By Public Transportation
Transperth (www.transperth.wa.gov.au) runs Perth's buses, trains, and ferries. For route, bus stop, and timetable information, call tel. 13 62 13 in Western Australia, or drop into the Transperth InfoCentres at the Perth Train Station, Perth Underground Station (Murray St entrance), Wellington Street Bus Station, or Perth Esplanade Busport on Mounts Bay Road. You can transfer between bus, ferry, and train services for up to 2 hours (Zones 1-4) or 3 hours (Zones 5-9). Travel costs A$2.50 in one zone, and A$3.70 in two, which gets you most places, including Fremantle, with discounts for kids aged 5 to 14.
SmartRider is an electronic ticketing system, which can save up to 25% off the cash fare, but it involves a basic A$10 cost plus a minimum A$10 travel component, so it's of doubtful value to most tourists unless you plan to stay several days. Check the website or an InfoCentre for more information. To use SmartRider, you need to validate it by tagging on and off the machines onboard buses and ferries or at train station platforms.
A DayRider ticket can be purchased to allow 1 day of unlimited travel on the network after 9am on weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays for A$9. A FamilyRider pass is valid for unlimited all-day travel anywhere on the network, for a group of up to seven people, including two full fares, but only on weekends and public holidays, or from 9am during school holidays, for A$9.
Take a Free Ride -- A welcome freebie in Perth is the availability of free public transport within the city center and some nearby areas. There are the free CAT (Central Area Transit) buses , and there is the Free Transit Zone (FTZ). You can travel free on all buses within this zone any hour, day or night. For free train travel in the FTZ, a SmartRider must be used, but it's not practical for most visitors. The FTZ allows free travel to Kings Park, Northbridge, east to major sporting grounds, and anywhere within the city center. Signs mark the FTZ boundaries; just ask the driver if you're unsure.
The Wellington Street Bus Station (close to Perth Train Station) and the Perth Esplanade Busport on Mounts Bay Road are the two main arrival and departure points. The vast majority of buses travel along St. Georges Terrace. You must hail the bus to ensure that it stops. Buy tickets from the driver. Buses run from about 5:30am until about 10:30 or 11:30pm, depending on the route.
The best way to get around town is on the free CAT buses which run a continual loop of the city and Northbridge. They operate generally from between 6am and 7am weekdays, but starting 8:30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays, with less frequency. Last bus times vary . Transperth InfoCentres dispense free route maps.
The Red CAT runs east-west approx every 5 minutes, Monday through Friday, and every 15 minutes weekends and public holidays. The last bus is 7:30pm Monday to Thursday, 9pm Friday, and 7pm weekends/holidays.
The Blue CAT runs north-south, between Northbridge and Barrack Street Jetty every 8 minutes Monday to Friday. The last service is at 6:20pm Monday through Thursday, but Friday to Saturday it then runs every 15 minutes until 1am. Last bus Sunday is 7pm.
The Yellow CAT runs between East Perth and West Perth every 8 minutes weekdays, and every 15 minutes weekends. Last bus is 6:20pm Monday to Friday and 7pm weekends.
Perth Tram Co. tours are a good way to get around, too.
Trains are fast and clean. They start at about 5:30am and run every 15 minutes or more often during the day, and every half-hour at night until midnight (about 2am Fri and Sat nights). All trains depart from Perth Station or the adjacent Perth Underground Station. Buy your ticket before you board, at the vending machines on the platform. There are five lines: north to Clarkson (called the Joondalup Line); northeast to Midland; southeast to Armadale; southwest to Fremantle; and south to the resort town of Mandurah.
You can use ferries to visit South Perth and Perth Zoo. They run every half-hour or so, daily from 6:50am until 7:36pm (or until 9:30pm Fri-Sat in summer, Sept-Apr) between the Barrack Street Jetty and Mends Street in South Perth. Buy tickets before you board from the vending machine on the wharf. The trip takes approximately 7 minutes.
You're allowed, even encouraged, to take your bicycle on Perth's suburban trains and ferries -- at no extra charge. You have to avoid the Monday to Friday peak services -- toward the city from 7 to 9am, and away from the city between 4 and 6:30pm -- and to not have your bike at Perth Station during these times.
Perth's two biggest taxi companies are Swan Taxis (tel. 13 13 30) and Black & White Taxis (tel. 13 10 08). Ranks (stands) are at Perth Railway Station and at the Barrack Street end of Hay Street Mall.
Perth's signposting is reasonably good for helping drivers find their way around. The major car-rental companies are Avis (tel. 08/9325 7677), Budget (tel. 08/9480 3111), Europcar (tel. 08/9226 0026), Hertz (tel. 08/9321 7777), and Thrifty (tel. 08/9225 4466). All except Hertz also have outlets in Fremantle.