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From top left to bottom right: a B-series train on the Mandurah line, an A-series train on the Midland line, a Volvo B8RLE in Fremantle, MV Shelley Taylor-Smith
OwnerPublic Transport Authority
Area servedPerth and surrounding areas
Transit typeBus, ferry, rail
Number of lines7 (train)[a] 1 (ferry)
Number of stations79 (train)[b]
54 (bus)[c]
Annual ridership123,307,689 (year to June 2023)
HeadquartersPublic Transport Centre
Operator(s)Captain Cook Cruises
Path Transit
Swan Transit
Transdev WA
Transperth Train Operations
WAGR (former)
MTT (former)
Number of vehiclesOver 1499 buses
330 railcars
3 ferries
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
narrow gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC from overhead catenary

Transperth is the public transport system for Perth and surrounding areas in Western Australia. It is managed by the Public Transport Authority (PTA), a state government organisation, and consists of train, bus and ferry services. Bus operations are contracted out to Swan Transit, Path Transit and Transdev. Ferry operations are contracted out to Captain Cook Cruises. Train operations are done by the PTA through their Transperth Train Operations division.

The Transperth train system consists of seven lines: the Airport, Armadale, Fremantle, Mandurah, Midland, Thornlie, and Yanchep lines; and 79 stations. Train services have operated since 1881. The Transperth bus system has over 1,499 buses and 51 bus stations, 38 of which are interchanges at railway stations. Buses have operated under private operators from 1903; these private operators were bought out by the Metropolitan Transport Trust starting in 1958. Contracting out the bus operations began in the mid-1990s. The Transperth ferry system has one route, two stops, and three ferries. The system extends as far north as Two Rocks on the outer north of the Perth metropolitan area, Wundowie in the Shire of Northam, and Dawesville in the south of Mandurah. Fares are paid using the SmartRider system or using cash. With 123,307,689 boardings in the year to June 2023, Transperth has the fourth highest patronage in Australia, although the train system has Australia's third highest train patronage.


The first railway in Perth was the Eastern Railway from Fremantle to Guildford via Perth, which opened on 1 March 1881. Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) was formed in 1890 as the operator of railways in Perth and Western Australia. The South Western Railway opened on 2 May 1893. On 28 September 1899, the first trams in Perth begin operating.[1]

In 1903, the first private bus operator began, operating routes from Victoria Park to the Perth central business district (CBD). Trams in Fremantle begin operating in 1905 and were abolished in 1952. The first diesel railcars, the WAGR ADG class, enter service on 28 November 1954, replacing steam locomotives. This allowed for shorter stop spacings, leading to the opening of seven new railway stations on that date.[1]

On 15 January 1958, the Metropolitan Transport Trust (MTT) was formed, and begun to acquire the various private bus operators in Perth. The MTT also operated Perth's ferry services. Perth's last tram ran in 1958 as well. By 5 October 1968, suburban rail services were fully operated by diesel railcars. In the late-1960s, the Midland line was converted from narrow gauge to dual gauge, allowing standard gauge trains to travel from the eastern states to East Perth railway station. The gauge conversion necessitated the rebuild of several stations and bridges along the Midland line. In 1969, the last trolleybuses in Perth ran. The management of Perth's public transport was integrated into a single body in 1974 when the MTT took over the management of Perth's suburban rail services from WAGR. The MTT contracted out the operations of the suburban rail services back to WAGR.[1] Throughout the 1970s, bus stations opened across the Perth metropolitan region, starting with Morley bus station in August 1972 and Wellington Street bus station in March 1973.[2]

