Getting Around Perth and WA

Public Transport
Driving in WA

Public Transport

The public transport system in Perth, called Transperth, includes buses, trains and ferries. Universities and most colleges are conveniently accessible by bus, and some campuses are located near train stations.

Tickets and travel cards

There are two ways to pay for travel in Perth – you can buy a cash ticket or use an electronic travel card.

It costs the same to travel on a bus, train or ferry, but the cost of your ticket varies depending on how far you go. If you take a bus, you’ll need to pay your fare to the bus driver. If you take a train or ferry, you must buy your ticket from a ticketing machine at the train station or ferry terminal before you board.

If you travel every day, using an electronic SmartRider is a convenient way to pay for you travel. To use it, you need to add credit to it before you travel (e.g. $10, $20) and then each time you travel, swipe it past an electronic reader. In Perth, this is called ‘tag on’ (swiping your card when you get on) and ‘tag off’ (swiping your card again when you get off).

There are electronic card readers located at train stations and ferry terminals, and onboard buses. When you tag on and tag off, the cost of your travel is calculated and taken out of the value stored on your card.

Remember that you must have a valid ticket or use your SmartRider each time you travel, otherwise you may have to pay a fine.

Student discount on travel

If you’re a full-time student, you can get a discount on public transport travel. To receive the discount, you should apply for a Student SmartRider through your education provider. When you use your SmartRider, you’ll be charged a concession fare instead of the full ticket price.

To make sure that you always receive a discounted fare and to avoid fines, you should have your Student SmartRider with you whenever you travel. If you’re buying a cash ticket, you must show your Student SmartRider as the ID to verify that you are a student. International student cards and other forms of ID won’t be accepted.

Travel zones and ticket time limits

The cost of your ticket depends on how far you travel. There are nine travel zones in Perth – if you travel through one zone, you need a one-zone ticket; if you travel through two zones, you need a two-zone ticket, and so on. If you’re not sure what type of ticket you need, tell your bus driver where you’re traveling.

Your ticket lasts for two hours and can be used again on a bus, train or ferry. This means that you can use the same ticket to travel again or transfer (e.g. from a bus to train) within two hours after buying it.

If you’re traveling a very short distance, you can buy a two-section ticket, but you won’t be able to use this ticket again.

Free public transport travel

Perth has a free transit zone for trains and buses in the city centre area. To find out whether you can travel for free, tell the bus driver where you’re going and they’ll let you know if you have to pay anything. If you’re using a SmartRider, the distance you travel will be calculated automatically. If it’s within the free transit zone, you won’t be charged anything for your travel.

In Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup CBD areas, there are also free CAT (Central Area Transit) buses. You can travel on these buses for free every time.

More information about Perth public transport

You can find timetables and maps, and plan your journey at the Transperth website.

For more information, you can also call the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13.

Driving in WA

If you have a driver’s licence from your home country, you can drive in Western Australia. Remember to carry your licence with you at all times when driving.

If your licence is not in English, you must get an official translation of your original driver’s licence document. Only translations by your consulate or by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) are accepted. To find a NAATI accredited translator, visit

If you don’t have a licence, you can apply for a Western Australian driver’s licence. Keep in mind that it may take up to 12 months to qualify for a licence that will permits you to drive in Western Australia.

You can find more information on driving in Western Australia on the overseas licence website.

Drink driving

In Western Australia, it's an offence to drive if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.05 or above. If you're a learner (L-plate), or provisional (P-plate) driver, the legal limit is zero.

For more information on Living in Western Australia

Visit the Perth Education City website.