Negotiations with Visa to join the trial are ongoing.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey has timed the release of the Gold Coast trial to take advantage of the beginning of the Christmas-new year holidays.
“It’s a huge coup for the city’s $12 billion tourism and hospitality industry, alongside our other tourism initiatives and our record $4 billion spend on Gold Coast roads and transport that will support jobs as part of Queensland’s economic recovery,” Mr Bailey said.
“As part of the ongoing trial, commuters will simply have to touch their Mastercard, AMEX or smart device to the ticketing machine before hopping on board a tram, and tapping off when they depart.
“With thousands of interstate travellers expected to flock to the Gold Coast over the summer holidays, they’ll now be able to travel on our iconic trams without having to use a Go Card.
“TransLink staff will be on the ground throughout the trial to help commuters with the system and take on board any feedback.”
Public testing began in 2019 and will continue as the scheme is phased in throughout Queensland by the end of 2022.
Cubic Transportation Systems, which won the contact to supply the Go Cards in Queensland and operates similar systems around the world, is overseeing the Gold Coast transition with the operator of the city’s light rail, G:link.
The smartphone, smart watch or credit card connection did not yet operate in Brisbane, a TransLink spokesman said.
Passengers wanting to travel between the Gold Coast and Brisbane will have to use their Go Cards.
The trial will operate between the following locations
- Parkwood East
- Gold Coast University Hospital
- Griffith University
- Queen Street
- Nerang Street
- Southport South
- Broadwater Parklands
- Main Beach
- Surfers Paradise North
- Cypress Avenue
- Cavill Avenue
- Surfers Paradise
- Florida Gardens
- Broadbeach North
- Broadbeach South
TransLink chief executive Matt Longland said the new readers had the “same DNA” as the systems in London, Chicago and Vancouver.
“It is configured to accept all major card types and chips,” Mr Longland said.
G:link chairman John Witheriff said the system would be more convenient for commuters.
“We are encouraging them to prepare early by presenting one card or device to pay with, and then making sure they tap on and off with that same payment method,” he said.
Tony Moore is a senior reporter at the Brisbane Times