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Cheap Public Transport Brisbane and Beyond!

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Are you looking for cheap public transport in and around Brisbane? We’ve got the inside scoop on travelling via public transport in Brisbane with your family. 

Did you know, kids travel FREE on the weekends?!

Free travel for kids in Brisbane & beyond!

Children from five up to (and including) 14 years of age are able to touch on and off during weekends using their child go card with no deductions taken from their accounts. How’s that for cheap public transport?!

You just need to make sure the child has some money on their go card in addition to the card deposit money for this to work. 

Under fives travel for free anytime!

Public transport is an affordable and attractive option to explore Brisbane and the surrounding area with your family.

Brisbane: Cheap public transport tips

We’ve got the best cheap public transport tips to share…

  • You can save when you use your go card or pay for travel using Smart Ticketing*. go and Smart Ticketing fares are at least 30% cheaper than a single paper ticket. (In some areas you do still need to use a paper ticket but you can still bag a deal by buying a group of ten saver tickets together.) 
  • When you travel off-peak (between 8.30am and 3.30pm, or after 7pm on weekends and public holidays), you can also save a further 20%. 
  • When you make eight journeys in a seven day period (between Monday to Sunday), you get to travel for half price for all journeys the rest of that week!
  • Children, students, pensioners, seniors and defence force veterans are eligible for concession fares. You can read more about concession fares and eligibility.
  • Children aged four and under travel FREE any time!

*Smart Ticketing is currently being rolled out on buses and trains, and will be rolled out to ferries eventually, too. Smart Ticketing is a way to pay using your credit or debit card, or digital credit/debit card on smart phones and smart watched. To use Smart Ticketing, you still need to tap on and tap off, and your journey fee will be charged accordingly. You can learn more about the Smart Ticketing roll out here.

Travel on cheap public transport in South East Queensland

There are eight travel zones in South East Queensland. These cover: Greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. (Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland are excluded from the zones). 

Fares are based on how many zones you will travel in during your journey, what time you are travelling, who with and whether you’re using a go card or a paper ticket. 

Find adult prices for Brisbane public transport below:

Zonego cardgo card off-peakSingle paper ticket

To calculate your fare, look at all the zones you will travel in during your journey. Subtract the lowest zone from the highest zone and add 1. This will determine the number of zones you will be charged for. In South East Queensland, the zones start from zone 1 in Brisbane City.

As an example, if you are travelling between Ipswich (zone 3) and Fortitude Valley (zone 1), you would pay a 3-zone fare because you are travelling in zones 3, 2 and 1, which is (3-1)+1 = 3 zones.

Concession fares are approximately half the price of adult fares in the table above.

Where can kids travel using cheap public transport?

Make the most of the great public transport options…

Take your kids for an adventure on the Brisbane River Citycat!

Check out what’s going on at GOMA!

Explore all that South Bank has to offer!

Enjoy Brisbane City’s best playgrounds!

Travel to the suburbs where kids eat for free!

Make a splash at a local public pool!

The options are endless. There has never been a better time to get out and see what our city has to offer. Happy travels!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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