Perth’s transport system is diverse, clean and reliable. With free city loops, and a tertiary student discount for students of participating institutions, it is also a relatively cheap way to get around the city.
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 extend 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. The buses go every eight minutes between 7am and 7.30pm, and every 15 minutes for an hour or two either side of that period.
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.
There’s a round trip across the river every 30 minutes on weekdays (less frequently on weekends) from the Barrack Street jetty on the city side to the Mends Street jetty in South Perth. The bus may be quicker, but the view from the river is worth it.
Although you can still pay cash it is recommended that you take advantage of the prepaid SmartRider card. Simply keep the card topped up with funds and remember to tap on and off at the beginning and end of every journey using the green SmartRider machine. Full-time international students qualify for a concession Smartrider.
The SmartRider card itself counts as proof of concession and must be carried when using concession fares. Students of participating educational institutions can apply through their institution, while all others should applydirectly to Transperth. The participating institutions are Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.
Perth’s public trains, buses and ferries are run by Transperth. Head to their website for more information about ticketing, timetables and routes (including a University and TAFE specific page), and to use their journey planner to map out your trip.