TransLink (Queensland)

Last updated

Agency overview
FormedNovember 2012 (2012-11)
Preceding agency
  • TransLink Transit Authority
Jurisdiction Queensland
Agency executive
  • Neil Scales, Director-General (Department of Transport and Main Roads)
Parent department Transport and Main Roads

TransLink is the public transit agency for Queensland, and is part of the Department of Transport and Main Roads. TransLink was first introduced by the Queensland Government in June 2003 to orchestrate bus, ferry, rail and light rail services. TransLink works with Brisbane Airtrain (Airport services to Brisbane Airport), Transport for Brisbane, Transdev (Brisbane ferry services), Queensland Rail and other operators to provide services. TransLink operates an integrated ticketing system and the go card system to allow the use of one ticket on multiple services.


In July 2008, TransLink devolved from being a division of the former Queensland Transport to the more autonomous TransLink Transit Authority, before returning to management under the Department of Transport and Main Roads in November 2012. [1] Combining the former authority and qConnect, TransLink is now responsible for providing public transport services across the whole of Queensland.


TransInfo was a phone inquiry and timetable service established in August 1993 by Queensland Transport. It was found to be a very successful service, and in a 1997 research study 99% of surveyed transport users were either very or fairly satisfied with the service. [2] After the success of TransInfo, in June 2003 the Queensland Government introduced TransLink as an agency within Queensland Transport, replacing the former TransInfo service. With a $21.4 million budget, TransLink was tasked to introduce common fares, zones and ticket types irrespective of transit mode, and from mid-2004 a smartcard system. Prior to TransLink's introduction, combined patronage for public transport services was only around 112 million trips per year. [3] [4]

TransLink delivered the new integrated ticketing system in July 2004. To help facilitate the change-over, TransLink employed and deployed throughout South East Queensland 100 assistants. A daily ticket was introduced which allowed unlimited travel on all modes of public transport within the zones specified on the ticket, and for the first time students and aged pensioners throughout South East Queensland received a 50% discount on fares. [5] In just two months an extra 2.3 million passengers travelled on transit services, and ticket sales increased by 11%. [5] Following TransLink's introduction, transit passenger numbers grew faster than ever before. In 2005, TransLink saw close to a 20% increase in passenger numbers. [6] [7]

In February 2008, the go card was rolled out on bus, rail and ferry services in Brisbane only, as a precursor to its introduction throughout South East Queensland. [8] The Queensland Government devolved TransLink from being a division of Queensland Transport to the more autonomous TransLink Transit Authority in July 2008, increasing its profile with new branding. At the same time a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week customer information and support phone number was introduced. [9] [10]

In November 2009, TransLink introduced cashless tickets during peak times, only accepting only go cards and pre-purchased paper tickets in an effort to improve service efficiency. In late 2009, TransLink scrapped monthly and weekly paper tickets, with plans to eliminate paper tickets by the end of 2010. [11] [12] On 4 January 2010, to encourage the use of the go card, off-peak discounts and a direct debit top-up option were introduced. At the same time, TransLink increased fares and also announced fares would increase by a further 45% over the following three years. [11]


Flag-type bus stop TransLink Flag Pole Bus Stop Sign.jpg
Flag-type bus stop
Inala Plaza bus station Inala Plaza bus station.jpg
Inala Plaza bus station
go card reader Translink Go Card Reader.jpg
go card reader

TransLink uses zones to determine fares no matter which transit mode or route a passenger uses. In South East Queensland the zones are rings centred on the Brisbane CBD. The zone network stretches from Gympie (170 km north of Brisbane) to Coolangatta (100 km south of Brisbane), and from Helidon (80 km west of Brisbane) in the west to Moreton Bayside suburbs of Brisbane and Redland in the east.

Originally there were 23 zones. On 19 December 2016, the number of zones was reduced to eight. At the same time, a new fare structure was introduced that included:

There are 11 zones in Cairns and 15 zones in Mackay.

go card

TransLink offers a contactless fare payment card called go card. It requires passengers to touch the card on a card reader at the start and end of each journey, and when transferring between services. The fare is automatically calculated based on the difference between the highest zone number and the lowest zone number recorded for the journey. A journey can comprise any number of individual legs (each recorded by touching the card when entering or leaving a service) within a two-hour period. The fare is automatically deducted from a pre-paid balance associated with the go card used.

