Date lodged: 23 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what the take-up rate has been of the ScotRail Smartcard; when it will be rolled out across all routes; what it considers the advantages of the card are, and how the services that it offers compare with the Oyster Card in London and other similar cards across the UK.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 7 December 2017
ScotRail's Smartcard has been introduced on all routes and is available for most ticket types.
There a number of advantages for passengers using a ScotRail smartcard (saltirecard). Some special promotional fares are only available on Smart. Super Off Peak Day Return and Club 50 are exclusive to Smart which provide discount travel. For Smart season ticket holders, exclusive online benefits are also offered, including discounts and deals on the high street. Smart also offers more convenience for passengers as tickets can be purchased online making it faster and easier with no need to queue at the ticket office as well as providing more security against lost and stolen cards. Smartcard also brings the rail industry in line with other transport operators and it provides the opportunity for Transport Scotland to expand and create new ways of making Scotland's public transport interoperable.
ScotRail will be piloting Account Based Ticketing in 2018, which will allow payment to be added to Smartcards and offer passengers daily and weekly best fares without having to purchase tickets before traveling (similar to that which is offered on Oyster in London).