Smart and Integrated Ticketing

Transport Scotland is working to deliver a customer-focused, multi-modal, multi-operator smart ticketing system across Scotland. What this will mean for you is paper-free access to travel across multiple modes of transport.

We're working closely with Scottish transport operators to deliver on the Scottish Government's vision that all journeys on Scotland's public transport networks can be accessed with smart ticketing and payment. Read our delivery strategy to find out more.

Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund

Transport Scotland are working to reduce carbon emissions across our networks, under the heading of the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Programme (LCTT). We have been awarded up to £13.9 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020 Programme until December 2018 to deliver this.

One of the three operations of the LCTT will be delivered through the Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund (STCF).

The STCF will provide funding to Local Authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships looking to upgrade smart ticketing equipment on tendered passenger transport services, in order to support the development of interoperable smart ticketing and other commercial smart ticketing initiatives.

The fund aims to encourage an increase in the number of smart commercial journeys taken by December 2018, and a modal shift to forms of transport with lower carbon emissions.

For the current round of the STCF we would like to receive completed applications from 15 May to 30 June 2017.

Download a copy of the application form and guidance or email for more information.

Progress updates


Smart ticketing has existed on Scottish public transport for longer than you might think. The National Entitlement Card, which benefits elderly and disabled travellers, has operated on a smart system since 2006. There are currently around 1.4 million of these cards used, generating nearly 150 million smart transactions through Transport Scotland's system every year. This represents over one third of all bus journeys in Scotland.

In April 2015, Abellio took on the new ScotRail franchise, which launched with challenging smart ticketing targets set by the Scottish Government. These targets require Abellio to:

  • make their main ticket types available in smart form
  • ensure that at least 60% of ticket usage is smart by April 2019
  • ensure that all ticket types are smart by 2021.

Visit the ScotRail website to get up-to-date information on smartcards alongside information on how to apply and smart season ticket prices. Scotland's ferries are also developing smart ticketing plans, starting with the renewal of the Clyde and Hebridean ferries contract from October 2016.

The main Scottish bus operators such as First, Stagecoach, Lothian Buses, McGills and Xplore Dundee are also actively involved in this work. They are collaborating with each other and with rail to develop new smart and integrated ticketing offerings. This is initially targeted to Scotland's main city regions, but it will be an important building block towards our vision for a Scotland-wide scheme.

These are just the headlines. There are many other new smart ticketing initiatives and technologies being developed that will help transport operators work with the Scottish Government to deliver smart and integrated ticketing for Scotland,. These developments will support the government’s aim to enhance the quality of service being delivered to passengers throughout Scotland.