Unicard HOPS aboard Scotland's free travel scheme


Transport Scotland has selected Unicard’s central back-office solution to manage both commercial journeys and the Scottish National Concessionary Travel Scheme.

Unicard, a provider of smart ticketing and payment solutions to the public transport sector, said its Host Operator or Processing System (HOPS) transport data management system securely processes all smart transactions and supports all ITSO accredited smart ticketing schemes.

A Transport Scotland spokesman told Transport Network that it is a four-year contract valued at £1.7m, with the option of a further two years at a total cost of £2.3m.

Scotland’s concessionary travel scheme entitles 1.4 million older and disabled people to free bus transport and provides discounted travel for young people (Young Scot Cardholders), throughout Scotland.

Unicard CEO Sean Dickinson

Unicard said its HOPS can be configured to support the Scottish Government’s plans to extend free bus travel to around 777,000 under 19s, as well as companions of disabled children under five.

Last month Scottish ministers laid draft legislation to enable arrangements to be put in place for the extended scheme to start operating ‘as soon as practicable during the financial year 2021-22’.

Unicard CEO Sean Dickinson said the firm’s system would ‘play an integral role in supporting concessionary travel across Scotland’.

He said: ‘We continue to expand our solutions and services to other parts of the UK, whilst continuing to work closely with some of the largest local authorities in England. Our solutions portfolio helps customers to capitalise on new opportunities presented by Future Transport Zones, and the renewed investment in public transport.

‘Our fully integrated and hosted solutions enable local authorities to incorporate bikes, e-scooters and electric vehicles to their existing bus and rail travel schemes.’

Unicard said its HOPS can also be configured to support commercial ticketing for other modes of public transport across Scotland. It described it as a fully automated, scalable, and secure solution, capable of handling high volumes of ITSO messaging and data transactions.

It added: ‘The HOPS provides Transport Scotland with the ability to monitor live reporting data, track concessionary fares and manage smart reimbursements with transport operators.’


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