Glasgow Subway tickets to go mobile in a first for Scotland

Passengers on the Glasgow Subway are to be the first in Scotland be able to use their mobile phones instead of smartcards.

Passengers will be able to use phones to pass through ticket gates
Passengers will be able to use phones to pass through ticket gates

A trial is due to start within months to enable travellers on the underground railway to open ticket gates with their phones.

This will be followed by users being able to top up their phones remotely without having to go to a ticket machine.

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It will be another first for the 120-year-old system, which switched from paper tickets to smartcards in 2013.

The trial is expected to get underway sometime between April and September.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), which operates the system, said: “We will be looking at a pilot project which will allow smartcards to be loaded onto Android smartphones so you will be able to use your phone at the gate to access the Subway.

“No other Scottish transport option offers this.”

The trial will be run by Nevis Technologies, a joint venture company set up by SPT and East Kilbride firm Rambus Ecebs for the project.

It will involve a special app downloaded to phones.

SPT assistant chief executive Eric Stewart said: “This pilot program with Rambus Ecebs and the Nevis team helps us to make travel more convenient, secure and efficient.

“Travellers can securely select, purchase, download and use their ticket anywhere on the Subway.”

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The change comes as the six-mile circle is in the midst of a £300 million overhaul.

Stations and tunnels are being upgraded, new signalling installed and new trains are due to be introduced in 2020, which will operate driverless from the following year.