Bus

The Free Transit Zone (FTZ) is served by regular buses and is well covered during the day by the three free Central Area Transit (CAT) services. The Yellow and Red CATs operate east–west routes, Yellow sticking mainly to Wellington St, and Red looping roughly east on Murray St and west on Hay St. The Blue CAT does a figure eight through Northbridge and the southern end of the city; this is the only one to run late – until 1am on Friday and Saturday only. Pick up a copy of the free timetable (widely available on buses and elsewhere) for the exact routes and stops. Buses run every five to eight minutes during weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends. Digital displays at the stops advise when the next bus is due.

The metropolitan area is serviced by a wide network of Transperth buses. Pick up timetables from any of the Transperth information centres or use the online journey planner. Most buses leave from the city's new Perth Busport, located between the CBD and Northbridge.

Car & Motorcycle

Driving in the city takes a bit of practice, as some streets are one way and many aren't signposted. There are plenty of car-parking buildings in the central city but no free places to park. For unmetered street parking you'll need to look well away from the main commercial strips and check the signs carefully.

A fun way to gad about the city is on a moped. Scootamoré hires 50cc scooters with helmets (compulsory) and insurance included (for those over 21; $500 excess).

Car-rental companies include Bayswater, Budget, Campabout, Hertz and Thrifty. Britz hires out fully equipped 4WDs fitted out as campervans, popular on the roads of northern WA; it has offices in all the state capitals, as well as Perth and Broome, so one-way rentals are possible.

Ferry

A ferry runs every 20 to 30 minutes between the new Elizabeth Quay Jetty and Mends Street Jetty in South Perth – use it to get to the zoo or for a bargain from-the-river glimpse of the Perth skyline. The Little Ferry Co runs scheduled services linking Elizabeth Quay and Claisebrook Cove.

Rottnest Express runs ferries to Rottnest Island.

Public Transport

Transperth operates Perth's public buses, trains and ferries. There are Transperth information offices at Perth Station (Wellington St), Perth Busport (between Roe St and Wellington St), Perth underground station (off Murray St) and the Elizabeth Quay Busport (Mounts Bay Rd). There's a good online journey planner.

Fares

From the central city, the following fares apply for all public transport:

Free Transit Zone (FTZ) Covers the central commercial area, bounded (roughly) by Fraser Ave, Kings Park Rd, Thomas St, Newcastle St, Parry St, Lord St and the river (including the City West and Claisebrook train stations, to the west and east respectively).

Zone 1 Includes the city centre and the inner suburbs ($3).

Zone 2 Fremantle, Guildford and the beaches as far north as Sorrento ($4.60).

Zone 3 Hillarys Boat Harbour (AQWA), the Swan Valley and Kalamunda ($5.50).

Zone 5 Rockingham ($8.10).

Zone 7 Mandurah ($10.70).

DayRider Unlimited travel after 9am weekdays and all day on the weekend in any zone ($12.40).

FamilyRider Lets two adults and up to five children travel for a total of $12.40 on weekends, after 6pm weekdays and after 9am on weekdays during school holidays.

SmartRider Card

If you're in Perth for a while, consider buying a SmartRider card, covering bus, train and ferry travel. It's $10 to purchase, then you add value to your card. The technology deducts the fare as you go, as long as you tap in and tap out (touch your card to the electronic reader) every time you travel, including within the FTZ. The SmartRider works out 15% cheaper than buying single tickets and automatically caps itself at the DayRider rate if you're avoiding the morning rush hour.

Taxi

Perth has a decent system of metered taxis, though the distances make frequent use costly and on busy nights you may have trouble flagging a taxi down in the street. The two main companies are Swan Taxis and Black & White; both have wheelchair-accessible cabs. Uber drivers are also common throughout the city.

Train

Transperth operates five train lines from around 5.20am to midnight weekdays and until about 2am Saturday and Sunday. Your rail ticket can also be used on Transperth buses and ferries within the ticket's zone. You're free to take your bike on the train during non-peak times. The lines and useful stops include:

Armadale Thornlie Line Perth, Burswood.

Fremantle Line Perth, City West, West Leederville, Subiaco, Shenton Park, Swanbourne, Cottesloe, North Fremantle, Fremantle.

Joondalup Line Esplanade, Perth Underground, Leederville.

Mandurah Line Perth Underground, Esplanade, Rockingham, Mandurah.

Midland Line Perth, East Perth, Mt Lawley, Guildford, Midland.

Elizabeth Quay station is serviced by the Joondalup and Mandurah Lines.