Understanding your transport options is an important concept when you arrive in a new city. You’ll need to figure out how you will get to school and possibly the local supermarket to start with.
Perth has six train lines heading out from the city: four from the Perth train station, and two from Perth Underground, which is connected to the main station (unsurprisingly, it’s underneath it). The Fremantle, Midland, Armadale and Thornlie lines connect at Perth, and the Mandurah and Joondalup trains stop at the Underground.
For shorter trips around the Perth metro area, buses are your best option. Services into and out of the city generally leave every 15 minutes, but make sure you check your timetable carefully – they’re less frequent outside of business hours, and the wait can blow out to up to two hours on Sundays.
Perth also has an excellent network of free CAT buses, which run in loops around the city, East Perth, West Perth and Leederville, as well as routes in Fremantle and Joondalup.
There’s a round trip across the river every half an hour on weekdays (less frequently on weekends) from the Barrack Street jetty on the city side to the Mends Street Jetty in South Perth. Sure, the bus is quicker, but the view from the river wins hands-down.
Although you can still pay cash, it is recommended that you take advantage of the pre-paid SmartRider card. Simply keep the card topped up with funds and remember to tag on and off at the beginning and end of every journey using the green SmartRider machine.
Full-time international students qualify for a discounted concession Smartrider, and the card itself counts as proof of concession. Students of participating institutions should apply through their institution; all others should apply directly to Transperth. Visit Transperth for a list of participating institutions.