5 Preliminary Conclusions

5 Preliminary Conclusions

5.1.1 In identifying the way forward for smart and integrated ticketing in Scotland, a number of reference points have been established in terms of:

  • The transport landscape in Scotland;
  • Policy commitments in both Scotland and England;
  • Available and emerging technologies;
  • Existing and planned infrastructure investment;
  • The appetite of operators for smart and integrated ticketing;
  • The appetite of the G2014 Organising Committee to act as a platform for smart and integrated ticketing; and
  • International experience of smart and integrated ticketing products.

5.1.2 These reference points support the long term vision of the Scottish Government to implement smart and integrated ticketing on a national basis. However, they have also highlighted some key risks which if occurred could have a significant adverse impact upon any implementation in the short-term. In particular:

  • Whilst ITSO appears to be the logical technological platform given the investment to date and also DfT’s support, it is not yet proven in a project of the scale and complexity of that envisaged by Transport Scotland; and
  • Whilst a number of benefits have been highlighted in relation to smart and integrated ticketing, bus operators in particular appear sceptical and have yet to be convinced of the arguments for implementation. Given the de-regulated nature of the bus market in Scotland, securing the buy-in of key operators will be vital for delivering the smart and integrated ticketing vision. In addition to this, many of the benefits of smart and integrated ticketing can be derived from smart ticketing alone; it is the integrated element which carries with it the greatest risk.

5.1.3 Given the above, along with an identified caution on the part of the G2014 Organising Committee, it seems sensible to take stock of how the long-term vision can be achieved. This process has highlighted that much can be achieved in the short term on the back of initiatives which will happen in any event such as:

  • Investment in smart technology by operators and SPT; and
  • Continued development and testing of ITSO, backed on a UK basis by DfT.

5.1.4 In addition, many of the benefits of smart and integrated ticketing would be delivered by a Smart only solution. This therefore supports an incremental approach based on realising the benefits from ITSO based smart ticketing while tracking the development of the technical standard to deliver inter-operability. This approach would have the further benefit of awaiting the outcome of the Competition Commission review.

5.1.5 In short, this approach would entail:

  • Rolling out smart infrastructure on an ITSO platform across modes in a phased manner. This could mean specifying smart ticketing in the next rail franchise as well as supporting SPT’s plans for smart ticketing on the subway;
  • Supporting operators to further utilise and develop the ITSO infrastructure already rolled out for the Concessionary Travel Scheme to support commercial ticketing. Means of providing incentives to bus operators could be considered further;
  • Supporting the progression from smart to smart integrated ticketing where the opportunity arises. An early opportunity could also be to transform the SPT Zonecard to smart ticketing. SPT is already considering this; and
  • Proceeding with procurement of a replacement AMS/HOPS (back office system), building in the ability to accommodate more complex integrated ticketing schemes. The AMS/HOPS replacement is integral to running the Concessionary Fares Scheme.