Operators say proposed new West ofScotland smart card ticketing system “could be used throughout the nation.”
The first operational elements of a new Oyster-style multi-modal transport system have been commissioned ahead of schedule for Glasgow and the West of Scotland’s smart travel scheme.
The Paragon Transport system designed and operated by Lanarkshire-based smart media Company -Ecebs, has now been commissioned and installed at their brand new data centre in East Kilbride. This represents the first step in enabling technology for passengers to use smart cards instead of paper tickets on all modes of public transport in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (‘SPT’) area.
The Paragon Transport system will essentially provide a back office system to validate and record smart journeys on, buses, ferries, trains and the Subway using the same smart card or smartphone and forms the backbone of a fully integrated smart travel programme.
The system’s operator Ecebs, say the technology could be applied to any transport system in Scotland immediately because it is accredited by the U.K. Government’s technical standard, ITSO. According to Ecebs, the activity could pave the way for operators to benefit from a simple, cashless smart card system across the country, building on the concessionary Bus Travel scheme deployed by Scottish Government.
David Burdett, Managing Director of Ecebs commented “Our vision is to build on the successful concessionary travel scheme and to deliver the next step enabling everyone in Scotland and the wider U.K. to benefit from smart travel – and by delivering it quickly and efficiently to the entire SPT area we hope to demonstrate to others what can be achieved”.
“The heart of the system is in place, the operational systems are tried and tested and everyone agrees that a smart card for Scotland makes sense. Until recent years, a smart future for Scotland was just a theory, but now that we are on the road to making it a reality, we very much hope that other operators across the country will join us in delivering a truly inter-operable system.”
The smart travel programme is being implemented through a new Joint Venture between Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and leading smart technology company, Ecebs.
David Burdett added: “This week saw the opening of the new Riverside Museum marking the history of transport in Glasgow. The Joint Venture Company is now helping define the future of transport in the region.
The new system will enable passengers to top up cards or buy and download travel tickets on line or at multiple locations throughout the area such as bus stations, Rail and Subway stations and shops. In addition, customers will be able to access data about their travel habits, ensuring they can target best value products which suit their needs
The highly secure system will be fully operational in advance of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and allows for future inclusion of additional services onto the cards including delivering travel and events tickets to mobile phones, providing credit card-style payment services and a number of Council services such as travel passes for schools.
David Burdett added: “If we’re serious about improving Scotland’s transport, then ease, convenience and simplicity should be the lowest common denominators for every journey taken on public transport. An Oyster-style transport infrastructure is just the beginning and it will advance the ability for Scottish transport operators and local authorities to consider the positive impact on services of a fully integrated smart solution for Scotland.”
Read the BBC Scotland article about Smart Ticketing in Scotland.