Commuters across Scotland are being encouraged to purchase their Smart season tickets for 2017.
Transport Scotland has been working with various partners across the rail and bus networks to introduce Smart technology which makes public transport easier to use while increasing the ticketing options and payment methods available.
Smart season tickets are currently available on every ScotRail route and on the Glasgow Subway as well as being offered by a number of bus companies across Scotland.
Transport Scotland is working with local authorities and bus operators to develop multi-operator schemes such as the Grasshopper scheme in Aberdeenshire and the ABC scheme in Dundee. These schemes are all being developed using saltirecard branded smart cards. In addition, the saltirecard branding will be on a range of other operator’s smart cards.
The Scottish Government aims to deliver an accessible Scotland with safe, integrated and reliable transport that supports economic growth, provides opportunities for all, and is easy to use.
Scotland is now the leading part of the UK outside London when it comes to delivering a smart ticketing system integrated across train, bus and subway networks.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and The Islands said: “We are committed to ensuring that all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.
“We would encourage people who travel by rail or bus to purchase their Smart season tickets before returning to work in January to ensure they have a convenient and flexible way of paying for travel.
“This Government has a strong focus on improving connections between modes of transport, to help make public transport a more attractive and convenient alternative to the private car.”
The ScotRail Alliance’s Commercial Director Cathy Craig said: “Every route in Scotland is enabled for our customers to buy their season ticket on smart. We’re rolling out a number of new products on smart throughout 2017.
“Our link with partners at Glasgow Subway is an important step in delivering smart integrated travel and next year we expect to see more and more customers moving to this convenient way of ticketing for travel throughout Scotland; Smart customers will also have access to exclusive benefits throughout the year.”
George Mair, Director of CPT Scotland, said: “During 2016 bus operators across Scotland have been making significant, self-funded, investment in upgrading their ticketing equipment to help deliver smart integrated ticketing.
“Smart ticketing schemes are now in place in Aberdeen, Dundee and the surrounding areas, with the Glasgow and Edinburgh city regions set to introduce similar schemes in the coming year.
“This is the culmination of years of planning by operators to make life easier for bus passengers and provides an excellent base from which to continue working with the Scottish Government and other modes to deliver the Government’s aspiration that all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.”