Transport bosses in Scotland are promising a smarter travel experience after technology improvements allowed all 16 types of public transport smartcards in the country to be used across multiple transport modes and operators.
Transport Scotland said that while contactless debit card or mobile payment is used for single or return journeys on many transport modes across the country, smartcards can currently allow for more complicated ticketing products such as weekly or monthly passes.
It said the interoperability improvement, which is based on the ITSO standard, makes using smart ticketing on public transport easier and aims to reduce the number of plastic smartcards produced for smart ticketing travel.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson told Transport Network that the move will mainly allow tickets for different operators and modes to be stored on the same card but that, depending on local availability, the cards could be used for multimodal ticketing products.
However, city-based multimodal tickets such as One Ticket Edinburgh and Glasgow’s STP Zonecard are not yet able to be loaded onto the interoperable smartcards.
Michael Matheson cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity 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’m confident this new convenience will be welcomed by customers right across Scotland,” added Matheson.
A new website has also been launched with information about Scotland’s smart ticketing, mobile ticket apps and contactless payment options.