONET projects reaching completion. The existing SmartRider system has served the public of Western Australia very well but, as with all technology, there comes a time when both infrastructure and networks need to be upgraded and replaced. This Government is doing what it can to make the SmartRider system more reliable and up-to-date as part of our commitment to delivering public transport in this State."