A state-backed program to promote the Go Card, a contactless smart card-ticketing system the TransLink Transit Authority operates in South East Queensland, Australia, apparently is failing to meet its goals.

Translink, which provides integrated public transport via rail, bus and ferry networks in the region, last month announced plans to provide 400,000 Go Cards to commuters in the Australian state of Queensland containing a free credit of AU$10 ($US9 or 7 euros) to encourage use of the transit card (see story). However, as of July 6, only 110,000 commuters had taken the agency up on the offer, with July 11 being the cut-off date for the promotion, according to a Translink statement.

Out of the preloaded Go Cards distributed, 12,600 were handed out during 10 public events held since early last week, while 97,400 commuters were in the process of receiving the cards they signed up for online.

Launched in February 2008 in the city of Brisbane, The Go Card is available at select retail stores and train stations. Riders may receive a card after first depositing a refundable amount of AU$5 (US$4.26 or 3.38 euros) into the card account. They may top up their card accounts using cash, a payment card or via an online banking funds transfer.

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