The Fremantle line was closed to passenger services on 1 September 1979, despite a 100,000 signature petition calling for the closure to be cancelled. Following a change in government at the 1983 state election, the Fremantle line was reopened. The government then decided to electrify the existing suburban rail lines and build the Yanchep line (known at the time as the Joondalup line). On 31 August 1986, the MTT adopted Transperth as its trading name, marking the first time that the name Transperth has been used for Perth's public transport system. Construction for the Joondalup line commenced on 14 November 1989. The electrification of the rail network was completed by September 1991 and the Transperth A-series trains entered service, replacing the diesel railcars. The Joondalup line partially opened on 21 December 1992 and fully opened in March 1993.[1][2][3] Later that year, the Joondalup line was extended to Currambine railway station.[4][5]

The operation of Transperth services underwent a reorganisation in the mid-1990s, with bus and ferry operations contracted out to private operators. Responsibility for managing the system was transferred to the Department of Transport. The Transperth brand was also transferred to the Department of Transport, with the brand to be used by all the companies which were to operate services under contract. The MTT adopted the trading name MetroBus on 14 February 1995. The operation of the ferries was transferred to Captain Cook Cruises in February 1995. It was initially planned that MetroBus would compete with the private sector for contracts, and it was successful in bidding for the Joondalup North, Armadale South and Perth CATs contracts in 1995 and 1996 whilst several other contracts were awarded to the private sector. The government later announced that it would withdraw MetroBus from operating and it would tender out the remaining contract areas. MetroBus ceased operating bus services on 4 July 1998.[2][3]

In December 1999, enabling legislation for the Mandurah line was passed, paving the way for the construction of the line. It was initially planned to branch off the Armadale line, but was later rerouted to go via a direct route south of Perth in the median of the Kwinana Freeway, necessitating tunnelling under the Perth CBD. This led to the development of the Thornlie line as a branch off the Armadale line instead. On 1 July 2003, the Public Transport Authority was formed, taking over from the Department of Transport of the ownership and management of Transperth services. An extension of the Joondalup line to Clarkson station opened on 4 October 2004. The first Transperth B-series trains enter service in 2004 as well and Nowergup railcar depot opens. Thornlie station opened on 7 August 2005, and on 23 December 2007, the Mandurah line opened.[1][3]

On 21 September 2014, an extension of the Joondalup line to Butler station opened. In July 2016, the Perth Busport opened, replacing Wellington Street bus station. The busport is underground and has a dynamic bus stand allocation system to increase capacity for the same number of bus stands. On 3 November 2016, construction begins on the Forrestfield–Airport Link, later to become known as the Airport line. In 2018 and 2019, the government passed legislation to construct an extension of the Joondalup line to Yanchep, the Morley–Ellenbrook line as a spur off the Midland line, and an extension of the Thornlie line to Cockburn Central station along the Mandurah line, completing the original plans for the Mandurah line to spur off the Armadale line. These projects are all part of the Metronet project to improve Perth's public transport system, which involves several station rebuilds and improvements as well. The Airport line opened on 9 October 2022 and the Yanchep extension opened on 14 July 2024, coinciding with the renaming of the Joondalup line to the Yanchep line. In January 2023, testing for the Transperth C-series train commenced.[1] These trains entered service on 8 April 2024.[6][7]


Transperth services run as far as Two Rocks on the outer north of the Perth metropolitan area, Wundowie in the Shire of Northam, and Dawesville in the south of Mandurah.[8]


Map of the Transperth rail network
Transperth rail map

The Transperth train system consists of seven lines: the Airport, Armadale, Fremantle, Mandurah, Midland, Thornlie, and Yanchep lines. These lines all meet at Perth station in the city's CBD, radiating out from there. The Morley–Ellenbrook line is under construction and is planned to open in 2024. There are several other extensions and upgrades under construction as well under the Metronet project. The system has 76 stations along these six lines,[b][9] planned to increase to 85 when Metronet is completed. Transperth is Australia's third busiest passenger rail system, behind Sydney and Melbourne but ahead of Brisbane and Adelaide.[10] There are two trains used: the Transperth A-series train and the Transperth B-series train, with the Transperth C-series train entering service on 8 April 2024.[6][7]


The Transperth bus system consists of 37 bus-train interchanges and 14 bus-only stations.[9] The bus system is contracted out to private operators: Swan Transit, Path Transit and Transdev.[11] The bus system is the fourth-busiest in Australia, behind Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.[10]


The Transperth ferry system consists of one route and three ferries. The line across the Swan River from Elizabeth Quay Jetty in the Perth CBD to Mends Street Jetty in South Perth. The ferries are the MV Shelley Taylor-Smith, the MV Phillip Pendal and the MV Tricia.


