Smart ticketing in Scotland: pay-as-you-go system trialled

smart ticketing in scotland
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Rail transport users in Scotland are set to benefit from a trial of an account-based smart ticketing system, initially deployed on the Glasgow Cathcart loop.

The system, a collaborative effort between transport solutions technology provider Cubic Transportation Systems and Scottish railways franchise Abellio ScotRail, will enable travellers to use a “pay-as-you-go” ticketing system operable through the ScotRail smart card. In a scheme similar to London’s Oyster card system, customers will be able to set up a single account which can be used across multiple modes of public transport.

Laurent Eskenazi, managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Cubic Transportation Systems, said: “Cubic is proud to work with Abellio ScotRail to deliver smart ticketing solutions in Scotland. Cubic’s One Account delivers an end-to-end multimodal platform that encompasses the aspirations of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) which can be extended to the U.K.’s entire public transport network – One Account is an account-based approach that allows travellers to have a single funding account across multiple modes of public and private transportation for a seamless mobility payment experience.”

The One Account programme, currently only available on the ScotRail network, is designed to streamline the process of travelling on public transport and save customers money using “smarter, personalised and actionable” journey planning protocols. Cubic’s trial deployment of smart ticketing in Scotland represents its first foray into the UK public transport industry, though Cubic states other UK franchises have shown “growing interest” and it hopes to expand its British operations further on a “best fare” pledge to passengers.

Claire Dickie, head of revenue development at ScotRail, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this innovative trial. Customers are changing the way they want to do business with us; and we see account-based ticketing as one of the potential ways to improve the overall customer experience.”

After being issued with a remedial notice by Transport Scotland last year, ScotRail has promised to improve its operations by recruiting extra staff, expanding its fleet to improve punctuality and reliability; and trialling uses of new technology to improve the passenger experience.

This article was amended on 16 April to clarify that the One Account “pay as you go” ticketing system is currently only available to ScotRail smart card holders; and that One Account is only deployed on the ScotRail network.

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