We are 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 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.
ERDF Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund
The Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund, part of our European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Low Carbon Travel and Transport (LCTT), is open to Local Authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and other public bodies throughout Scotland.
The aim of the fund is to support interoperable smart ticketing and payment and as a result encourage an increase in the number of journeys made by public transport and a modal shift to forms of transport with lower carbon emission.
We are offering Challenge Funding of up to 40% to match funding provided by Local Authorities, Regional Transport Partnership (RTP) organisations or other public bodies who wish to upgrade smart ticketing machines and electronic payment technology to support interoperable smart ticketing and payment in the local area. Applications should also address and integrate one or more of the ‘horizontal themes’ identified for the ERDF 2014-2020 programme: environmental sustainability, social inclusion and equal opportunities.
The Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund (STCF) is open to applications for projects which support the development of interoperable smart ticketing, other commercial smart ticketing and smart payment initiatives throughout Scotland.
Applications should be made by public bodies such as local authorities or regional transport authorities who wish to support the upgrade of smart ticketing and payment equipment on tendered passenger transport services operating in their areas.
The STCF can be used to support the upgrade of smart ticketing electronic ticket machines to fully functioning ITSO version 2.1.4 equipment or to upgrade existing ITSO version 2.1.4 equipment with cEMV (contactless) or other smart payment or ticketing add-ons. Please note the STCF can only support capital projects.
Projects will need to demonstrate how they deliver against the aims of the fund which is to support interoperable smart ticketing, other commercial smart ticketing and smart payment initiatives and as a result encourage an increase in the number of journeys made by public transport and a modal shift to forms of transport with lower carbon emission. They should also address and integrate one or more of the ‘horizontal themes’ identified for the ERDF 2014-2020 programme, these are: environmental sustainability, social inclusion and equal opportunities.
Further detail on the criteria is in the guidance document in the 'how to apply' section.
Applications put forward for consideration of funding from the LCTT Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund will be checked for eligibility prior to being progressed to assessment.
The Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund (STCF) has a total of £1.5m allocated to it from the ERDF (2014-2020) Low Carbon Travel and Transport Programme overall budget of £13.9 million.
Eligible organisations can apply for up to £150k from the Challenge Fund towards projects with eligible costs of up to £375k.
It is a pre-requisite to have secured the 60% clean (i.e. public funds that have not originated in any way from Europe or from the Sustainable Transport Unit in Transport Scotland) match funding for your proposal prior to applying.
How to apply
The current round of the STCF (round 3) is open from 20 November to 15 December 2017.
- Download a copy of the application form and guidance or email STCF@transport.gov.scot for further information.
- Submit a completed application form to STCF@transport.gov.scot by 15 December 2017 giving the specific information asked for in the application form and guidance documents (found below). This is a challenge fund so please make sure all information relevant to the project is included so it can be fully assessed. We may be in touch to clarify any of the details provided.
- An eligibility check and evaluation of the applications will be conducted by a panel.
- We will provide feedback to both successful & unsuccessful applicants.
ERDF Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund - Application form and guidance
- Aberdeenshire Council - Aberdeenshire Smart Ticketing Back-Office
Supporting smaller operators with the transition of the grasshopper scheme from paper to smart.
- SEStran (South East of Scotland Regional Transport Partnership) - SEStran Electronic Ticket Machine Project
Supporting smaller operators to participate in the latest smart ticketing initiatives as well as added benefits of Real Time Passenger info.
- Highland Council - Development of Highland Smart Ticketing
Enhancing smaller operators’ ability to participate in a multi-operator scheme and supporting future plans for smart products for college/university students, schools and staff travel.
- Scottish Borders Council - In House Fleet Smart Ticketing Upgrade
Upgrade our in house fleet vehicles with smart ticketing in order to be able to improve connectivity between our services, other commercial services and the Borders Railway.
- SEStran (South East of Scotland Regional Transport Partnership) - SEStran Electronic Ticket Machine Project 2
Building upon SEStran’s previously successful bid to the Smart Ticketing Challenge Fund, upgrade of smart ticketing equipment on tendered passenger transport services operating within the SEStran area.