Scotland-wide smart ticketing

All of Scotland on one system!

We want to see the introduction of a Scotland-wide transport smart ticketing system.

With the completion of the national concessionary travel scheme, most Scots are now familiar with smartcards, and many of us have visited London and used its Oyster card. We want to bring the benefits of cashless travel to public transport users across the whole of Scotland, whether through a smartcard or another shared smart ticketing system.

We want to see a single system for all public transport operators — bus, train, tram, ferry and subway. Already, smartcards are being used by some local authorities to pay for local services such as sports centres and school meals. Ultimately, this approach could be used for other transport such as car clubs and automated bike hire, as well as purchasing small items.

Smart tickets can be held by anyone, irrespective of whether they have a bank account or fulfil particular conditions. Tickets that allow us to interchange easily are the missing link in Scotland’s transport system and to encourage people to use public transport, we need to have the maximum flexibility. Combining the existing Zonecard (in the West of Scotland) and OneTicket (in the East) into a single system would give multi-modal travel to 70% of the Scottish population and this could be a key stage in the creation of a national system.

The existing complex system of ticketing is a key barrier to using public transport — being unsure of how much you will have to pay, fumbling about with small change, and paying separate fares for each stage of the journey.

There is an opportunity to provide something radical — a transport system which would allow people to use buses, trains, boats, whatever as it suits them.  This would be genuinely seamless travel, allowing individuals to tailor their journey according to their need and their pocket – and a real alternative to the car.