TRANSPERTH-Public Transport

Transperth is a division of the Public Transport Authority. Transperth operates the only fully-integrated public transport system in Australia.  This means that with just one ticket, you can ride on any bus, train or ferry in the Perth metropolitan area and transfer between services within a given period.To travel on Transperth bus, train and ferry services you need to buy a ticket.

Transperth has two types of ticketing, cash tickets and SmartRider (Transperth’s electronic ticketing system). Transperth recommends SmartRider as it always ensures that you pay the appropriate and lowest fare. Passengers purchasing cash tickets are encouraged to tender the correct amount as drivers carry very little change and most Transperth Stations do not have change machines.

Children under the age of five travel for free and must be accompanied by someone aged 15 years or older. Children between the ages of five and 15 qualify for a concession fare.

Transperth Information Line Ph: 13 62 13


SmartRider is Transperth’s electronic ticketing system that uses smartcard technology incorporating an embedded microchip and an aerial to enable the smartcard to communicate with processors located on board Transperth buses and ferries and at train stations.  The embedded microchip enables $ value to be stored onto your SmartRider card, your journey details to be recorded and the fare value of each journey to be deducted from the stored value on your card.

The SmartRider system is simple to use.  All you need to remember is to ‘tag on’ and ‘tag off’ whenever you travel on a Transperth bus, train or ferry.  For further information regarding SmartRider, including online demonstrations, contact Transperth.

JourneyPlanner: A safe trip begins with planning

Know when your Transperth service is arriving to minimise your wait at stations and stops. Plan your journey by using Transperth’s JourneyPlanner via their website to find out how to get to your destination.  The Transperth JourneyPlanner includes interactive maps displaying your journey path and includes street names and landmarks such as shopping centres and schools just like a street directory.

Furthermore, if you register with TravelEasy, you will receive any changes to your journey, whether it is timetable updates or service changes or disruptions.

Student concession fares

International students studying full-time in Perth, for a period greater than six weeks, are entitled to concession fares.  To access concession fares, international students must apply for a “Tertiary SmartRider” card from your education provider.

When purchasing a concession cash ticket from Ticketing Vending Machines or bus/ferry drivers, a Tertiary SmartRider is the only valid ID that proves you are a full-time student. Student cards or any other form of ID are not accepted.

Zones and time limits

Transperth’s public transport service area is divided into nine zones, which are defined by circles centred on Perth city. Your fare is calculated by the number of zones you travel through on your journey. If you travel within the one zone, you will be charged a 1-zone fare. If you travel over a zone boundary into another zone, you will be charged a 2-zone fare and so on.

When you buy a Transperth ticket you don’t just buy a single ride on the bus, train or ferry, you buy between two to three hours of travel on any Transperth service. For journeys up to 4 zones, you have two hours to transfer between services. For trips covering 5 to 9 zones, you have three hours. The transfer period commences at the time of the ticket purchase or first validation of your SmartRider card.

Free Travel on Transperth services

The Free Transit Zone (FTZ) operates within the Perth City boundaries. Free travel is only permitted on trips that start and finish within the boundary limits.  The bus boundaries are detailed on the Free Transit Zone map that can be downloaded from the Transperth website.  For trains, the FTZ boundaries are City West Station on the Fremantle line, Claisebrook Station on the Midland and Armadale lines, and Esplanade Station on the Mandurah and Joondalup lines. Look for a logo on the bus stops to identify the FTZ boundaries.

C A T (Central Area Transit) bus services provide free travel around the central city area in the Fremantle, Joondalup and Perth CBD and operate on a regular frequency.  For further information about CAT services visit the Transperth website.


Whilst travel by taxi can be more expensive than public transport it provides a “door to door” service and they are available on a 24/7 basis. Fares and charges are set by the government and meters are used at all times to calculate the fare. Fares are NOT negotiable between passenger and driver. Fares are higher after 6pm on weekends and on public holidays. There is no extra charge for luggage and tipping is not expected. All taxi drivers are trained to take you the most direct (and cheapest) route but if you have a preferred route let the driver know at the start of your journey.

Late on busy Friday and Saturday nights it can sometimes be difficult to get a taxi. It is wise to request a taxi in advance for the time and location you require and to make sure you are ready on time and can be easily seen as taxis rarely wait on busy nights. Many patrons on a busy night out will, by mutual agreement, share the cost of a taxi to take them home if the buses and trains are no longer running.

TRANSWA-Traveling in Country WA

Train & Country Bus

TRANSWA operates passenger services to approximately 275 destinations in regional Western Australia, as well as regularly monitoring stopping destinations and working with local communities to ensure that the standard of these destinations are suitable for passengers. Reservations must be made before travel on most routes. Some country areas not reached by TRANSWA are serviced by private bus companies such as Greyhound Bus.

