News

Subway Smartcard has arrived!

Get Smart

SPT’s next-generation Subway smart ticketing has arrived! Smart gates have been installed in all 15 Subway stations and from today – Wednesday 30 October – passengers are being asked to register to receive their own personal Smartcard.

The new system will be more flexible and offer customers the benefits of a contactless, paperless system including pay-as-you-go travel.

Smartcards will mean an end to paper tickets and easier, quicker journeys with fewer queues at ticket offices. I would encourage anyone who uses the Subway to apply now for their own card. It is reusable and is the most secure way to travel as it’s unique to the individual.”

Gordon Maclennan, SPT Chief Executive

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport Chief Executive Gordon Maclennan said:

“SPT is carrying out a full-scale modernisation of the world’s third-oldest Subway system and the switch over to smart technology is another key milestone for us. I’m delighted that customers can now access the great benefits this brings.

“Smartcards will mean an end to paper tickets and easier, quicker journeys with fewer queues at ticket offices. I would encourage anyone who uses the Subway to apply now for their own card. It is reusable and is the most secure way to travel as it’s unique to the individual.”

Subway passengers can add money on to their Smartcards to use anytime they want without an expiry date.

The new ticketing system solution was developed, manufactured and installed by German company Scheidt and Bachman. It includes new software, smartcard ticketing machines, smart gates and related ticketing equipment across all Subway stations.

A key requirement was the need for the new technology to be ITSO-compliant (ITSO is the national specification, or Standard, for smart ticketing). It will enable the Subway Smartcard to be used between different transport modes, such as bus, train and ferry, to make end to end travel easier in future.

The national concessionary travel scheme in Scotland is currently backed by ITSO technology. SPT is in the final stages of testing the integration and use of National Entitlement Cards (NEC) to establish that they too can ‘tap and go’ on the Subway.

SPT Chairman Jim Coleman said: “You only have to look at how successful Smartcards have been worldwide in encouraging people on to public transport.

“This is a great step in the right direction and by introducing smart technology on the Subway first, it will hopefully prove to other operators that a simple, fully-flexible cashless ticket will not only reduce journey times but also get more people to use the system too.”

The technology behind the Subway Smartcard itself – named ‘Bramble’ – has been created by East Kilbride-based company Ecebs as part of a joint venture agreement with SPT. The company was created to assure passengers of a trusted, secure system of managing transactions, independent of any one transport operator and using the latest technology.

Payments may be made by cash or debit/credit card and customers will be able to manage their own accounts via the internet and on mobile phones during 2014, making cashless travel even easier to access.

Subway Park and Ride sites will also be integrated into the new Smartcard system during 2014. It will be one of the first fully integrated ITSO parking and travel schemes in the UK.