Secondary school pupils in Oban are set to benefit from a new ticket scheme delivered by Transport Scotland in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council and West Coast Motors.
The new Argyll and Bute initiative will see over 350 Oban High School pupils, who are entitled to free travel, given a Young Scot card loaded with smart tickets. In addition, pupils who are not entitled to free travel can load the card with West Coast Motors e-ticket product
The card replaces the current council-issued paper travel pass, making it easier for pupils to use while delivering reduced administrative overheads and better planning information to the Council and West Coast Motors.
Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for transportation, Councillor Alistair MacDougall, welcomed the scheme, saying, “We are delighted to be part of this initiative. Anything which makes travelling easier and more convenient for the people who use our transport services is to be welcomed. This new scheme will make it easier for pupils across the area to travel but it will also help us work together with operators to supply accurate data which will help to provide a great service for our customers.’’
Oban High School pupils Stephen Povey, Emma Thompson, Anja Powell and Kimberley Campbell joined Councillor MacDougall, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investement and Cities Keith Brown MSP, and West Coast Motors Oban manager Russell Dods, to launch the new ticket system.
Launching the card Keith Brown MSP, said, “It’s great to see a further development in our smart ticketing capabilities and is just one example of a schools transport project where Transport Scotland is working successfully in partnership with local authorities and bus operators
“The use of smart technology to enable one card to fulfil many purposes forms part of Transport Scotland’s long term vision for 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.”
The start of the scheme follows a successful pilot which was held in October 2014 and will be rolled out to a further six schools high schools in the near future and on completion will mean over 1200 pupils have access to the system.
The schools in Argyll and Bute are; Tobermory High School, Tarbert Academy, Campbeltown Grammar School, Lochgilphead Joint Campus, Dunoon Grammar School and Rothesay Academy.
West Coast Motors Managing Director Colin Craig said, “It is very important to keep pace with the evolution in payment and ticketing developments to enable our customers to make travelling by bus and coach as easy as possible. Our recent investment in new ticketing equipment has enabled us to deliver a smart card solution that we look forward to rolling out across our services in partnership with Transport Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council.”
The Young Scot National Entitlement Card (NEC) gives travel discounts to 16-18 year olds, or full time volunteers under the age of 26. For more information, visit http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/young-scot-national-entitlement-card