ScotRail set to introduce smart cards on all routes

ScotRail passengers will soon be able to tap their way onto the train on all routes across Scotland with the introduction of new smart card technology.

Scotrail Alliance Commercial Director Cathy Craig, right, and Transport Minister Derek Mackay show off their smartcards. Picture: SNS

The smartcards can be loaded with season tickets at existing ticket machines with hopes to develop a single card for all modes of travel across the country.

Smart cards are already in use on four rail routes in the central belt but the ScotRail Summer of Smart campaign will see them introduced on all of the company’s services.

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The technology will initially be available to ScotRail season ticket holders only, with other tickets following next year.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “Completion will take place over the summer and then over the course of the next year all other ticket types will be available.

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“This is a major step forward for Scotland using smart technology as part of the transport system, with the railways now using it.

“We are making progress with the bus companies and that’s significant because of the number of people who use bus transport and connecting ferries.”

Transport Scotland is currently working on a smart card solution that allows travellers to load all their tickets for different modes of transport on to one card.

Mr Mackay added: “What I want to see next is further integration of transport ticketing, rail’s made progress and we are working in partnership with the bus industry and ferries so we can join up journeys and have all forms of transport, in due course, on the one card or on the one piece of technology.”

Transport Scotland and ScotRail are also developing an Android app that will allow customers to use their tablets and smartphones to buy tickets and load them on to their card.

ScotRail Alliance commercial director Cathy Craig said: “Overall we are looking to transform the way people are travelling in Scotland, we are looking for smart card technology to help customers travel more seamlessly.

“They can be quicker through the gate, they can buy the ticket at home and download it to their card, no queuing at the ticket office.”