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The basics of smart travel

Discover how smart technology can make it even easier to get on board.

Here are just some of the reasons to switch to a smartcard:


Smart options


Smart tickets are uploaded onto a chipped travel card called a smartcard. Tickets can be pre-purchased or bought when travelling.

All Scottish ITSO smartcards now have the flexible benefit of holding any of your smart tickets for different modes and operators – bus, train, or subway. 

If you have a Scottish travel smartcard, just look for the blue ITSO logo.  ITSO is the clever technology that helps us deliver secure smart ticketing on smartcards.

If you have a national entitlement card, such as free bus pass or Young Scot, these can also now be used to load smart tickets onto.

Check which operators provide smartcards.

Spot the ITSO logo

Load with tickets

Off you go

Mobile app

Mobile ticketing is a ticket held on your smartphone, usually in a mobile app. Tickets are pre-bought, though this can be just before you jump on board, through the operator’s own app, such as Stagecoach or First. The app is for tickets for that operator only. If you are making multi-operator journeys you may need to download more than one app.

Check which operator

Smart payments

Smart payments means you can pay for your tickets via smart technology options online, over the counter, on board or at a ticket machine. As well as traditional chip and pin for pre-purchase many operators now also accept contactless payment.

Smart payment operators

Additional smart travel services

In addition to smartcards, mobile apps and smart payments, there are a number of smart enabled travel options to help you get around Scotland.


PlusBus is a bus pass that goes with your train ticket. It gives you unlimited travel in the area around your chosen PlusBus station.

You can buy a PlusBus ticket with your rail ticket.

See all destinations

Park & Ride

You can even go smart for your Park & Ride across many locations in Scotland.

Smart cycle schemes

There are a number of cycle schemes using mobile apps and more are on their way.