One-Ticket: the triumphs, perils and pitfalls of the development of a multi-modal ticketing scheme

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

technology - ticketing systems


A partnership of national and local authorities and public transport operators has developed an integrated public transport ticket scheme for South East Scotland over the last 8 years. This has not been an easy or fast process, it has not been 100% successful in all its steps or overall objectives, but it has been achieved with pragmatism and considerable ‘learning’ en-route. Many local authorities and public transport operators would like to gain the benefits of integrated ticketing; but view with much trepidation the requirements of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 and the ‘Guidelines’ under the Competition Act 1998. Our paper will describe how it has been achieved in one area! The initial SESTRAN partnership of 9 local authorities was set up in 1998. The ONE-TICKET scheme was developed from concept to reality by a wider partnership involving SESTRAN and all the major public transport operators in the area. Initial finance was provided by the Scottish Executive. A jointly owned company, ONE-TICKET Ltd, is the manager of the scheme – which is now broadly commercial in its operation. The development of the project has included many areas of interest: pricing, inclusion of rail, zoning, marketing, agents, tickets, legal questions, company structure, finance, surveys, staffing, trade-marks, service delivery etc. There have been many successes along the way. There is now an integrated ticketing scheme in place which covers bus and rail, a major stepping stone in providing scope for future development. A public transport network now exists across South East Scotland, instead of a set of routes. A foundation has been established for the development of new integrated public transport schemes across the area offering strong alternatives to the private car.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.