Scotland's travel smartcards are now smarter than ever


An improvement programme has now completed resulting in a smarter travel experience, where one smartcard now works across multiple modes of transport and multiple transport operators.

In a joint project between public transport operators, the National Entitlement Card Programme Office, Young Scot and Transport Scotland, all 16 types of public transport smartcards can now be used between transport modes with ease.

While contactless debit card or mobile payment is used for single or return journeys on many transport modes across Scotland, currently smartcards can allow for more complicated ticketing products such as weekly or monthly passes. This improvement makes the process for people to use smart ticketing on public transport easier. It also aims to reduce the number of plastic smartcards produced for smart ticketing travel.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson welcomed the completion of the interoperability project whilst visiting the redeveloped Partick Interchange station. Mr Matheson said:

“Our ambition has always been to see that some form of smart ticketing or payment can be used for all journeys across our public transport network. The interoperability improvement project is a fantastic step forward to achieving our vision for smart ticketing across Scotland.

“To tackle the climate emergency, improve our air quality and to benefit our health and wellbeing, we need to see less single-occupancy car trips and more sustainable journeys being made by walking, cycling and shared or public transport.

“By making ticketing for public transport simpler, we make it easier for passengers to use multiple-modes of travel with one smartcard instead of two or three. I’m confident this new convenience will be welcomed by customers right across Scotland.”

Lesley Kane, Commercial Director at ScotRail said: “We are absolutely committed to making it is as easy as possible for customers to get to where they need to be and we are delighted to be part of the interoperability project.

“Our continued investment to upgrade and improve our systems is increasing the use of smart tickets, and the customers who take the 97 million journeys with ScotRail each year will benefit from this exciting link with other transport operators.”

Robert Andrew, Regional Director for Stagecoach Scotland said: “Stagecoach has been at the forefront of making it easier to choose public transport and it’s vital that we all continue to work together to make transport across the region even more joined up. This is a positive step forward and we’re delighted that our customers will be able to benefit from this new initiative."

SPT Chair Councillor Dr Martin Bartos said: “Subway customers have been enjoying the benefits of Smartcard ticketing since 2013 and it is hugely encouraging to see the technology now being used to deliver even wider benefits for passengers travelling with all transport operators.  SPT is delighted to back this important first step in ensuring a more integrated transport approach offering passengers smarter and more user-friendly travel options.”

A new website has also been launched with information about Scotland’s smart ticketing, mobile ticket apps and contactless payment options. The website will provide a how to guide for smart services in passengers’ area as well as links to operators, travel planning services and a guide for available smartcards.

Published 7 Nov 2019 Tags