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For the transport system servicing regional Western Australia, see Transwa.
Transperth logo.svg
Transperth Sets.JPG
B Series train at McIver
Locale Perth
Transit type Bus, ferry & train
Headquarters Perth
Began operation 31 August 1958
Operator(s) Captain Cook Cruises
Path Transit
Swan Transit
Transdev WA
Transperth Trains

Transperth is the brand name of the public transport system servicing Perth, the state capital of Western Australia. It is operated by the Public Transport Authority.


Preserved AEC Regal VI in Metropolitan Transport Trust livery
Preserved former Transperth Mercedes-Benz O305s
Howard Porter bodied Renault PR100.2 in September 2006
Volgren bodied Volvo B7RLE at Fremantle station in February 2015

In August 1958, the Metropolitan Transport Trust commenced operations with the take over of Beam Transport and Metro Buses by the Government of Western Australia. Subsequently all private bus operators in Perth were acquired.[1][2]

In August 1986, the Metropolitan Transport Trust was rebranded as Transperth. In February 1995 the provision of ferry services was contracted to Captain Cook Cruises.[3][4] In September 1993, the Government announced Transperth would be corporatised and opened up to competition.[5] In February 1995 in preparation for privatisation, Transperth was restructured with the operation of services transferred to MetroBus, with ownership of the buses retained by Transperth.[6][7][8]

In September 1994, expressions of interest were sought from organisations for the operation of Transperth bus services in the Armadale South and Joondalup North areas.[9] MetroBus successfully bid to retain these services.[10]

The remaining services were tendered in 1995/96 to Connex, Path Transit, Southern Coast Transit and Swan Transit.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18] Connex sold its operation to Swan Transit in September 2002[19] before re-entering the market by purchasing Southern Coast Transit.[20][21][22]

Transperth retained ownership of the buses leasing them to the operators. MetroBus did not win any further tenders and operated its last bus on 4 July 1998.[23]


The Metropolitan Transport Trust adopted an olive green and cream livery. Following the 1986 rebranding as Transperth a green and white livery was introduced, this being replaced in the 1990s by a grey and green livery.


Transperth offers bus, ferry and train services which currently serve the Perth Metropolitan Area from the Perth CBD, east to Wundowie, west to Fremantle, south to Mandurah and north to Two Rocks. These suburbs are divided into nine fare-zones according to distance from the city centre.


Bus services in Perth are operated by three private companies with services divided into 11 zones that are re-tendered every 10 years. As at June 2015 the contracts were held by:[24]

Transperth oversees and regulates a bus service throughout the Perth metropolitan area and some fringe rural areas. Routes follow two basic formats: feeder services between residential suburbs and bus stations or bus/train interchanges, and routes directly to the CBD. There are also some cross-suburban services, most notably the CircleRoute. Additional services are provided for schools and special events. Transperth's most frequent bus routes run from 05:00 until 24:00 with services generally every 4–15 minutes on weekdays and every 15–30 minutes on evenings and weekends. Most other local routes run about every 10 minutes in peak periods reducing to every 30 minutes during the day in inner Perth with outer feeder services running every 15–20 minutes in peak periods and every 60 minutes during the day, with reduced service on evenings and weekends. Services to and from railway stations are normally co-ordinated to connect with every, every second or every fourth train.

As at June 2015, the fleet consisted of 1,430 Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Volvo buses.[24] Transperth previously operated large numbers of AEC Regal VIs, Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmasters, Leyland Leopards, Leyland Panthers, Leyland Tiger Cubs, Hino RC520Ps and Mercedes-Benz O305s.

In the year ended June 2015 there were 84.1 million passenger boardings on Perth bus services.[24]

Special services[edit]

CircleRoute: The CircleRoute is a cross suburban route that links numerous railway stations, shopping centres, universities, schools and the port city of Fremantle. Services run 5–15 minutes weekdays and 15–30 minutes weekends and public holidays.

