“The Bursary Travel Product is now live with Dundee College and has been extended to all students wishing to participate who are in receipt of a travel Bursary as well as for those who would like to purchase the product themselves. The evaluation was very heartening with the headline being ” 90% of students said they are more likely to go to college even if they have no money that day.”
The National Express weekly smart ticket is also now available to all citizens via the National Entitlement Card and having an NEC makes it easier for them to sign up to this smart product. The partnership working with National Express continues to grow and we are currently hoping to implement smart travel for Modern Apprentices who are entitled to support for travel to and from work. Anticipated implementation for this is to coincide with National Modern Apprenticeship Week – 19th May. We are hoping for a joint launch between the council and National Express. We continue to work with Stagecoach although there has been little progress with this as yet.
All the above fall within the Smart and Integrated Ticketing Workstream of the Scottish Cities Alliance and Dundee City Council continues to lead this, adding more smart travel projects from the wealth of ideas we have accrued. Other possibilites of course include Staff Travel as well as schools transport.
As an aside we are also shortlisted for an OSCA for the Bursary Travel Project in the Improving Services through partnership working category.”
The progress is welcome but it’s a long way short of allowing all citizens to use a card as flexible and useful as the citizens of (for example) London have. I pointed out the flexibility of these cards in cities across the world – a great example being Melbourne’s Myki card, which is very easy for visitors as well as residents to use across various modes of travel.I thereafter received further clarification as follows:
“You are correct that the idea is to use the NEC / Saltire Card are the basis for integrated ticketing across Scotland. Transport Scotland’s Smart and Integrated Ticketing Strategy is driving this forward from the main transport objective.
The Cities Alliance Smart and Integrated Ticketing Workstream, which Dundee leads, will be the main deliverer of this and has just approved 4 Project Manager posts to roll out smart travel across the City Regions. It is still some way off yet but the good news is that we have proven here in Dundee that commercial products can be added to the NEC and the partnership working gains strength from using a nationally available smartcard for national travel products. The smart application is there – what needs to come now is the integrated part and that as I say lies within Transport Scotland’s accountability.
(Their website) provides more details of their plans.
You will see that Transport Scotland is including the development of a visitor card which will be akin to the Myki Card. That will of course need the basis in place on the NEC before that can come and Transport Scotland’s role in that is crucial.”
|Saltire Card would operate
similarly to the London
I have called on Dundee City Council to be at the forefront in progressing the Scottish Government’s “Saltire Card” by offering to be a pilot site for the proposed Scottish equivalent of the Oyster Travel Card that has been a huge success for public transport in London.
Last week, I attended a highly interesting and enjoyable lunchtime workshop at the University of Abertay Dundee about the possibility of Dundee establishing a city-wide car sharing scheme.
I see real potential for this in Dundee – particularly in the parts of the West End where parking is a real problem.
The Courier published a good background report on the workshop.
Dundee looks set to become one of the first local authorities in the country to run a self-service cycle hire scheme following a successful bid for Scottish Government backing.
The city has been awarded £2.1 million from the government’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places initiative to encourage and develop sustainable and active travel throughout communities.
City council planning and transport convener Councillor Fraser Macpherson said: “The fact that we have been successful with this bid is a very firm indication of the high regard that the government has for Dundee as far as travel issues are concerned.
“We have been leading the way with initiatives to encourage less use of cars by, for example, bringing in millions of pounds to improve public transport, and this latest funding means we will be able, with our partners, to continue to make improvements that will have a very real effect on people’s lives.
“The council’s bid for Dundee to become a Smarter Choices Smarter Places city will be delivered through a project called Dundee Health Central.
“The project will be delivered over a three-year period and the cycle-hire scheme – similar to those run in cities such as London, Paris and Barcelona – is one of a number of initiatives designed to encourage healthy living by cycling and walking within our communities and using the facilities within them, rather than using the car – which obviously has worthwhile environmental benefits.”
The partners supporting Dundee Health Central include NHS Tayside, University of Dundee, bus companies, Sustrans and Tactran, of which Councillor Macpherson is the chair.
The hire scheme is among a package put forward for the project to encourage active travel to promote healthy lifestyles for residents of and visitors to the study area of central Dundee. The area will be used to test a variety of Smarter Choices measures, to find out which would be best to eventually roll out across the city.
The project aims to promote change for everyone living in or visiting the study area and will reach people in a number of ways, including NHS patients through GPs’ surgeries, children and their parents through schools, city-centre workers through employers and students and staff through universities.
As well as the cycle hire scheme, initiatives include:
· Cycle training for all the family to encourage more use of bikes;
· Complimentary trial journeys to encourage people to use buses;
· Providing information and resources to encourage more use of local facilities that avoids the need for car journeys;
· Identifying physical barriers such as poor surfacing and drainage, narrow pathways or poor lighting that would put people off walking.
The Courier interviewed Neil Gellatly of the City Council’s Planning & Transportation Department and me last week about public transport initiatives in Dundee. The interview appears in today’s edition and you can read it by following this link : http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2008/08/09/newsstory11776693t0.asp