ScotRail has announced the arrival of its new mTicket digital ticketing system, enabling customers to book and download tickets directly to their smartphone via the ScotRail app, without the need to print out a hardcopy version at the station prior to travel.
Previously limited to cross-border journeys, the mTickets are now available for single (including Advance) and return trips within Scotland.
The digital tickets use a barcode, similar to a QR code, which is activated prior to travel and will be scanned at the ticket gate or by the conductor onboard. The barcode incorporates all usual ticket information and, once scanned, are digitally “clipped” so they can’t be reused.
A live journey feature within the app will keep passengers up to date on platform and service information.
For many travellers tight on time, the obligation to print out or pick up pre-booked tickets from station ticket machines and ticket offices can use up crucial minutes and lead to missed trains.
Digital ticketing is also a must for facilitating a move towards so-called end-to-end travel or smart travel, where users will ultimately be able to plan and book a trip online involving several different modes of transport and integrate it all into a single digital ticket on a single app, rather than juggling multiple hard copies or different apps from several providers.
As well as streamlining the ticketing process, ScotRail also hopes that mTickets will encourage riders back onto the service following the lifting of COVID restrictions. At the height of the pandemic lockdown, Scotland’s rail network lost 90 percent of its customers.
Lesley Kane, ScotRail’s commercial director, said: “By removing the need to print off the tickets we are enhancing our green credentials and in the wake of coronavirus, we are also cutting down on the number of touchpoints, ticket machines and queues.”
Photo credit: Elaine Catton