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Scottish bus operators to save up to 220 minutes per day on some routes as they wave goodbye to concession paper receipts

  • Concessionary ticket users will no longer receive a receipt for their journey from 20th February.
  • All contributing bus operators will be making the change across their wider businesses throughout Scotland.
  • It is hoped the change will help to improve journey times and reduce waste.

Bus routes in Scotland are set to save up to 220 mins per day as operators across the country stop printing paper receipts for concessions.

First Bus, McGill’s, Stagecoach, West Coast Motors and JMB Travel are all making the move to no longer print concessionary tickets across all their operational areas in Scotland from Monday 20th February. The change is expected to aid bus journey times and further reduce their impact on the environment.

It is expected the onboarding time for those using a National Entitlement Card will be reduced throughout each route, in turn saving a few important seconds at each stop. The move will also reduce the amount of paper used and litter seen onboard bus services.

The change is taking place thanks to new software installed across the network which allows bus operators to log each journey digitally and is being brought in with agreement and endorsement from Transport Scotland.

It won’t affect how customers travel using their National Entitlement Card, the only difference will be that they will no longer receive a receipt. All customers will still be required to inform the driver of their destination when they board to allow accurate recording of this information.

The amount of time saved by this move will vary by operator and by individual route due to the differing number of concessionary card holders travelling on each route on any given day but it is viewed as a huge positive by all of the bus operators.

Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director for First Bus Scotland, said: “The move towards removing paper receipts for concession journeys is one we have been wanting to make for some time. On our services alone, over 850,000 small pieces of paper are printed for receipts in Glasgow and Aberdeen each week that we have felt are unnecessary when the customer already holds a physical concessionary card.

“These paper receipts are unable to be recycled and therefore, making these small changes, can have a much larger impact in helping us improve journey times and reduce waste.”

Colin Napier, McGill’s Group Service Delivery Director, said: “This small change of removing paper receipts for concessionary passengers will have a really positive impact for all bus users. Not only will it make boarding quicker and reduce delays on our services, it’s also better for the environment which is a top priority for McGill’s Bus Group.

“Thanks to innovative improvements to our technology we will save hours of inefficiently sitting stationary at bus stops on our busiest routes by not printing concession receipts. We want to make our services as efficient as possible which is why we’re excited to roll this out across our entire network.”


Notes to editors

This initiative is being led by the Glasgow Bus Alliance and expanded across all areas of Scotland where First Bus, Stagecoach, JMB Travel, McGill's Whitelaws and West Coast Motors operate.

About Glasgow Bus Alliance

The Glasgow Bus Alliance is a partnership between the Greater Glasgow region’s main bus operators. Currently made up of Stagecoach, First Bus, JMB Travel, McGill’s, Whitelaws and West Coast Motors, operators of Glasgow Citybus and Glasgow City Sightseeing.

Glasgow is committed to growing bus patronage by 25% over five years.

It shall work to support and compliment city region projects such as the Glasgow City Region deal, Glasgow City Centre Transport Strategy and the Avenues project to ensure the smooth, practical and timely delivery of a more integrated transport system for the city.

Glasgow will work with key stakeholders including Glasgow City Council, the surrounding city region local authorities, Transport Scotland, Bus Users Scotland, SPT, ScotRail, Sustrans, Glasgow Life along with customer representation groups, community groups and business representatives across the region.

Glasgow is committed to delivering a green recovery from the Covid19 pandemic, encourage modal shift away from historic car-centric policies, tackle congestion for cleaner air and help provide a connected transport network.

The Glasgow Bus Alliance Manifesto: Our Pledge | Glasgow Bus Alliance