Information, emergency, and ticket machines at Challis station.
SmartRider tag machine and fare gates behind at Perth station.

The fare structure and ticketing system is the same for the bus, train and ferry network. The system is split into nine concentric zones, radiating out from the centre of Perth.[12]: 26 [9] Zone one extends 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the centre of Perth, zones two and three consist of bands 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) wide, and the remaining zones consist of bands 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) wide. Travelling within one zone costs a one-zone fare. Travelling within multiple zones costs a two-zone fare. Multiple trips, including transfers between modes and services, are possible under the same fare as long as this is done within two hours for journeys four zones or less or three hours for journeys of five zones or more.[12]: 26 [13] Prior to January 2022, higher fares were applied to travellers using more than two zones, up to a nine zone fare for travelling though all nine zones. The two-zone fare cap was instituted by the McGowan government as an election promise prior to the 2021 state election.[14][15] Since June 2023, travel on the first Sunday of each month has been free.[16][17]

There are other ticket types. The "two-section" fare is less than a one-zone fare and is for one-way trips below 3.2 kilometres (2 mi). Primary and secondary school students with a Student SmartRider can travel for free on weekdays during the school year, and with a concession fare other days.[18] The DayRider ticket allows unlimited travel for one day. The FamilyRider ticket allows unlimited travel for up to seven people for one day under certain conditions and at certain times.[19]

79% of all fares were paid for using a SmartRider card,[12]: 27  a contactless stored-value card introduced in 2007. Paying for paper tickets using cash is also possible. Tickets can be issued on all buses and ferries and from ticket machines at train stations and ferry jetties.[12]: 26  SmartRiders can only be purchased at certain retail stores and Transperth InfoCentres, and are not generally purchasable at stations or on buses. Methods for adding money to the SmartRider card include using "add-value machines" at certain stations, BPAY, on buses and ferries, at certain retail stores and Transperth InfoCentres, and by setting up "Autoload", where direct debits are made automatically from a bank account to a SmartRider. Fares for using a SmartRider cost 10% less than paper tickets, and 20% less if "Autoload" is used.[12]: 27  To use a SmartRider card, users must "tag on" at the start of a journey and "tag off" at the end of their journey, and the lowest possible fare is automatically applied. The daily spend on a SmartRider is capped at the DayRider cash fare.

People travelling to and from events at Perth Stadium do not have to use a SmartRider or pay for a ticket as Transperth fares are included in the cost of every Perth Stadium ticket.[20]

From the 1990s to 2007, MultiRiders were used as multi-trip tickets. They used magnetic-stripe technology.[21]

Free Transit Zone[edit]

Perth has a Free Transit Zone (FTZ) with zero-fare travel on buses and trains in its central business district.

On the rail network, however, free travel within the zone is only available to passengers who have a SmartRider card, and tag on and off. This was not always the case, but is now required due to changes in station structures brought about by the implementation of the SmartRider ticketing system.[22] For train passengers, the zone is bounded by City West, Elizabeth Quay, and Claisebrook stations.[23]

The FTZ is funded by an annual levy (Perth Parking Levy) on non-residential parking bays in Perth, East Perth, West Perth and Northbridge.[24] The levy was introduced under the Perth Parking Management Act 1999, and allows levy funds to be used for transport-related investments aimed at reducing private car travel into and out of Perth CBD, including the FTZ and CAT bus services.[25]

Since its introduction, the levy has been criticised by the City of Perth council, business groups and the media.[26][27][28]