Central Area Transit: Transperth operates CAT bus services around the Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup CBDs. Services run every 5 – 15 minutes on weekdays and every 10 – 15 minutes on weekends.

  • Red CAT: Northern Fremantle CBD loop.
  • Blue CAT: Southern Fremantle CBD and South Beach

Joondalup CATs run Monday to Friday only.

Airport services[edit]

Transperth operates route 380 from Elizabeth Quay bus station to Terminals 1 and 2 of Perth Airport via Belmont Forum. Terminals 3 and 4 are serviced by route 37 from Kings Park via Belmont Forum; and route 40 from Elizabeth Quay bus station via the Great Eastern Highway.[25][26]


Transperth operates a ferry service across the Swan River between Barrack Street (Perth CBD) and the South Perth foreshore. Services departs twice an hour and every 15 minutes during peak. The ferry is popular with commuters and tourists who use it to get to the Perth Zoo. There are currently two Transperth ferries, the MV Shelley Taylor-Smith[27] and the MV Phillip Pendal.[28] The ferry service has been operated under contract by Captain Cook Cruises since February 1995.[4][29] In the year ended June 2015 there were 400,000 passenger boardings on Perth ferry services.[24]


Main article: Transperth Trains

Transperth Trains operates Perth's urban rail services. The network consists of 70 railway stations on six narrow-gauge lines to Midland, Armadale, Fremantle, Butler and Mandurah. Trains to Thornlie run via a spur off the Armadale line.

Services operate from 05:00 until 24:00 (until 02:00 on Saturday and Sunday mornings) with a minimum frequency of 3–15 minutes until 19:30 and 30 minutes until midnight, 15 minutes weekday and weekend (including public holidays). Post midnight services on Saturday and Sunday mornings operate on one-hour frequency until 02:15. In the year ended June 2015, 64.2 million passenger journeys were made on the network, up from 31.1 million in 2003/04.[24]

The network has been served exclusively by electric multiple unit railcars since it was electrified in the 1990s. Before that diesel locomotive-hauled trains and ADK/ADB and ADL/ADC diesel multiple units were used.[30]

Light rail[edit]

In September 2012, the government announced that construction would begin in 2016 on a new Perth light rail network, to be known as Metro Area Express (MAX).[31][32] The first stage of the MAX network will be a line running from the Polytechnic West campus in Balga, in Perth's northern suburbs, to the Perth CBD, with spur lines from the CBD to the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre in Nedlands and the Causeway in East Perth. Construction of the first stage was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.[31] In December 2013 the government deferred a decision on whether to build the line until 2017.[33]

Passenger information[edit]


TravelEasy sends customers an email notification when there are disruptions and changes to their nominated services. The service was introduced in 2003. TravelEasy also provides a SmartRider link facility, allowing customers to check card balances and add value.

The TravelEasy service will only e-mail subscribers for major significant disruptions, which are planned ahead. General day-to-day disruptions (technical difficulties, overheating engines etc.) which may cause delays of up to two hours will not be notified to travellers.

Google transit[edit]

Perth became the first city in Australia to use Google transit, whereby all bus stops, railway stations and ferry wharfs have a clickable symbol on Google Maps which reveals the next departures from that stop. Also, public transport is available as an option for Google Maps' directions feature.[34]

Live train times[edit]

As of 10 December 2009, the TravelEasy users can view the live train times to see whether the train services is on time or not as well as live departure times.[35] This service has now been made available to all commuters, and a cut-down version has been placed on


The 136213.MOBI service was launched at 10 June 2008. The service allows for public transport information, such as upcoming departures, service changes and SmartRider balances, to be obtained on a WAP-compatible mobile phone.


SmartRider smart card
Old TVMs lineup at Perth railway station
Main articles: MultiRider and SmartRider

The methods and types of tickets used on the network continue to change with the progression of time and technology. Today, passengers on the network can either purchase a cash ticket from any ticket vending machine at a train stations, from a ferry wharf, or bus driver or use a re-loadable stored-value card known as SmartRider.

