Monday 1 September 2014


Edinburgh has launched its Citysmart card in a blaze of publicity, trumpeting it as the Scottish capital's version of Oyster.

But, as the Edinburgh Evening News points out, some bus passengers will find it cheaper to keep buying paper tickets.

Lothian Buses operate a flat fare of £1.50 per journey. They also offer a day ticket at £3.50, which it makes sense to buy if you're going to be making more than 2 journeys in a day. But the Citysmart will only register single journeys, charging you £1.50 a time. So if you will be using more than 2 buses in a day, you should shun Citysmart in favour of a paper day ticket.

The same applies to Edinburgh Trams, providing you're not travelling to or from the airport.

Citysmart is not valid on the buses of operators other than Lothian and also cannot be used on trains. So while it is a step forward, it's a bit misleading to call it an Oyster equivalent.


  1. Seems rather pointless given the capabilities of other smartcards already out there, not just Oyster but Go-Ahead's The Key and Stagecoach Smart. One has to hope that capping will be introduced in the future. It also seems odd that there's no discount at all to promote its use like, er, Oyster (or The Key, come to that).

  2. The Scottish Government is pushing smartcards as the panacea for all transport woes. Passengers will eventually be expected to use a smartcard for all trips in Scotland as it 'will make seamless connectivity possible'. Firstly said connectivity only works when timetables are in place for such connectivity and secondly it helps to have an extremely simple fare structure. I wouldn't wish to swipe my smartcard at Dumfries for a journey to Elgin ... heaven only knows what it would cost.


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