Public transport in Perth

29 May 2020 | 3 MINS

Perth’s transport system is incredibly reliable, with a diverse range of transport options on offer. With free city loops and a tertiary student discount for UWA students, it is also an affordable way to get around the city.

Buses

If you’re only taking a short trip around the Perth metro area, buses are your best option. Services into and out of the city generally leave every 15 minutes, but tend to be less frequent outside business hours and on Sundays. Check bus timetables.

Perth also has an excellent, central Free Transit Zone (FTZ) serviced by Central Area Transit (CAT) buses, which run in loops around the city, East Perth, West Perth and Leederville, as well as routes in Fremantle and Joondalup. The CAT bus routes have a colour-coded system: Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. You can check which route works best for your journey or pick up a physical copy of free CAT timetables (widely available on buses and elsewhere) for the exact routes and stops. CAT buses run roughly every five to 15 minutes, and more frequently on weekdays. Digital displays at stops will let you know when the next bus is due.

Check the Transperth website for updates to Perth's bus services.

Trains

There are six train lines heading out from the city: four from Perth train station, and two from Perth Underground, which is connected to the main station. The Fremantle, Midland, Armadale and Thornlie lines connect at Perth, while the Mandurah and Joondalup trains stop at Perth Underground.

Trains run from approximately 5am to midnight on weekdays, and to about 2am on Saturday and Sunday. Also, it’s free to take your bike on the train during non-peak times (9.00am to 4.30pm). Find your most convenient bike path to UWA to ensure you have a safe journey.

Check the Transperth website for updates to Perth's train services.

Ferries

From the Elizabeth Quay Ferry Terminal, you can catch a Transperth ferry across the Swan River and over to South Perth and vice versa. The journey is only around 10 minutes and offers beautiful views of the river and city.

Check the Transperth website for updates to Perth's ferry services.

Getting to UWA on public transport

UWA’s Perth campus is easily accessible via several bus routes.

Planning your journey

Perth’s public trains, buses and ferries are run by Transperth. Head to the Transperth website for more information on ticketing, timetables and routes, and to use the Transperth journey planner to map out your trip. You can also check out the public transport timetable for routes to UWA.

Ticketing

Although you can still pay cash for a ticket, it is recommended that you take advantage of the prepaid SmartRider card – it works out to be 15 to 25% cheaper than buying single tickets. 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 machines. The system detects your location, calculates the duration of your journey and deducts the correct fare from your card balance. 

Find out more information on zones and fares.

Concession 

International students studying full time at UWA qualify for a Tertiary SmartRider, which provides discounted travel fares. The SmartRider card itself counts as proof of concession and must be carried when using concession fares (your student ID is not valid proof of concession – you will be fined if you travel on concession fares without your Tertiary Smartrider). Apply for a Tertiary SmartRider through UWA.

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