Cash fares as of July 1 2023[29]
Ticket Type Standard Concession
2 Section $2.30 $1.00
1 Zone $3.40 $1.50
2 Zone $5.10 $2.30
DayRider $10.30 $4.60
FamilyRider $10.30 N/A

Parking fees[edit]

Paid car parking at railway stations was introduced on 1 July 2014. The cost is $2 per weekday, free on weekends. SmartRiders or cash can be used to pay for parking.[30][31]


Perth public transport patronage
FYPatronage±% p.a.
1900 10,200,000—    
1910 19,300,000+6.58%
1920 35,900,000+6.40%
1930 50,400,000+3.45%
1940 58,800,000+1.55%
1945 89,800,000+8.84%
1950 85,100,000−1.07%
1960 69,700,000−1.98%
1970 67,600,000−0.31%
1980 63,800,000−0.58%
1981 63,700,000−0.16%
1982 60,400,000−5.18%
1983 61,300,000+1.49%
1984 55,800,000−8.97%
1985 54,100,000−3.05%
1986 58,300,000+7.76%
1987 59,600,000+2.23%
1988 58,900,000−1.17%
1989 61,400,000+4.24%
1990 63,900,000+4.07%
1991 61,500,000−3.76%
1992 61,500,000+0.00%
1993 63,200,000+2.76%
1994 69,400,000+9.81%
1995 71,900,000+3.60%
1996 72,000,000+0.14%
1997 76,500,000+6.25%
FYPatronage±% p.a.
1998 76,500,000+0.00%
1999 75,700,000−1.05%
2000 78,600,000+3.83%
2001 83,800,000+6.62%
2002 86,000,000+2.63%
2003 88,200,000+2.56%
2004 90,578,121+2.70%
2005 94,985,709+4.87%
2006 98,526,382+3.73%
2007 100,925,805+2.44%
2008 108,793,703+7.80%
2009 128,783,714+18.37%
2010 131,629,344+2.21%
2011 135,975,469+3.30%
2012 144,130,087+6.00%
2013 149,697,303+3.86%
2014 147,640,687−1.37%
2015 148,761,802+0.76%
2016 145,632,675−2.10%
2017 140,856,706−3.28%
2018 139,847,149−0.72%
2019 141,454,423+1.15%
2020 116,552,397−17.60%
2021 102,256,806−12.27%
2022 102,202,990−0.05%
2023 123,307,689+20.65%
Source: Bureau of Infrastructure & Transport Research Economics[32] PTA[33]
Transperth yearly ridership per mode[33]
Mode Patronage
2006–07 2011–12 2016–17 2021–22
Bus 64,622,615 64.0% 80,626,481 55.9% 80,016,728 56.8% 58,890,882 57.6%
Train 35,757,833 35.4% 63,029,878 43.7% 60,092,097 42.7% 42,779,726 41.9%
Ferry 545,357 0.5% 473,728 0.3% 747,881 0.5% 532,382 0.5%
Total 100,925,805 100% 144,130,087 100% 140,856,706 100% 102,202,990 100%
Transperth trains yearly ridership per line[33]
Line Patronage
2011–12 2016–17 2021–22
Mandurah 20,293,223 32.2% 20,343,828 33.9% 14,357,888 33.6%
Yanchep[d] 16,700,234 26.5% 16,658,559 27.7% 11,752,572 27.5%
Armadale and Thornlie 9,227,813 14.6% 7,385,888 12.3% 5,629,910 13.2%
Fremantle 8,679,139 13.8% 7,940,853 13.2% 5,217,162 12.2%
Midland 6,626,464 10.5% 6,143,986 10.2% 4,243,760 9.9%
Replacement buses 1,503,005 2.4% 1,618,983 2.7% 1,578,434 3.7%
Total 63,029,878 100% 60,092,097 100% 42,779,726 100%

See also[edit]

