Scottish first for bus smartcards

SCOTLAND will be the first country in the world to have a national smartcard system to cut bus fare fraud, ministers announced yesterday as they launched a pilot of the delayed scheme.

Smartcard machines have been installed in buses in Shetland, the constituency of Tavish Scott, the transport minister, and are expected to be extended to the rest of the country over the 18 months from January.

The technology was to have been introduced for the launch of national free bus travel for pensioners and the disabled in April. It will replace passes which are shown to the driver.

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