NEWS – Change for Scottish National Entitlement Card holders, 28th March

Photo courtesy of Lothian buses

From 28th March, Scottish National Entitlement Card holders will no longer just flash their card at the bus driver.  You have to use on of the newly installed machines which are on board all of Edinburgh’s LRT buses. This means that an OAP or concessionary card holder now has to ‘hold it right there’.

Lothian Buses Ridacards are already being electronically read by the new ticket machines, but this is a new process for other passengers.  I was concerned my parents’ cards wouldn’t work as they were 2 years old, but not near expiry yet.   I phoned Edinburgh council who sent out new cards to them just in case.  You can do this over the phone, as they have a digital copy of your photo on file and can find you by date of birth.  Until everyone has a new card/gets used to the system, you will be allowed to travel on your chosen bus even if you don’t have a new card.  Full information is below.

Information taken from

Transport Scotland, the National Transport Agency which administers and funds the national concessionary travel scheme, have provided new ticket machines capable of electronically reading concession cards on all eligible bus services throughout Scotland.

Everyone benefits from the electronic reading of concession cards: 

  • For card holders, journeys are recorded more accurately, so that future service plans can take proper account of their needs.   
  • For bus operators, these more accurate records mean that they can receive the correct payment for those journeys.   
  • For everybody, the new system will ensure that public funds are properly accounted for and fraud is minimised. 


(Also applies to Ridacard holders) 

  1. If you keep your card in a purse or wallet, please remove it if necessary so that the driver can see the photograph on the card.
  2. Hold your card against the card reader on the ticket machine.
  3. Once you see the green light on the card reader or hear the short “beep”, the process is complete. The screen facing you will show the date when your card expires.
  4. Take your card and enjoy your journey with us. 



City of Edinburgh Council 0131 200 2351

Midlothian Council 0131 561 5455

East Lothian Council 0162 082 7367

West Lothian Council 0150 677 5291

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