  • Transwa, for regional public transport in Western Australia


  1. ^ The Thornlie line is sometimes counted as part of the Armadale line, which would make the number of lines six.
  2. ^ a b 78 stations if Perth station and Perth Underground station are counted as the same station.
  3. ^ 40 of these bus stations are located at railway stations.
  4. ^ Known as Joondalup line prior 14 July 2024.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Our history". Public Transport Authority. Archived from the original on 16 October 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  2. ^ a b c MetroBus (1998), MetroBus Annual Report 1997–1998, pp. 41–68
  3. ^ a b c Newman, Peter (2012). "The Perth Rail Transformation: Some political lessons learned" (PDF). Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Opening of Currambine railway station next month". Media Statements. 17 July 1993. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  5. ^ "New warning devices for Fastrak trains". Media Statements. 8 August 1993. Archived from the original on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  6. ^ a b Zimmerman, Josh (19 March 2024). "C-series Metronet train due to enter service next month". The West Australian. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  7. ^ a b "All aboard! First METRONET C-series train ready for passengers". Media Statements. 19 March 2024. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  8. ^ "Network Maps". Transperth. Archived from the original on 15 November 2022. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  9. ^ a b c "Transperth Zone Map" (PDF). Transperth. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 September 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  10. ^ a b Long-term trends in urban public transport (PDF). Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. 2 September 2014. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-922205-97-1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 November 2022. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  11. ^ "About Transperth". Transperth. Archived from the original on 8 October 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2021–2022" (PDF). Public Transport Authority. 2022. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 December 2022. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Transperth Fares". Transperth. Archived from the original on 1 January 2022. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  14. ^ Zimmerman, Josh (17 January 2021). "WA Premier Mark McGowan promises to cap Perth train fares at $4.90 if re-elected". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 12 January 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Significant McGowan Government public transport commitment delivered". Media Statements. 30 December 2021. Archived from the original on 12 January 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  16. ^ Balchand, Jason (30 June 2023). "Fare Free Sunday Session Starts This Weekend". So Perth. Archived from the original on 30 June 2023. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  17. ^ "Free public transport on first Sunday each month". Media Statements. 23 April 2023. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  18. ^ "Student SmartRider". www.transperth.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  19. ^ "Special types of tickets and fares". Transperth. Archived from the original on 1 January 2022. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  20. ^ "Optus Stadium". Transperth. Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  21. ^ "All aboard SmartRider and farewell MultiRider". Public Transport Authority. 17 February 2007. Archived from the original on 1 July 2023. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  22. ^ Free Transit Zone Archived 14 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine Transperth website, accessed 2007-10-03.
  23. ^ "Transperth Free Travel". www.transperth.wa.gov.au. Archived from the original on 11 June 2023. Retrieved 11 June 2023.
  24. ^ "Perth parking". transport.wa.gov.au. Department of Transport. Archived from the original on 7 April 2021. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  25. ^ "Administration of the Perth Parking Levy". Office of the Auditor General. 16 February 2023. Archived from the original on 7 March 2023. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  26. ^ Babb, Courtney; Brown, George (May 2022). "The Perth Parking Policy: Towards 25 Years" (PDF). Australasian Transport Research Forum. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 February 2023. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  27. ^ Hastie, Hamish (14 February 2023). "Zempilas tees off over government's Perth parking tax changes". WAtoday. Archived from the original on 20 March 2023. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  28. ^ Bourke, Keane (16 February 2023). "Perth parking levy balloons to almost $200m with no spending plan, auditor general finds". ABC News. Archived from the original on 24 March 2023. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  29. ^ "Transperth fares". www.transperth.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  30. ^ Dollery, Rebecca (1 July 2014). "Paid parking introduced at Perth train stations". ABC News. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  31. ^ "Paid parking is just around the corner". Public Transport Authority. 12 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 March 2023. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  32. ^ "Long-term trends in urban public transport" (PDF). Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. 2 September 2014. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-922205-97-1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 November 2022. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  33. ^ a b c "Transport performance". Public Transport Authority. Retrieved 1 October 2023.