Understanding your transport options is an important concept when you arrive in a new place. Whether it is getting to university or exploring the city’s neighbourhoods, read on to discover Brisbane’s transport system.

Options

Trains

Trains are the best way to commute to and from suburbs located a long distance out from the city centre. There are 11 routes (Airport, Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Gold Coast, Ipswich/Rosewood, Richlands, Shorncliffe and the Sunshine Coast). Most train routes run every 20 minutes to half an hour, and depart hourly late at night.

Buses

There are hundreds of bus routes around Brisbane, which can take you from the CBD to the border of NSW at Tweed Heads. If you’re in the city, keep an eye out for the red stop signs around the city – they offer a free loop around the city during the day! Buses servicing the inner city are very frequent, arriving every 5-15 minutes. On Friday and Saturday nights, Nightlink buses run from the city and the Valley to surrounding suburbs from 1 am to 5 am.

Ferries

The Citycat catamarans follow the snaking river downstream from the Northshore Hamilton Ferry Terminal all the way to the University of Queensland, stopping at key points along the river. In addition to the Citycats, there are the cross-river ferries and the free CityHopper, which only run to the other side of the river. Citycats depart roughly every 15 minutes, the CityHopper every 30 minutes and it’s every 10-15 minutes for the cross-river ferries.

Ticketing

Go Cards are the cheapest, most efficient way to get around Brisbane. Purchase a card from newsagents or ticket kiosks at stations and top up either in store, online or at machines at most stations. Then all you need to do is swipe on to your bus, train or ferry (look for the go card sign) and swipe off when you leave. Single tickets are also available on most journeys.

There are 23 zones that expand in circles from the centre of the city, and your fare is deducted from your go card. Off-peak prices apply between 9am-3.30pm and 7pm-3am weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays.

As an international student, do I get a discount on public transport?

To receive a concession fare (50% discount on full adult fare), you must apply for a Tertiary Transport Concession Card; this process can be completed through your institution.