In a AUD$30 Million + roll out smart cards are soon to be in everyones pocket for public transport.
This large scale adoption of contactless smartcards may see a change in transaction habits looming. Australia was an early adopter of the magnetic swipe EFTPOS system.
The Wayfarer smart card system has been adapted to accommodate this procedure and over 5,000 Wayfarer smart card readers will be fitted to buses, ferries and train station fare gates.
Planning and Infrastructure Ministers comments
"By the end of 2004, people using Transperth bus, train and ferry services will be able
to pay their fare by simply passing their wallet or bag over a sensor," Ms MacTiernan
And from Sept 2003 ITS news Australia
Ministers have endorsed a memorandum of
understanding on the issues, which includes
a commitment to ensure the smartcards used
for transport are compatible with services in
other sectors such as banking, retail and
This memorandum of understanding is probably the most significant as it may indicate the goverments thinking on future technology adoption. Contactless transactions have often been bandied about in the press as the next big thing to happen, yet very little has been seen. Goverment funding and adoption for public transport is one way to kick start and force* the involvement of the populace.
Stay tuned, more to follow on this.
* = cash tickets are still available, only force is the pressure of waiting queue behind you.