Perth is Australia’s most remote and sunniest capital city. What it lacks in proximity to its more easterly neighbours, it more than makes up for with beautiful, golden sunshine and magnificent sunsets. It has stunning beaches, gorgeous parks, lots of cafes, restaurants and bars. You can immerse yourself in nature or enjoy an outstanding cup of coffee or sample some of the fine craft beers made in the city.
There are sporting events, concerts and other events and even the suburbs themselves offer interesting streetscapes to visit with your camera. So if you’re going to see lots of this fine city, you’re going to need to know how to get around!
In Perth, the Government transit authority is Transperth. They operate the city’s buses, trains and ferries so people can get around easily and enjoy what’s on offer. If you intend to live, work or study in Perth, you should familiarise yourself with the public transport system so you’ll know how to use it in the most efficient and cost-effective ways.
If you’re going to be in Perth for more than a few days, you must get yourself a SmartRider card. It’s the city’s smart card for public transport and you just add funds to it and you’re good to go, on buses, trains and ferries. Whenever you get onto one of these vehicles, you tap on at the electronic card reader, then tap off when you get off. Simple! Using SmartRider is 15 percent cheaper than purchasing single-use tickets (save 20 percent when you set your card to Autoload).
Purchase your SmartRider at a licensed retail sales outlet or at a Transperth InfoCentre in the City. You can add your funds there too, top up your card online, use an add-value machine at train stations, pay with cash on board buses and ferries or pay using Bpay via your internet banking portal.
Perth City’s fleet of more than 1,470 buses services 280 standard routes across the city and suburbs, and 10 CAT (Central Area Transit) routes. Many of the buses are wheelchair and pram accessible. Regular buses are usually green and CAT buses are silver. The CATs offer free transport within the Free Transit Zone and come along very regularly, around every five to 10 minutes.
For very busy people, Perth operates a High Frequency Bus service. They run every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday, 8am and 7pm on Saturdays and 9am and 7pm on Sundays. Grab a blue timetable from one of the InfoCentres in the City. Routes 910, 930, 935, 950, 960, 970 and 990 feature on this service.
Perth’s fast, clean and quiet suburban trains are called ‘Fasttrack’. From 5.30am they run regularly until 11.30pm on weekdays, with reduced services on weekends and public holidays. Late night trains operate on weekends to transport nightclub goers in and out of the City. There are four main train lines in Perth which go north to Clarkson, south to Fremantle, north-west to Midland and south-west to Armadale.
The ferry service is a very pleasant way to travel, with journeys along the Swan River calm and smooth. There are two ferries operating in Perth’s CBD – the MV Shelley Taylor-Smith and the MV Phillip Pendal – which keep extremely busy, with up to 122 trips on an average weekday. Take the ferry from Barrack Street Jetty in the CBD over to Mends Street Jetty in South Perth where you can enjoy the foreshore and all its restaurants and spend a day at Perth Zoo.
Apps make everything so much easier when you need to find information quickly on your phone. The Transperth app shows you timetables, routes and maps, provides notifications of delays, cancellations and reschedules, tells you your SmartRider balance and so much more. Download it before using the system and you’ll find it much easier.
You can even sign up for an SMS service that tells you when the next services leave from any bus, train or ferry stop and you can check your SmartRider balance via SMS too. It’s not a premium service so use it with confidence that you won’t be charged high fees.
It’s easy to travel between Perth and the airport thanks to Transperth’s regular bus services. There’s the 380 bus, fitted with luggage racks and it runs daily between the Elizabeth Quay bus station in the CBD and T1 and T2.
It stops at Victoria Park transfer station, Burswood train station and Belmont Forum Shopping Centre and passengers can make connecting services from those locations. Bus route 40 runs 7 days a week between Elizabeth Quay bus station and T3 and T4 via the Great Eastern Highway.
If you need to transfer between terminals, it’s a 15-minute drive. Simply take the free terminal transfer bus which operates 24/7 and takes passengers between T1/T2 and T3/T4.
As with other capital cities, taxis run 24/7 in Perth. There are two main companies: Black & White Cabs and Swan Taxis. You’ll find ranks outside all terminals at the airport and of course, throughout the Perth CBD.
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