Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today reiterated calls for a smart card pass to be introduced to make travel easier in the Northern Isles.
The call follows news yesterday that Stagecoach North Scotland has officially launched contactless payments on over 360 buses in the North Scotland area, including vehicles in Orkney. Contactless payments allows passengers to pay for their travel with a contactless credit or debit card as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Mr McArthur believes this announcement could pave the way to making payments for ferry, bus, rail and air routes through one integrated “smart card system” much easier. The north’s transport partnership, Hitrans, also supports the proposal.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“In an island community there is, by its nature, a range of transport options including ferry, bus and air routes. This can make integrating those services more difficult, but at the same time all the more important. I believe a ‘smart card system’ can be helpful in providing more integrated services and would open up travel options across Orkney and beyond.
“I therefore welcome news that Stagecoach is introducing a contactless card system. This technology should help make the service more accessible, and hopefully opens up the opportunity to better integrate transport services locally through the introduction of a ‘smart card system’.
“I recognise there are digital connectivity issues to overcome, but equally I am aware it is an ambition Orkney Island Council shares. I look forward to working with them and others to see it come to fruition.”