A smart approach to bus travel

4 October 2016  •  Author(s): Alistair Smith, Stagecoach Group Director of Commercial and IT

Smart Approach to Bus Travel

In his article, to be published in EuroTransport Issue 5 2016, Alistair Smith, Stagecoach Group Director of Commercial and IT, explains how the UK bus industry is attempting to tackle the ever-increasing demands of passengers – and even surpass their expectations – by thinking Smart.

Today’s consumer wants their plans (realised) at the touch of a button and this includes their travel plans. 

It seems that all aspects of life in the modern world are becoming ‘smarter’ and public transport is no different. Today’s consumer wants their plans to be researched, decided upon, paid for and confirmed at the touch of a button – usually on a smartphone or tablet and often while they are on the move – and this includes their travel plans.

Stagecoach UK Bus is part of the Stagecoach Group and is one of the largest bus operators in the UK. Operating both express and local bus services across the country, as well as a network of intercity operations under the megabus.com brand, their services play an important role in helping to provide mobility for people in rural and urban areas.

Smart approach to bus travel

In his article Alistair shares how Stagecoach are tackling the challenges presented to the public transport industry and gives examples of the latest technologies they have implemented in the name of simplifying travel for their customers.

Thinking Smart

By utilising technologies such as Smart Ticket Readers, e-purses and contactless technology, and maximising their on-line presence via a new fully mobilised website – complete with e-shop – as well as apps for mobile devices, you can read how they are able to offer a wide range of payment options to suit the individual, as well as provide access to live running times for streamlined journeys.

To learn about how they’ve achieved such success, as well as their plans for the future, make sure you register to receive the next issue of EuroTransport here.


Prior to joining Stagecoach, Alistair Smith was Head of IT for United Distillers, UK (a division of Guinness) focused on retail and marketing. He is also a former Head of IT for East of Scotland Water. Alistair joined Stagecoach in 1999, becoming Group IT Director in May 2000. He built a cost-effective IT function to support the Group as it operated in the UK and overseas markets in Hong Kong, Sweden, New Zealand and North America. In 2012 he was appointed to the role of Stagecoach Group Director of Commercial and IT and has led many technology developments including the roll-out of Stagecoach’s commercial smart ticketing scheme; the delivery of multi-operator smart ticketing in England and parts of Scotland; the launch of a transformational new Stagecoach UK Bus website and app; and the delivery of real-time information for Stagecoach customers across the UK.


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