The following types of go card are available:

SEEQ card

The SEEQ card was introduced in late 2012 for visitors to South East Queensland. This card provides for travel for a period of 3 or 5 days across TransLink the network. The card can also be used to receive discounts at retail locations throughout the South East Queensland region. [13]

Paper tickets

A single-fare paper ticket is also available for infrequent travellers and visitors. [14]

Authorised Officers

TransLink employ a team of authorised officers called Senior Network Officers. Senior Network Officers were introduced in 2010 and they utilise powers available under section 111(3) of the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 and Transport Infrastructure Act 1994.

As authorised officers, they enforce TransLink's conditions of travel for passengers on the network. Senior Network Officers issue infringement notices for transport offences.

Senior Network Officers also carry handcuffs and can exercise a power to detain for certain offences committed on public transport [16]


TransLink liveried Logan City Bus Service Bustech bodied Volvo B12BLE in 2013 TransLink Logan City bus.jpg
TransLink liveried Logan City Bus Service Bustech bodied Volvo B12BLE in 2013

The TransLink network is divided into eleven different regions for bus services, each region operated by a different bus operator. The regions are based largely on local government boundaries. [17] In October 2007, a common white, green, blue and orange TransLink livery was introduced to the fleets of Sunshine Coast operations. [18]

Transport for Brisbane liveried MAN 18.310 with 'TRANSLink' decals on the front MAN 18.310 CNG.jpg
Transport for Brisbane liveried MAN 18.310 with 'TRANSLink' decals on the front

Greater Brisbane





Sunshine Coast

Gold Coast

G:link's Northcliffe stop Northcliffe GCLR station 2015-01-23.jpg
G:link's Northcliffe stop





In May 2019, TransLink was launched in Townsville. [19]

Other qconnect regions


Translink operates various types of services under different names.

NightLink is the name given to the all-night TransLink services that leave Fortitude Valley, Brisbane City and Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast late Friday and Saturday nights.

Great Circle Line

The Great Circle Line is a loop operated by Brisbane Transport serving various shopping centres and other attractions within Brisbane.


Related Research Articles

Metcard Former public transport ticketing system in Melbourne, Australia

Metcard was the brand name of an integrated ticketing system used to access public transport in Melbourne, Australia. It was a universal ticket which allowed users to ride on the city's Metlink and Metropolitan Transit Authority (Victoria) network, consisting of suburban trains, trams, and buses, including the NightRider network. The Metcard was a credit card-sized ticket made out of cardboard and used a magnetic strip to store fare data. Metcard was operated by OneLink Transit Systems under a contract with the Government of Victoria which was managed by the Transport Ticketing Authority.

Airport railway line, Brisbane

Airtrain is the privately owned commuter railway line that extends 13.0 km (8.1 mi) northeast from Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, to Brisbane Airport (BNE) at both its separate International and Domestic terminals. It was opened in 2001.

SmartRider is the contactless electronic ticketing system of the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia. The system uses RFID smartcard technology to process public transport fares across public bus, train and ferry services.

Toronto Transit Commission fares

Fares to use the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) transit system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, can be paid with various media. The price of fares varies according to the age, occupation, or income level of riders; children 12 years of age or under can ride on the TTC free of fare.

Presto card Contactless smart card fare system in Ontario, Canada

The Presto card is a contactless smart card automated fare collection system used on participating public transit systems in the province of Ontario, Canada, specifically in Greater Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa. Presto card readers were implemented on a trial basis from June 25, 2007, to September 30, 2008. Full implementation began in November 2009 and it was rolled out across rapid transit stations, railway stations, bus stops and terminals, and transit vehicles on eleven different transit systems.

Revenue protection inspector (RPI) or revenue protection officer (RPO) is the job title given to staff who patrol different forms of public transport issuing penalty fares to passengers who travel without a valid ticket or without the correct ticket.

Transport in Brisbane

Transport in Brisbane, the capital and largest city of Queensland, Australia, is provided by road, rail, river and bay ferries, footpaths, bikepaths, sea and air.


Myki is a reloadable credit card-sized contactless smart card ticketing system used for electronic payment of fares on most public transport services in Melbourne and regional Victoria, Australia. Myki replaced the Metcard ticketing system and became fully operational at the end of 2012.

Public transport ticketing in New South Wales, Australia operated using magnetic-stripe technology between 1989 and 2016. This ticketing system, known variously as the Automated fare collection system, STATS and, from 2010, MyZone, was progressively replaced by a contactless smart card called Opal between 2012 and 2016.

