09 Mar 2015
Secondary school pupils in Perth are benefitting from a new, more efficient, smart ticketing scheme which makes it easier for them to travel between the city’s high schools and college by bus.
The new Perth City Campus smartcard project – which has been welcomed by Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay - is a schools transport initiative that has been delivered through a partnership between Transport Scotland, bus operator Stagecoach and Perth & Kinross Council.
The initiative means that around 110 senior secondary school pupils studying Advanced Highers at different high schools and the college can now store their travel electronically on their Young Scot National Entitlement Cards. The cards will be loaded with the smart tickets required for each pupil’s travel needs. These smartcards can then be used on Stagecoach bus services for travel during the school day.
The start of the scheme follows a successful pilot which was held in December 2014
The Perth Campus initiative includes four secondary schools in the city of Perth – Perth Academy, Perth Grammar School, Perth High School and St John’s RC Academy along with Perth College UHI.
Previously pupils used Council-issued non-smart travel passes for inter-school travel. However the new smart ticketing scheme means greater ease of use for pupils while delivering reduced administrative overheads and better planning information to the Council and Stagecoach.
This is just one example of a Schools Transport project where Transport Scotland has provided skilled resources to ensure its success. Working collaboratively with Stagecoach and the Public Transport Unit, Perth & Kinross Council to successfully deliver this project provides a national template for future smart ticketing projects elsewhere. Changing to an automated smart process has many benefits including greater convenience and ease of use for pupils, reduced administrative overheads, use based invoicing and greater, accurate planning information for councils and operators.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said:
“This innovative project is a welcome development in smart ticketing which will benefit secondary pupils travelling to school by bus across Perth.
“The use of smart technology to enable one card to fulfill many purposes is aligned to Transport Scotland’s long term vision that all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.
“Travel is just one use of the Young Scot card and hopefully this initiative will encourage users to take advantage of the wider benefits available to them.”
Bus operator Stagecoach has launched smarter travel at the majority of its companies across the UK and and was also the first major operator to accept concessionary smartcard transactions on every one of its buses outside London. More than 240 million journeys are now made each year on Stagecoach bus and rail services using smartcards. The Group plans to introduce smart ticketing at the remainder of its companies in Scotland, including Stagecoach East Scotland, this year.
Stagecoach East Scotland Managing Director Andrew Jarvis said: “This project is the first step towards the introduction of smart ticketing on our network and we’re pleased to be involved in this partnership.
“We are committed to delivering greater convenience and ease of travel for our customers and smart ticketing is an important way of doing that.”
Councillor Bob Band, Convener of Perth & Kinross Council’s Lifelong Learning Committee, said: “The Perth City Campus initiative was developed to allow our senior pupils a much wider range of subject choices and to give them the best chance to fit all of their chosen subjects into their timetable. This new smart ticketing scheme will now make it even easier for pupils to travel between the schools and hopefully encourage more pupils to take part in the initiative.”
Photograph 1: shows (from left) Paul Dailey, Public Transport Technician, Perth and Kinross Council, Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director, Stagecoach East Scotland, Emma Gilbert, Project Manager, Transport Scotland, Lorraine Mackenzie and Ewan Morrison, St John's RC Academy pupils and Bob Band, Convenor of Perth & Kinross Council’s Lifelong Learning Committee.
Photograph 2: shows all on board a Perth bus.
Photograph 3 shows Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director, Stagecoach East Scotland with St John's RC Academy pupils, Ewan Morrison and Lorraine Mackenzie.