National Smart Ticketing Advisory Board - Meeting Minutes - 26 March 2024



  • Dr Andrew Seedhouse (AS)

Board Members

  • Alex Hornby: Bus Operator Representative (AH)
  • Claire Dickie: Rail Operator Representative (CD)
  • Michael Nimmo: Subway Operator Representative (MN)
  • Diane Burke: Ferry Operator Representative (DB)
  • Marilena Papadopoulou: Tram Operator Representative (MP)
  • Hussein Patwa: Accessibility Representative (HP)
  • Margaret Roy: Local Transport Authority Representative (ATCO) (MR)
  • Ranald Robertson: Regional Transport Partnership Representative (RTP) (RR)
  • Mary Docherty: Transport Scotland Representative (MD)
  • Matt Smallwood: Smart Delivery Advisor (MS)
  • Mostafa Gulam: Technical Systems Advisor (MG)

Other attendees

  • Bettina Sizeland: Director of Bus, Accessibility and Active Travel (Transport BS Scotland) (SRO)
  • George Beale-Pratt: Smart Policy Manager (Transport Scotland) (Sponsor)
  • Juliet Bell: Smart Programme Manager (Transport Scotland)
  • Kevin Ho: Programme Support Officer (Transport Scotland) (Secretariat)
  • Mark Speed: Partnership Director Tactran


  • James Gleave: Transport Strategy Advisor (JG)
  • Kirsten Urquhart: Passenger Representative (KU)


  • The Board confirmed they were content to formally sign off the minutes from the meeting held on 30th January 2024.

Agenda Item 1: Transport Scotland Sponsor Update

  • Framework document update - GBP noted that the framework document has been delayed as it is currently being finalised by the Transport Scotland legal department and will be shared with the board shortly.
  • Legislation update - GBP updated the board that the Scottish Parliament approved NSTAB being added to the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Ethical Standards in Public Life (Scotland) Act 2000, and these will come into force in April 2024.
  • Parliamentary update - The Chair will be meeting the Cabinet Secretary for Transport to discuss the development of the work programme on Wednesday 27th March 2024.

Agenda Item 2: Sectoral Update

  • AS invited updates from members representing each sector to provide an overview on how their sector has evolved since the last meeting.

Mostafa Gulam - Technical System Advisor

  • MG highlighted the cEMV (Contactless Europay MasterCard Visa) standard in rail released new information on the ICC (Integrated Circuit Card) certificate, which details how the different systems could integrate with each other with ICC certification. There are challenges to overcome with such an approach that The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) are working with the related parties.
  • AS commented that John Backway will be invited to provide an overview of the process of rail smart ticketing integration with GBRTT (Great British Railways Transition Team) and TFGM (Transport for Greater Manchester).

Michael Nimmo – Subway Operator Representative

  • MN noted the publication of the Fair Fares Review and advised Subway has launched a scheme for kids under 16 to travel for free during Easter.
  • cEMV ticketing system at Subway entrance gates expecting to launch by the end of May 2025.
  • Continuing to monitor the impact of ScotRail off-peak fares pilot.
  • Smart ZoneCard testing on live cards complete. Pending testing on bus staging environment.

Claire Dickie – Rail Operator Representative

  • CD noted the publication of the Fair Fares Review and advised that the off-peak rail fares is planned to end on 28th June 2024. There is no information yet on whether it is likely to be extended.
  • Fare prices expected to increase in April 2024.
  • Testing on the ABT (Account Based Ticketing) scheme is progressing well and will be inviting clients to join for user acceptance testing.
  • Intention for Flexi season tickets to be provided as digital barcode tickets.
  • MD questioned if Flexi tickets are still ITSO smartcard based. CD advised both Flexi and Season tickets are ITSO.

Marilena Papadopoulou- Tram Operator Representative

  • MP advised that testing on the implementation of integrated ABT with Lothian buses is expected at the end of April 2024, with planned launch date of before the Edinburgh Festival 2024.
  • MP highlighted there has been an increase in anti-social behaviour on the trams.

