Ticketing options for a Perth Visit?

  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
What are the best ticketing options for a visit to Perth for just over a week? Would it be best to purchase a Smart Card or is it better to purchase some sort of tourist ticket? Thanks in advance.

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  anuddernut Locomotive Fireman

Location: Near the beach
Depending on how much travel you intend to do each day, you can buy cash tickets at any station or on any bus for 2 or 3 hours travel, depending on you destination, or a dayrider (also cash at stations and on busses) which gives unlimited travel between 9am and 3:30pm weekdays and all day weekends on all trains, busses and ferries anywhere on the Perth suburban network. Dayriders are $12.10 or $4.80 for concession holders. Have a look at http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Tickets-Fares for a full rundown.

Around Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup there are free CAT services for getting around see http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Tickets-Fares/Free-Travel/CAT-Buses

Also Transperth has an excellent journey planner to assist in planning your way around see http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Journey-Planner

Hope that helps.
  hack404 Station Master

Google Maps is good for trip planning if you want a second opinion.
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

SmartRider costs $10 to get the card, plus at least $10 of credit, and in return gets 15% off fares. All money including the card fee is not refundable, so to be better of, you would need at least around $67 worth of travel (at cash ticket prices) over the week assuming you finish with zero balance. This is just over 15 2-zone fares. However  there is no discount on the day cap, if you reach that limit than none of that travel will count as a saving - so a 4 hour trip to Mandurah and back from Perth will cost $12.10 with both cash and SmartRider, assuming you don't leave until after 9am on a weekday.

Using autoload will get a further discount (but is probably too much hassle for a short stay).

One other benefit of SmartRider is free train travel in the CBD (between City West and Claisebrook, and Perth Underground to Esplanade.) Using cash tickets requires this to be paid for as with any other journey, though of course this is included on any ticket valid for zone 1 within the 2 or 3 hour time limit. CBD buses are free to use regardless though, and that is not just limited to the "cat" buses.

(anuddernut, DayRider works anytime after 9 on weekdays - it's the concession free travel that ends at 3:30.) http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Tickets-Fares/Special-Fares

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