Fares are calculated on a zone-based system starting from 2-sections to 9 zones and charged at either standard or concession rates. Concession rates are available to children under the age of 15 years, persons over the age of 60 possessing a Senior's Card, students of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary schools possessing a SmartRider with valid concession status, and those in the receipt of various state and commonwealth pensions with acceptable proof of that status. DayRider and FamilyRider tickets are also available. Passengers to some special events such as football matches can travel free with a valid ticket to the event.

Some additional fare classes exist within the system and include:

Fare type Details
DayRider valid for all zones, all day (Only for purchase and use after 09:00 on weekdays)
FamilyRider unlimited travel for 7 passengers (including 2 adults). Available all day on weekends and public holidays, after 09:00 on school holidays, after 18:00 Monday to Thursday (school days) and after 15:00 Friday (school days)
Seniors SmartRider Available for seniors, valid for free travel on all days between 09:00 and 15:30, as well as weekends / Public Holidays and Senior's week. (replacing the Senior MultiRider)
Student SmartRider Available for primary and secondary school students as well as full-time tertiary students. (replacing the Student MultiRider)

Previous methods[edit]

In the early 1990s, the network changed over from the use of train conductors with old rotary paper ticketing units and installed self-service ticket vending machines supplied by Ascom. The same rotary units in place on buses were replaced with technology supplied by Wayfarer Transit Systems.

Also at the same time, an upgraded version of the pre-encoded multi-trip ticket system MultiRider was introduced, also relying on technology from Wayfarer.


Two TVMs on the East concourse of Perth railway station

In March 2007, the Public Transport Authority commenced a trial of upgraded ticket vending machines installing two new units on the Eastern concourse at Perth railway station and all Mandurah railway line stations.

These trial units are based on touch-screen technology, and provide an expanded number of options including being able to purchase multiple quantities of tickets at the same time, as well as optionally being able to pay using either notes or Electronic funds transfer from a cheque or savings account using a Debit card, dependent on these components being installed in the unit. These are now installed in all railway stations in place of the older TVMs. They are made by and contracted out to Xerox who won the bid to change out the fare system.

In 2007 the MultiRider ticketing system was replaced with the Smartrider ticketing system which uses contactless electronic ticketing system using smartcard technology for the process of charging patrons for public transport.

The SmartRider is a smartcard incorporating a microchip and internal aerial, allowing the smartcard to communicate with processors located on Transperth buses and ferries and at railway stations. The microchip enables value to be loaded onto the card, as well as allowing the journey details to be recorded and the appropriate fare deducted from the stored value on the card. The card is able to pay for bus, ferry or train travel and can also be used at some Pay 'n' Display railway station carparks to pay for parking. Though it can be used to pay for parking at stations, parking payments expire at midnight on the day of payment and there is no way to pay for the following day's parking before returning to the station. Therefore, night shift workers are not able to park at stations. This serious oversight is yet to be addressed by Transperth.

It is also used to authenticate access to the Lock 'n' Ride secure bicycle storage areas at some stations.[36]

Free Transit Zone[edit]

Perth has a Free Transit Zone with travel free on buses in the central business district.

On the rail network, however, free travel within the zone is only available to passengers who have purchased a SmartRider card. 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.[37]


A geographic Transperth Trains services map
A geographic Transperth Trains services map

A new 20-year rail expansion plan was released before the 2008 Western Australia state election by Premier Alan Carpenter. The plan includes a link to Ellenbrook via the Midland line, the extension of the Armadale Line to Byford, the extension of the Joondalup line to Yanchep, new stations on the Mandurah line, a spur rail to Perth Airport, and new South West links, connecting other retail centres, hospitals, airports, universities and communities. The rough system map was to be released after the state election.