TRANSWA Inquiries & Reservations Ph: 1300 662 205

Air Travel

Remember when you are traveling within Australia that distances are very large so allow plenty of time for your trip. Always book ahead as seats fill up very quickly. When you travel as a student in Australia, there are lots of ways in which you can save money or get special deals.  Shop around to find the best deals by using the internet and talking to your student adviser.  Some universities have travel agents on campus.

The ISIC or International Student Identity Card is the only internationally recognized proof of full time student status, and is the key to a heap of student discounts both here and overseas, from airfares to theme park tickets. The ISIC is available from STA Travel’s offices throughout Perth.

There are two main airlines flying within Australia, Qantas and Virgin Australia. It is always better to book in advance to get the cheapest prices. Booking on line and paying with a credit card is the most easy and efficient way to book. Airfares need to be paid for at the time you make the booking.  Prices can vary a lot for a flight so always check with a number of Agents to get the best price.  Airfares have very strict rules, especially the cheaper fares. Always check what the cost is to change or cancel your booking as this can be expensive. Not all airlines will give you drinks, meals, movies or frequent flyer points so check the difference with your travel adviser.

Train Travel Interstate

Train travel is slow but scenic – it will take approx 3 days to reach Sydney from Perth.

The best way to go would be to purchase a RailPass which is restricted to foreign passport holders. The pass offers an economical way to discover all that Australia has to offer.

Car Rental

Many students make good use of the public bus or train options for getting around Perth.  The desire to explore outer areas from Perth city will often mean taking the option to rent a car. There is a wide choice of car rental companies and types of vehicles available to rent.  Here it is wise to shop around and obtain price comparisons for what you want to use the car for and how long.

Many car hire companies have important information written in very small print (usually on the bottom or the back of the paper contract to hire the car, PLEASE READ THIS and if you do not understand the information, then ask the company to explain what it means to you.

Ask as many questions as you need to.  We have seen a number of cases over time, where students have not understood what the agreement meant and what their rights were after having an accident.

Ask questions to the car rental company, such as:

  • Is insurance for the car included in the deal?
  • Are the driver and or passenger(s) covered whilst traveling in the car?
  • What happens if I have an accident with the car?

Importing a Car

To import a new or used car into Australia it must meet national standards. A vehicle will not be licensed in Western Australia unless it is accompanied by a valid import approval, and complies with the requirements and conditions specified by DOTARS in the approval document (see DOTARS website The vehicle must also comply with the requirements of the WA Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 2002 and the Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Rules 2002.

You are required to obtain third party insurance cover for your vehicle while it is in WA, by having the vehicle examined at an examination centre (phone Licensing on 13 11 56 or  for your nearest centre). Once the vehicle passes a road worthiness examination, third party insurance will be issued upon payment of the appropriate fee.

Royal Automobile Club (RAC) of WA

The RAC is Western Australia’s peak motoring body and a leading member organization in WA. If you’re planning to drive a vehicle while living in WA the RAC provides a reliable 24/7 car breakdown service.

Buying a Car

In WA you can buy a car from a car dealer (car yard) or from a private owner (someone who is selling their own car normally from a private residence). Make sure you research the type of car you want before you buy. Car yards usually sell both new and used cars where private owners usually are selling their own used car.

If you are buying a car from a dealer- do not sign anything unless you intend to definitely buy the car. Do not let dealers “pressure” you into signing anything if you do not feel comfortable. It is common practice to negotiate over price. Dealers will often try and sell you “add ons” for the car plus insurance etc. This is often a way for them to make more money so consider carefully what you wish to purchase.

When buying a car from a private owner it is common practice for you to ask to meet with the owner at their home so you can see the car and also take it for a small test drive. Negotiating over the price is also acceptable. Most private owners will only accept a cash payment. You will also need to complete a car transfer of ownership documents which the private owner will need you to complete. The steps on transferring vehicle ownership is here

RAC’s top tips for buying a car:

Buying a car for the first time (and in a foreign country!) is not easy and the RAC’s advice will help you make the right decision. RAC’s top tips include:

  • Consider what you will use the car for and buy the type, make and model of car to suit
  • Make sure you consider all vehicle running costs
  • Check whether the car has money owing on it, has been written off or was stolen before buying it. Visit for more information
  • Arrange finance and insurance before you buy
  • Do not sign a contract unless you are absolutely certain the car is right for you
  • Keep a copy of all the paperwork you sign.

The RAC’s Buying (and Selling) a Car guide covers everything you need to know about choosing a car, arranging finance and insurance, shopping around and doing the paperwork.

Drivers License

You will require a valid driver’s license to drive in WA. If you already have a current license from another country you may be able drive in Australia. For further information check the Licensing Services section at This website will also give you information on WA’s road rules.

If you do not have a license, the RAC’s Learn to Drive program is a one stop-shop for all the information you need about learning to drive, including helping to find a professional driving instructor.