Using SmartRider

Tips about tagging on and off, fare calculations and more.

Tagging on and off

This is simply placing your SmartRider on a card reader at the start and end of your journey.

Though tagging on and off is simple it’s the most important part of using your SmartRider. If you don’t tag on you haven’t purchased a valid ticket to ride on our services and if you don’t tag off we can’t figure out the correct amount your journey costs.

What you do
At the start and end of each journey, place your SmartRider card over the picture of the card on a card reader on the bus, on the ferry or at the train station.
What happens A beep and green light confirms a successful tag on or tag off. When you tag on, the card reader will display your remaining balance. When you tag off, the card reader will display the amount of the fare deducted and your remaining balance.

Exceptions to tagging on and off

CAT bus services
No need to tag on, or off.
Bus journeys that start and finish within the Free Travel Zone
No need to tag on or off. This Free Travel Zone exception does not apply to Train journeys.
Warwick and Whitfords stations Within the interchange area, you may transfer from the bus to the train, or train to the bus, without tagging off and then on again. You will always need to tag on and off a bus service and don't forget to tag off at the end of your journey.
Transferring from one train to another train without leaving the station Normal transfer time periods apply. No need to tag off and then on again. Remember to tag off at the end of your journey.
Bus change route number during journey If you are staying on the same bus, there is no need to tag off and on again at time of route number change if staying on same bus. Remember to tag off at the end of your journey. 

If you don't tag on or tag off

If you forget to tag on or off properly it means you haven’t actually paid for the trip you’ve just taken. We deduct a default fare from your SmartRider card balance if you:

  • don't tag on at the start of your journey, but tag off at the end (you can be fined if you travel without tagging on, as you don’t have a valid ticket)
  • do tag on at the start of your journey, but don’t tag off

The system deducts the default fare from your SmartRider card balance next time you tag on.

For buses The default fare is the cash fare of the longest journey you could have taken on that service. The exception is when you tag onto two bus services within 60 minutes without tagging off the first. When this happens, we use your second tag on location as your tag off location for the first bus service.
For trains The default fare is the cash fare for a seven zone journey.
For ferries The default fare is the cash fare between Barrack Street and Mends Street.

Tagging on and off at the same stop

If you tag on and off at the same train station or ferry jetty within 15 minutes, you pay no fare. If you tag off at the same station after more than 15 minutes, we charge you a default fare.


How SmartRider calculates your fare

Just how smart is it? Well, the SmartRider calculates the correct fare according to a number of factors that include

  • where you tag on and off
  • whether you transferred between services within the allowed transfer times
  • the type of SmartRider card you use
  • whether you use the Autoload facility available via My Account

When you tag off at the end of a journey, the system calculates the lowest fare applicable and deducts it your from your card balance.

Refunds

Your SmartRider card fee and card balance are non-refundable.

Transfer of card balance if your card is lost or stolen – see Lost or stolen cards.

Transfer of card balance to another person - your SmartRider card balance is not transferable to another person.

 

Transfer time limits

SmartRider uses the normal transfer time limits. For journeys up to 4 zones, you have two hours from the time of your initial boarding to transfer between services. For trips covering 5 to 9 zones, you have three hours.


What if my SmartRider balance is too low?

Seeing red when you’re trying to tag on? This could be because your balance is getting too low. You will need top up your card before you can travel. Find out about topping up your card.

If your SmartRider card balance at the start of your journey equals the cash fare of at least two sections, you can tag on to travel any distance. If you tag on and off with a Seniors SmartRider or Veterans SmartRider during the free travel hours, you can ignore this minimum balance requirement.

If the fare we deduct when you tag off is more than the value on your card, it will go into negative balance. You’ll be unable to tag on again until you get your card’s balance back up to at least the equivalent of a two-section cash fare.

Find out how to check the balance of your SmartRider.


Dayrider Fare Cap

If you travel around Perth all day using your SmartRider, and do so within the DayRider fare time limits, the most we’ll deduct from your card’s balance will be the DayRider fare.


SmartRider Benefits

Save 25%

SmartRider gives you a 25% discount on your fare when you use Autoload to top up your card.

Learn about Autoload.


Parking

You can use your SmartRider card to pay for parking at stations.

Learn about Parking.


Frequently Asked SmartRider Questions

What if I lose my SmartRider card?
If you’ve registered your SmartRider and it’s lost or stolen we can transfer your remaining balance to your new card. Unfortunately there’s no protection for unregistered cards. Make sure you let us know as soon as you notice it’s gone so we can hotlist it. For more info go to Lost or Stolen Cards.
How do I tag on and off?
At the start and end of each journey, place your SmartRider card over the picture of the card on a card reader on the bus, on the ferry or at the train station. A beep and green light confirms a successful tag on or tag off. When you tag on, the card reader will display your remaining balance. When you tag off, the card reader will display the amount of the fare deducted and your remaining balance. For more information go to Using SmartRider.
How do I check my SmartRider balance?
There are a number of ways to check your balance. Go to Check SmartRider Balance.
Who is eligible for the student fare?
If you’re a primary or secondary school student you can use the Student SmartRider. You’ll get the student fare for any journey Monday – Friday during the school year and concession fares on the weekend and during the Christmas school holidays.
How do I register my SmartRider card?
There are a number of ways you can register your SmartRider. For details go to Register SmartRider.
What is Autoload?
Autoload enables a direct debit to be made automatically from a nominated bank account or credit card to your SmartRider when the balance on your card falls below the low-value threshold of $6 for standard users and $3 for concession users. Register for Autoload through My Account
Can I use my Digital Wallet as proof of concession?
If you have a Health Care Card or Pensioner Card you can provide proof of your concession entitlement by showing the card on your phone through Centrelink's Digital Wallet.
What is a pending action?
A pending action is a change/update that is waiting to be applied to your SmartRider.

Your SmartRider stores information including your concession status, Autoload status and card balance. When we need to update this information, a pending action is created so that the information on the card can be updated.

Pending actions are generally available to your SmartRider the day following their creation, except BPAY which can take several days to become available. For example if you activate Autoload online through My Account today Autoload will be available to be applied to your card tomorrow.

In order to update your card with this new information you are required to tag on. We recommend that you travel within a week of the pending action being created. Alternatively, if you do not need to travel, you can tag on, wait 15 seconds, and then tag off (preferably at any train station).

This will ensure that the update is applied to your SmartRider. If you do not travel/ tag on in the first week, or if it has been over two weeks since you last used the card, it is possible that the pending action will not be applied to your SmartRider on the first try. If this is the case you will need to travel or tag your SmartRider on and off over two to three consecutive days.

Please contact the Transperth InfoLine (13 62 13) if you have trouble applying a pending action.
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