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New bus ticket machines to be rolled out across Shetland

8 March 2019

Shetland Islands Council will be installing new ticketing equipment across all public bus services in Shetland over the weekend of Friday 15th to Sunday 17th March.

There will be a mixture of standard ticket machines on larger service buses and handheld machines on smaller service buses typically used for shopper or feeder services. The standard machines will have the ability to accept contactless payment methods including contactless bank cards and payment mechanisms available through mobile phones. The technology to enable handheld machines is under development and this will be rolled out for smaller vehicles as soon as it is available.

Cash payments and the use of National Entitlement Cards issued to those over the age of 60, people with a disability, and 16-18 year olds remain unchanged and will be accepted across the full local bus network.

Top up cards will be available on board all bus services from the installation of the new machines, enabling passengers to put a monetary value on a card and then use it to pay for their travel. Upon the use of a top up card for payment, 80% of the adult single fare for the requested journey will be deducted from the balance on the card, therefore providing the passenger with a 20% discount on their journey. These top up cards have been available through the current ticket machines for some time, however they could only be used on the mainline services. The new ticketing equipment will allow the use of top up cards across the full local bus network.

Holders of current top up cards are advised that their current card will not function on the new ticket machines and they will have to get a new top up card. These will be available on board buses and from the Transport Planning Service office, 6 North Ness Business Park, Lerwick from Monday 18th March.

Current card holders are requested not to make significant top ups on their old cards prior to implementation as the balance on their old cards can only be transferred to a new card by the Transport Planning Service. Transfers of balance from the old cards to the new cards will be possible from Monday 18th March at the Transport Planning office during standard working hours. The deadline for all balance transfers is Friday 12th April 2019. After this date the old system will be unavailable and it will not be possible to read the old cards. Any remaining balance cannot be verified or transferred after this date.

Councillor Ryan Thomson Chairs the Council’s Environment and Transport Committee and ZetTrans: "The introduction of this new equipment brings local bus ticketing up to date in technological terms and will expand the provision of payment options to passengers. The new equipment will also enable the phased introduction of a range of new ticket types across local bus services and moves us a step closer to integrated ticketing across bus, ferry and air services within the isles."


For more information, contact Elaine Park, SIC’s Transport Contracts and Operations Officer, on 01595 743957.