Canberra has launched a new light rail network benefiting from the latest generation of multi-modal ticketing technology developed by Flowbird Transport Intelligence.

Australia’s capital city selected Flowbird to provide the self-service retailing and validation systems for the new Light Rail network, which officially started operations on April 20th prior to significant transport network changes on 29th April.  This is a key building block in Canberra’s vision to create a smart, sustainable city serving an estimated 500,000 people by 2030.

The new ticketing infrastructure enables users to manage their MyWay smartcards at self-service terminals and use the platform validators to tap on and off. The light rail service fully integrates with the bus ticketing system (same ticket, same fare, same rules) – also developed by Flowbird – enabling easy access for commuters and visitors across both modes of transport.

At a community preview event, Canberra Chief Minister Andrew Barr was reported as saying the development moved the city into its next phase of growth and development through the largest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in the Australian Capital Territory.

Transport Canberra, which is responsible for public transport operations, enjoys a long-standing partnership with Flowbird spanning 4 decades, having worked with the technology provider on the first automatic fare collection requirements of the Canberra bus system and the recent MyWay smartcard scheme.

For the light rail programme, Flowbird developed and installed 23 self-service touchscreen retail terminals and 66 platform validators across the network, while ensuring integration with the MyWay smart card architecture. For the first time, passengers can now top up their MyWay cards instantly for bus and light rail, check their MyWay balance or purchase a single or daily adult or concession ticket via the terminals, which also provide four language options: English, Arabic, Chinese and Italian.

David Thompson, General Manager, Australia for Flowbird Transport Intelligence, commented: “The integrated ticketing system we have developed for bus and light rail will play an important role in helping Canberra achieve its vision of being a more sustainable and modern city, by increasing accessibility, encouraging better use of urban spaces and helping to attract new investment.”