There are currently two very successful city smartzones, where smart, integrated ticketing can be used across different bus service providers, Grasshopper in Aberdeen(shire) and ABC in Dundee. This means you can load a daily or weekly ticket onto your smartcard and travel on any bus that comes along – no more waiting for the right operator.
Glasgow has also launched its Tripper smartzone (Nov 17) and Edinburgh is set to follow in 2018. Partnership working between bus operators, local government and the Scottish Government has led to the success of these schemes.
Smaller schemes with big social impacts, such as Employability Hub and Through Care have been launched in Renfrewshire. These use smart travel services to help address transport issues faced by many young people in the area, particularly access for travelling to work and study.
In Perth a trial of interoperable smartcards for students, who travel using both bus and train, is currently proving a success. We are also working in partnership with Local Authorities for schools and Further Education transport projects to enable children and students to get smart travel – these are being delivered in East Lothian, Argyll & Bute, Western Isles, Dumfries & Galloway, and Perth & Kinross.
All these schemes have potential to grow across regions.
To further facilitate smart ticketing, we have also supported the launch of commercial saltirecards with a number of smaller bus operators around the country. The saltirecard allows you to store your electronic ticket on it, removing the need for paper tickets.
We have also had some interest and success with an epurse system trial in East Lothian and Fort William, where you can pre-credit the smartcard with money to be deducted for travel. Whilst we see the potential in this area for certain markets, we also note the recent success of the contactless bank cards for travel convenience and are supportive of this additional payment method.
On trains, the ScotRail network is now fully smart enabled, with an array of ticket types on offer (including Anytime, Season and Flexi-pass tickets). These can now be purchased on train as well as through the ticket machines and soon will be available from ticket offices. ScotRail is committed to smart services, seeking for 60% of its passengers’ journeys to smart by 2019.
For our lifeline ferry services, we are working with operators and local authorities to upgrade infrastructure and implement smart services, as well as interoperability across rail, bus, ferry, tram and subway.