University spinout provides COP26 smart card to give all delegates access to public transport

A Plymouth-based company is supplying every COP26 delegate with a single card which will enable them to use public transport throughout the conference.

Smart Applications Management (SAM), a spinout company from the University of Plymouth, was commissioned by Transport Scotland to support, procure, test and implement the COP26 Travel Pass.

Working with Transport Scotland and supply chain partners, they have developed a recyclable multi-modal and multi-operator smart card which will provide low carbon, low impact travel for up to 30,000 delegates from all over the world, and the COP26 staff and volunteers.

A UK first, the COP26 Smart card will seamlessly integrate access to all local rail, underground, tram, and bus services for the duration of the COP26 conference.

Developed around the ITSO specification, which assists with the standardisation of public transport ticketing in the United Kingdom, the smart cards will capture every delegate journey, regardless of which mode of transport or service operator they use.

This will ensure all operators are correctly reimbursed for the journeys taken, while saving carbon over car and taxi travel during the event.

The cards have been produced in the UK to minimise the carbon generated by freight mileage, and are fully recyclable, with delegates being encouraged to return their cards once the conference is over.

SAM was first established in 2010 to make sustainable transport access more accessible and streamlined for customers, and supports over 2 million smart card holders across the UK.

Dr Andrew Seedhouse, Chairman of SAM and Director of Transport at the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute, said:

“Providing a smart ticketing solution for COP26 has been a complex challenge for all partners. However, the measures we have put in place will eliminate the need for delegates to use cars and taxis while attending the conference.
"With reducing emissions and the push for net zero such an integral part of the agenda, this will enable delegates to practise what they preach and minimise their travel-based carbon footprint.”

Dr Andrew Seedhouse

Dr Andrew Seedhouse

COP26 takes place in Glasgow until Saturday 12 November, and the smart card will only operate between those days. It forms part of an all-encompassing transport plan developed by the conference organisers which aims to deliver a safe, secure and resilient transport network to the event, with public transport and active travel at its core.

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