Fares will be reintroduced on Transperth’s post-midnight trains on Friday and Saturday nights from February 4, for a three-month trial.
This will create consistency across the rail network by making fares payable regardless of the time of day, while also improving security and contact tracing at Perth stations and on-board trains.
The trial coincides with the implementation of the State Government’s major election commitment to cap public transport fares to two zones, which came into effect on January 1.
The two-zone fare cap means no passenger will pay any more than $4.90 regardless of where they are travelling to or from.
Since the introduction of free late trains in 2015, the Public Transport Authority (PTA) has noted an increase in unlawful and antisocial behaviour reports on services and within stations.
Both the community and workers have raised concerns that under current arrangements, anyone can be on the station platform and potentially causing problems.
Reintroducing paid fares will allow PTA staff to provide a safer and more enjoyable experience for passengers and assist with COVID-19 contact tracing.
Tagging on and off Transperth services with a SmartRider has been the chosen method for contract tracers who may need to track down potential chains of COVID-19 transmission.
The move comes on top of a range of new measures implemented by the Government to tackle antisocial behaviour in Northbridge and the Perth CBD, including an additional police presence, better coordination of outreach services and $2.5 million to upgrade the Perth Train Station forecourt.
Transit officers and PTA staff will be able to provide vouchers for free travel to passengers in genuine financial hardship or who may feel unsafe.
The fare reinstatement will be reviewed at the end of the three months.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said public transport was a safe and responsible way to get home for many enjoying a night out on the town, but the safety and wellbeing of passengers and staff working on trains and at stations is of the utmost importance.
“The reintroduction of fares for the post-midnight services will improve safety – we want to make sure people hanging around the Perth Station are genuine passengers of the network,” she said.
“This is about making the station a safe place for everyone – we have already started upgrades to the train station forecourt, including new lighting and landscaping.”