Alex Hornby- Bus Operator Representative

  • AH noted the publication of the Fair Fares Review and highlighted that it includes a proposed pilot area on capped fares.
  • McGills will introduce a fare increase in April 2024, as will other operators.
  • It was highlighted with regards to the SPT (Strathclyde Passenger Transport) franchise in the West of Scotland, McGill’s have paused their membership of the Glasgow Bus Partnership to seek clarification on the bus strategy.
  • There are still challenges in the recruitment for bus drivers.
  • Anti-social behaviour remains an issue. Question was raised if there were ways that could prevent cardholders from travelling, such as revoking the concessionary entitlement on the National Entitlement Card. MD highlighted that the NEC included other functions such as leisure etc, so the card itself cannot be disabled.
  • AH provided an example on one of their bus services in Barrhead, where they withdrew the service for a few evenings which resulted in a reduction of anti-social behaviour.

Diane Burke- Ferry Operator Representative

  • DB noted the publication of the Fair Fares Review and highlighted that the proposal for different fares for islanders and non-islanders.
  • DB also stated that she is intending to establish a ferry sub group to feed into NSTAB.
  • Recruitment of port staff remains an issue.
  • DB highlighted that there has been an increase of visitors from the USA.
  • CalMac are supporting with marketing for the islands.
  • A pilot on the Oban – Mull route, where spaces are being held back for islanders, will end in September 2024.

Margaret Roy- Local Transport Authority Representative

  • MR highlighted that publicity for bus travel (Days out by bus) no longer exist and that anti-social behaviour has impacted on the recruitment for drivers.
  • MR commented that in rural areas there is a shortage of bus engineers.
  • Perth & Kinross Council are introducing free bus travel on the first Saturday of the month from April 2024.

Mary Docherty- Transport Scotland

  • MD commented the Fair Fares Review was published on Friday 22nd March 2024 and is available on the Transport Scotland website.
  • The Fair Fares Review team will be invited to the next meeting on 21st May 2024. MD commented that she will be to take questions in advance for the Fair Fares Review team.

ACTION: Board members to send question with regards to the Fair Fares Review and MD will coordinate for the 21st May 2024.

Ranald Robertson: Regional Transport Partnership Representative

  • RR noted the publication of the Fair Fares Review and highlighted awareness is being raised for to use bikes as a sustainable mode of transport on islands as an alternative to the car.
  • Hibike hire scheme, currently in Fort William, to be extended to Elgin.

Hussien Patwa- Accessibility Representative

  • HP highlighted that anti-social behaviours affect travellers. HP questioned whether there are elements or products within the a National Entitlement Card that can be disabled or hotlisted.

Agenda Item 3: Draft Work Programme

AS went through the draft work programme.

  • It was discussed that it needs to be clear in what is expected from the NSTAB. Whether the delivery of NSTAB is pre-determined or something new to be determined.
  • Smart Delivery Strategy is still to be shared and the Work Programme will need to be refined to reflect the Smart Delivery Strategy.
  • AS advised that he is meeting with the Cabinet Secretary on 27th March 2024 at the Scottish Parliament and will have the opportunity to discuss the work programme. This will include the expectation of NSTAB on technological standards, and on the development of a national integrated ticketing system.

ACTION: AS to discuss the work programme and focus for NSTAB with the Cabinet Secretary and share outcomes of the meeting with the board members.

Agenda Item 4: Technical Update

MG provided an overview of smart ticketing technology and opportunities, including updates from the Transport Ticketing Global (TTG) conference.

  • MG advised that technological standards are important for all suppliers and was reinforced by a number of suppliers he spoke to at TTG. For one particular tender in the last year, a supplier would not bid as there was no defined cEMV standard for connecting devices with back offices.
  • TTG had examples of integrated cEMV for LittlePay, Vix, Unicard. Test devices were set up within the venue to demonstrate an integrated system between the providers.
  • MG highlighted there are Closed Loop Cards which are cards that can only be used on transport, this would enable a means to support unbanked/non digital users. MG advised that Diners Club Group has bought Capital One. MG further advised that with Diners Club Group, they are pushing free Closed Loop Card licenses for readers as a means to increase their footprint for their Open Loop cards.
  • MG met with Fairtiq at TTG, which offers a mobile application used for Account Based Ticketing travel. It uses location data to understand the passengers location and determine the appropriate fare to charge, with the passenger checking in and checking out of the journey within the app. It will also prompt the passenger to ‘check out’ if it identifies they are no longer travelling. This is an interesting concept the NSTAB may wish to find out more information on as part of its work.

Agenda Item 5: Ticketing/Supplier Presentation

  • The planned presentation on Project Coral will be postponed to the next meeting.

Agenda Item 6: Next steps & AOB

  • Date of next meeting: 21st May 2024

Published Date 13 Jun 2024 Type Topic