Abellio’s vision for the new ScotRail franchise is based on providing a more convenient service which offers better value for money and is in keeping with the life our passengers want to lead. Our plans to introduce Smartcard ticketing across the entire ScotRail network will play a key role.
Each year, we will continue to develop our Smart ticketing systems so that more passengers opt to switch from paper tickets to re-useable Smartcards which store tickets on an electronic chip. The technology will open up a range of benefits.

  • Journeys will be easier and quicker because there will be no need to queue for tickets.
  • We will be able to offer better value fares, tailored to the needs of specific groups of passengers, and new payment options.
  • Passengers will be able to travel on their ScotRail Smartcard, which over time can include tickets for bus, ferry and tram travel, once these modes are enabled, rather than having to hold and purchase separate paper tickets.
  • We will extend Smart ticketing to cover payment for station services, car parking, our Bike&Go cycle hire scheme, and premium cycle storage.

Obtaining a Smartcard will be straightforward. We will also be sending Smartcards to all monthly and annual season ticket holders along with information on how to renew their ticket on the card should they wish to do so.
Our experience of running bus and rail services in London and introducing a nationwide public transport Smartcard in the Netherlands shows Smartcard ticketing is hugely popular with customers. We are aiming for 60% of ScotRail journeys to be made on Smartcards.

The capabilities of our Smart ticketing system will also allow us to offer a range of new customer services. All ScotRail Smartcard holders will be able to activate a personal online Smartcard account. The account will offer a range of information such as details of all the tickets held on the customer’s Smartcard and their journey history. Services will include simplified and personalised ticket sales and a convenient means of receiving ticket refunds.

More flexible, better value fares

The extension of Smart ticketing technology will also allow us to offer more flexible tickets, new fares and fairer prices. Our plans for the coming years include a Smart Flex-Carnet ticket which will mean lower fares for many part time employees. Passengers will decide how many journeys they want to buy over a period of their choice. Discounts on daily ticket prices will be available with the amount depending on the number of journeys bought and the period covered. As a result, people who commute part time will benefit from reduced price travel, just as season ticket holders do.

Our plans include a new Super Off-peak Smart fare on suburban routes at times when services are lightly used. It will provide discounts of up to 20% on existing off-peak ticket prices. We will introduce Advance Purchase fares starting at £5 between any two Scottish cities, lower fares for jobseekers and a Price Promise that guarantees we will offer our customers the best value fare.