Transport on the Gold Coast, Queensland

The Gold Coast is the largest regional city and fastest growing city in Australia. As a result, the Gold Coast has a wide range of public and private transport options from cars and bikes to buses, heavy rail and light rail. The car is the dominant mode of transport in the city with an extensive arterial road network that connects the standard residential streets with major suburbs and motorways.

Transperth is the brand name of the public transport system serving the city and suburban areas of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia. It is operated by the Public Transport Authority.

A transit pass or travel card, often referred to as a bus pass or train pass etc., is a ticket that allows a passenger of the service to take either a certain number of pre-purchased trips or unlimited trips within a fixed period of time.

qconnect is a network of integrated public passenger transport services that cover subsidised and/or regulated bus, coach and aviation networks in Regional Queensland, Australia. It was introduced by the Queensland Government in December 2007, and is an agency operated by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

The go card is an electronic smartcard ticketing system developed by Cubic Corporation, which is currently used on the TransLink public transport network in South East Queensland. To use the go card, users hold the card less than 10 cm away from the reader to "touch on" before starting a journey, and must do the same to "touch off" the service at the end of the journey. The cost of each journey is deducted from the go card balance.

Bus transport in Queensland

In Queensland, Australia, public bus services are coordinated by the Queensland Government's Department of Transport and Main Roads and provided by over 1000 operators. The coordination of public bus transport generally falls under three schemes: TransLink services, QConnect services and the remaining rural/regional school services. Some operators also provide entirely private bus services in Queensland which are not subject to the same route and ticketing regulation as the public route providers, or segments thereof, are.

NightLink is the name given to the all-night TransLink services that leave Fortitude Valley, Brisbane City and Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast late Friday and Saturday nights.

Opal card

Opal is a contactless fare collection system for public transport services in the greater Sydney area and most other urban areas of New South Wales, Australia. Operation of the Opal system is managed by the New South Wales Government's transport authority, Transport for NSW. First launched in late 2012, Opal is valid on Transport for NSW's metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services that operate in Sydney and the neighbouring Central Coast, Hunter Region, Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Southern Highlands areas. Opal equipment was designed from the start to support a variety of cards, but launched with the captive Opal cards.

Busways in Brisbane

Since the mid-1990s, a 27 kilometre bus rapid transit network has been developed in Brisbane, Australia. It comprises grade-separated bus-only corridors, complementing the Queensland Rail City network. Management of the busway network is the responsibility of TransLink as coordinator of South East Queensland's integrated public transport system.

Transdev Australasia is an operator of bus, ferry, light rail and rail services in Australia and New Zealand. It is a subsidiary of French-based, international Transdev. It was formed in 2013 by grouping the operations of Veolia Transport Australia and former Transdev together, as a result of the global rebranding from Veolia Transdev to Transdev.

Compass card (British Columbia) Public transit fare collection system in Metro Vancouver, Canada

The Compass card is a contactless smart card automated fare collection system used primarily for public transit in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Compass card readers were first implemented as a beta in September 2013. Due to delays, full implementation to the general public began in August 2015. The system is operated by Cubic Transportation Systems and is managed by TransLink, the transportation authority for the region.


  1. Qld Parliament approves dissolving Translink ABC News 2 November 2012
  2. Johnson, Vaughan (21 November 1997). "TransInfo demand surging". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  3. Bredhauer, Stephen (5 June 2003). "New agency to introduce integrated ticketing". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  4. Lucas, Paul (23 April 2004). "Information on how to get 'one ticket please' to SEQ". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  5. Mickel, John (14 July 2006). "1,000 volunteers to test new smart card". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  6. Bligh, Anna (9 October 2007). "Bligh government to create new transit authority". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  7. Mickel, John (1 July 2008). "24/7 access to new transit authority". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  8. 1 2 "Fare Restructure". Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  9. Marissa Calligeros (30 September 2009). "Cash free zones: buses to go card-only". Brisbane Times . Fairfax Digital.
  10. "Senior Network Officer Powers" . Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  11. "TransLink regions and service area" . Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  12. New Look, New Buses for Sunny Coast Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment & Industrial Relations 6 October 2007
  13. TransLink is coming to Townsville Queensland Government 23 April 2019

Commons-logo.svg Media related to TransLink (South East Queensland) at Wikimedia Commons