Scotland funds contactless bus payments

Scottish Government has awarded funding to aid bus operators in upgrading their ticket systems to accept contactless bank payments. Up to 23 operators are set to benefit from award.

The Smart Pay Grant Fund has seen £447,850 awarded from the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund. the money is estimated to provide a contactless payment solution to potentially 4.5 million fare paying journeys right across the country. The fund builds on the roll out of contactless payment by the country’s largest operators and responds to feedback from smaller operators around the financial barriers to upgrading. The Scottish Government’s vision is that all journeys on Scotland’s public transport networks can be made using some form of smart ticketing or payment and passengers can expect to benefit from this payment option from spring 2019.

Operators awarded funding

  • Millport Motors Ltd – Ayrshire
  • Moffat & Williamson Ltd – Fife
  • Shiel Buses Ltd – Highland
  • Eve Coaches Ltd –East Lothian
  • Garelochhead Minibuses & Coaches Ltd – Argyll & Bute
  • JMB Travel Ltd –North Lanarkshire
  • Mackies Coaches Ltd – Alloa
  • Prentice Coaches Ltd –East Lothian
  • Whitelaws Coaches Ltd – South Lanarkshire
  • Wilson’s of Rhu Ltd – Argyll & Bute
  • Canavan Travel Ltd – North Lanarkshire
  • Mc Call’s Coaches Ltd – Dumfries & Galloway
  • Blue Bus Ltd – North Lanarkshire
  • Dunns Coaches Ltd – North Lanarkshire
  • R B Coaches Ltd – Falkirk
  • Avondale Coaches Ltd – West Dunbartonshire
  • McColl’s Travel Ltd – West Dunbartonshire
  • Edinburgh Coach Lines Ltd – Edinburgh
  • B Mundell Ltd – Glasgow
  • Borders Buses Ltd – Glasgow / Borders
  • Bryans Coaches Ltd – Falkirk
  • Craig of Campbeltown Ltd – Argyll & Bute
  • S D Travel – West Lothian

Keith Shand, Assistant Operations Manager at Garelochhead Mini Bus and Coaches, said: “Modern day society expects to board a bus and not have to carry the correct change. Feedback from our customers shows 75% have indicated they would use contactless payments on our buses and we’re delighted that we will now be able to deliver this service.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “Contactless payments make it easier to access travel in Scotland and I am delighted we have been able to support up to 23 smaller operators in making the transition to this convenient payment solution.

“This government is committed to supporting the bus industry and also people right across the country who choose to travel by bus. By helping smaller operators with the financial costs of upgrading to contactless payment, customers will benefit from quicker and easier transactions, whether by card or by mobile phone.

“A second round of the fund will open on 16 January and we are now widening this fund out to all operators, so that even more organisations can take advantage of the support on offer.”


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