- Part of:
Biggest expansion of Smartcard technology on Scotland's railways.
Smartcard technology will be live across every ScotRail route by the end of this summer in the biggest-ever expansion of Smart electronic ticketing on Scotland's railways, it was announced today.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay joined ScotRail Alliance commercial director Cathy Craig at Glasgow Central station to launch the 'Summer of Smart' – an important step towards ScotRail's target of 60% of journeys being made using Smartcards by 2019.
Annual, monthly and weekly season ticket holders can currently use Smartcards on four routes in the Central Belt.
By the end of the Summer, Smart season tickets will be available on the remaining 24 lines, from Stranraer in the South to Wick in the north. This will give season ticket holders access to best value fares.
Cathy Craig, ScotRail Alliance Commercial Director said: "Smart ticketing promises to revolutionise travel in Scotland. Our customers tell us that one of the biggest hassles they face when travelling is having to queue up for a ticket either before or after they get on the train. With Smart ticketing, the days of standing in queues are coming to an end.
"By the end of the Summer, season ticket holders the length and breadth of Scotland will be able to buy their season tickets at home or at one of our at-station ticket machines, load them up onto their Smartcard and then just tap and go. Once people move to Smart they will have access to best-value fares and will enjoy smoother journeys with less need to queue.
"The technology that sits behind our Smartcards is the same as that being used by many other transport operators. We are absolutely committed to working with these other operators to find a way to make sure that Smartcards work right across Scotland's transport network, making travelling in Scotland a seamless, hassle free experience."
Mr Mackay said: "This announcement is good news for rail passengers in Scotland who will start to see more Smart-enabled route options right across the ScotRail network during the summer. These will offer passengers increased flexibility and value for money whilst aligning the rail industry for future Smart ticket integration with other forms of transport as they become Smart enabled.
"As part of last year's ScotRail franchise contract award, Ministers emphasised the need for an innovative approach to Smart ticketing within rail, which included an ambitious target to deliver an overall figures of 60% of journeys by Smart by 2019. The Scottish Government's long-terms vision for Smart travel is that passengers on all forms of public transport will be able to pay for their journeys using some form of Smart ticketing."
Smart ticketing will further be extended beyond season tickets to the majority of ticket types by 2017, all ticket types will be available on Smart by 2019, including some multi-modal tickets. This will mean that passengers can hold tickets for rail travel, which will also be compatible with buses, ferries and the Glasgow subway on one card, whilst also allowing for integration with cycle hire and car parking as these become Smart-enabled.
- To help explain all the upcoming Smart developments, ScotRail has produced a short video – available here: youtu.be/L8bf0nc5VmA
- Over the course of the Summer, season ticket holders on every one of the routes that is being Smart enabled will be contacted so as to try and convert them to the new Smartcard.
- Once this rollout to season ticket holders is complete, ScotRail will begin the process of making other ticket types available on Smartcard.
- The routes that will be Smart enabled for season ticket holders over the Summer are:
Glasgow-Aberdeen/Dyce, Edinburgh-Aberdeen, Aberdeen-Inverness, Glasgow/Edinburgh-Inverness, Inverness-Wick/Thurso, Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh, West Highland Lines, Glasgow-Carlisle/Stranraer, Fife Circle, Haymarket-North Berwick, Glasgow suburban lines, cross-Glasgow routes via Argyle Street, Glasgow-Edinburgh via Shotts, the Paisley Canal line, Rutherglen-Coatbridge, Glasgow-East Kilbride, Glasgow-Barrhead/Kilmarnock and Glasgow-Wemyss Bay-Gourock.
- Rail customers buying season tickets on Smartcard are eligible for benefits including:
- 1/3 off standard off-peak single and return tickets for up to three adults travelling with any Smart season ticket holder
- A £5 First Class upgrade on off-peak travel for three adults joining any Smart season ticket holders travelling on their usual route
For more information, go to scotrail.co.uk/smart