The Joondalup line was extended 7.5 kilometres from Clarkson to Butler opening on 21 September 2014.[38][39]

Directions 2031 (Plan)[edit]

The State Government is currently drawing up plans for an expansion of the rail network, construction of a light rail network, and creation of rapid transit bus services. The plan includes:[40]

Other long term plans include extending the Armadale line to Byford and connecting the Thornlie line to the Mandurah line at Cockburn Central station.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tilley, Bruce (1985). Bus Fleets MTT Perth. Beverley, South Australia: Railmac Publications. pp. 2, 4. ISBN 0 949817 47 3. 
  2. ^ MTT - Acquired from Other Operators Western Australian Fleet Lists
  3. ^ South Perth ferry service taken over by private company Minister for Transport 5 February 1995
  4. ^ a b "Competitive Tendering" Australian Bus Panorama issue 10/6 February 1995 page 20
  5. ^ Restructuring plan for Transperth Minister for Transport 14 September 1993
  6. ^ "Trading Name" Australian Bus Panorama issue 10/5 January 1995 page 21
  7. ^ Launch of MetroBus (formerly Metropolitan Transport Trust) Minister for Transport 14 February 1995
  8. ^ "Tenders" Australian Bus Panorama issue 10/7 April 1995 page 22
  9. ^ "Tendering Process" Australian Bus Panorama issue 10/4 November 1994 page 32
  10. ^ "Competitive Tendering" Australian Bus Panorama issue 11/2 September 1995 page 23
  11. ^ Preferred tenderer to provide Midland public bus services announced Minister for Transport 12 September 1995
  12. ^ Private companies awarded preferred tenderer status for bus service contracts Minister for Transport 28 June 1996
  13. ^ "Additional contract areas" Australian Bus Panorama issue 12/1 August 1996 page 28
  14. ^ "New operators take over" Fleetline November 1996 page 206
  15. ^ "Competitive Tendering" Australian Bus Panorama issue 12/3 December 1996 pages 24-26
  16. ^ Balance of Transperth's bus services to be tendered out to private sector transport operators Minister for Transport 5 October 1997
  17. ^ First stage of contracting out remainder of Transperth's bus service completed Minister for Transport 23 December 1997
  18. ^ Names of private sector tenderers to take over MetroBus services announced Minister for Transport 22 April 1998
  19. ^ Connex WA sale approved by Government Minister for Planning & Infrastructure 1 September 2002
  20. ^ Sale of Australian bus operations National Express 3 September 2004
  21. ^ Connex pursues further development in Australia Connex 7 September 2004
  22. ^ National Express sells buses The Age 22 September 2004
  23. ^ Private sector will take over remaining Transperth services this Sunday Minister for Transport 2 July 1998
  24. ^ a b c d e Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2015 Public Transport Authority
  25. ^ "Bus Timetable 100" (PDF). Transperth. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "Bus Timetable 110" (PDF). Transperth. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "New Ferry" Australian Bus Panorama issue 13/2 October 1997 page 26
  28. ^ Flash young model to hit the Swan WAtoday 2 March 2009
  29. ^ Merry Ferry Christmas Australasian Bus & Coach 4 December 2012
  30. ^ "PTA history at a glance: 1951 to 1975". Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  31. ^ a b "WA’s first light rail network gets the green light". Ministerial Media Statements. Government of Western Australia. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  32. ^ A 'bold' light rail system to 'transform' Perth WAtoday 2 September 2012
  33. ^ Shelving of light rail project criticised ABC News 19 December 2013
  34. ^ "What's New". Transperth. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  35. ^ Live Train Times, Transperth website, 2009 (accessed 12/12/09)
  36. ^ Lock ‘n’ Ride Bike Shelter Upgrade
  37. ^ Free Transit Zone Transperth website, accessed 2007-10-03
  38. ^ Butler Extension Project Public Transport Authority
  39. ^ Perth grapples with growth and funding challenges International Railway Journal 6 November 2013
  40. ^ Public Transport for Perth in 2031 Department of Transport

External links[edit]

Media related to Transperth at Wikimedia Commons