From 22 August, the GrassHOPPER pass is to go smart. For use across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, the announcement means customers can store the GrassHOPPER ticket electronically on a smartcard, either a StagecoachSmart card, a First Touch card or a GrassHOPPER smartcard. This will mean they will no longer need a paper ticket and can use one smartcard when travelling with any participating operator. It is the first multi-operator ticket of its kind to be introduced to smart ticketing in Scotland. The ticket is available for purchase on services operated by First Aberdeen, Stagecoach, Bains Coaches, Central Coaches, Deveron Coaches, J&M Burns Coaches, Kininmonth Cabs, MW Nicoll Coaches and Mid-Deeside Ltd.
Coach and bus operators across north east Scotland joined forces in 2014 to launch the first multi-operator bus ticket which now offers unlimited travel from £4.20 per day in Aberdeen City. The GrassHOPPER Pass is a partnership led by local bus operators and administered by Aberdeenshire Council. The partnership is also supported by Aberdeen City Council and NESTRANS, the transport partnership for Aberdeen City and Shire. Over 17,500 passenger journeys are made every month using GrassHOPPER tickets.
Commercial Manager, at First Aberdeen, Daniel Laird, said, ‘With our partners we’re proud to be at the forefront of smart ticketing in Scotland. Using the latest technology we’ve already introduced m-Tickets which enables our customers to use their mobile phones as bus tickets. The introduction of smart to GrassHOPPER is further good news for customers as we make using the bus a smarter and simpler travel alternative.’
Doug Bain of Bain’s Coaches, speaking on behalf of the independent bus operators in the North East of Scotland, said, ‘The success of the GrassHOPPER ticket has demonstrated that there is demand for this type of bus ticket. Being able to offer the ticket on smartcards is another positive addition which will allow all customers in the north east to benefit from the convenience of multi-operator bus travel using one ticket.’