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Smartcard

Smart gate

SPT introduced a smart ticketing solution to its Subway in October 2013. Since its launch, the technology has been adopted by more than 105,000 Subway customers.

Smart ticketing is being introduced as part of the £288 million modernisation of the 120-year-old network. It includes new software, smartcard ticketing machines, smart gates and related ticketing equipment across all Subway stations.

How it benefits our customers

Customers can register for their free Smartcard – similar to the Oyster card on the London Underground. Their registered card will contain a unique ID number and their photograph.

The new system is more flexible and offers customers the benefits of a contactless, paperless system including pay-as-you-go tickets. Subway passengers are able to add money on to their Smartcards to use anytime they want without an expiry date and if they have a registered card their balance is protected if their card is lost or stolen.

They can top up value when it’s convenient (initially in stations only) and will soon be available to manage their card account online at home or on the go with mobile devices. That will mean easier, quicker journeys throughout the Subway with fewer queues at ticket offices.

Customers will always get the best deals on their Smartcard and exclusive season products are available including 6 month and 12 month tickets.

Payments may be made by cash, bank transfer or debit/credit card and in 2014 via the internet and on mobile phones, making cashless travel even easier to access.

In longer term, it is also planned that the Smartcards will act as an e-purse for convenience purchases such as snacks, leisure activities and newspapers/magazines.

What we are doing to integrate with other modes of transport

A key requirement was the need for the new technology to be ITSO-compliant (ITSO is the national specification, or Standard, for smart ticketing).

The national bus concessionary travel scheme in Scotland is also backed by ITSO technology. SPT is working with Transport Scotland to enable existing National Entitlement Card holders, who are eligible for concessionary travel on the Subway to ‘tap and go’ seamlessly between their different travel options.

SPT believes it will offer genuine transport integration opportunities and allow the system to be rolled out across other modes of transport, creating seamless travel from Subway to bus, rail, and ferry services in future. SPT is in dialogue with a number of public transport operators and stakeholders to identify opportunities to provide the Scottish public with integrated smart ticketing across all public transport.

How it works

The technology behind the card itself – named ‘Bramble’ – has been created by East Kilbride-based Ecebs as part of a joint venture agreement. Working with SPT they were tasked with delivering a cashless, multi-modal, multi-operator transport card in advance of the Commonwealth Games. By forming a joint venture company, passengers can be assured of a trusted, secure system of managing transactions, independent of any one transport operator and using the latest technology.