Scotland to allow smartcard use across multiple transport modes and operators

Posted: 7 November 2019 |

In a joint project between public transport operators, the National Entitlement Card Programme Office, Young Scot and Transport Scotland, all 16 types of public transport smartcards can now be used between transport modes.

Initiative sees one smartcard work across multiple Scottish transport modes and operators

An improvement programme of Scotland’s travel smartcards has been completed resulting in a smarter travel experience, where one smartcard now works across multiple modes of transport and multiple transport operators.

While contactless debit card or mobile payment is used for single or return journeys on many transport modes across Scotland, currently smartcards can allow for more complicated ticketing products such as weekly or monthly passes. This improvement is designed to make the process for people to use smart ticketing on public transport easier. It also aims to reduce the number of plastic smartcards produced for smart ticketing travel.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson, said: “Our ambition has always been to see that some form of smart ticketing or payment can be used for all journeys across our public transport network. The interoperability improvement project is a fantastic step forward to achieving our vision for smart ticketing across Scotland.

“To tackle the climate emergency, improve our air quality and to benefit our health and wellbeing, we need to see less single-occupancy car trips and more sustainable journeys being made by walking, cycling and shared or public transport.

“By making ticketing for public transport simpler, we make it easier for passengers to use multiple-modes of travel with one smartcard instead of two or three. I am confident this new convenience will be welcomed by customers right across Scotland.”

Lesley Kane, Commercial Director at ScotRail, added: “Our continued investment to upgrade and improve our systems is increasing the use of smart tickets, and the customers who take the 97 million journeys with ScotRail each year will benefit from this exciting link with other transport operators.”

Robert Andrew, Regional Director for Stagecoach Scotland, said: “This is a positive step forward and we are delighted that our customers will be able to benefit from this new initiative.”

A new website has also been launched with information about Scotland’s smart ticketing, mobile ticket apps and contactless payment options. The website will provide a how to guide for smart services in passengers’ area as well as links to operators, travel planning services and a guide for available smartcards.