A NEW bus ticket that can be used on all major services operating across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire is to be launched next month.

The Tripper ticket is being rolled out by rival firms McGill’s and First, which run services linking towns such as Johnstone, Renfrew, Linwood, Paisley, Barrhead and Neilston with the likes of Glasgow.

Other firms which have signed up for the initiative are Stagecoach and City Bus.

The ticket will be able to be purchased on board and used bus to bus.

It is hoped the hi-tech initiative will also be ‘contactless’ by the end of the year.

The impending launch was revealed by Ralph Robertson, McGill’s managing director, at a meeting with Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

Mr Robertson said: “We want to give an attractive bus service. We will have a multi-operator smart bus-to-bus ticket available next month.”

He added that improving ticketing was one of the measures that firms such as McGill’s are implementing to try to halt a decline in bus usage in recent times.

And he said 90 per cent of the problems are external issues that bus firms cannot control.

Mr Robertson went on: “We have invested in the fleet and in ticketing to make it faster but still we see patronage decline.”

For many years, passengers who change buses using difference operators or where there is a choice of operators on a route have been calling for an integrated ticket.

Bus firms have recently been changing technology to allow such a ticket to be available, with many passengers now used to scanning their tickets.

The new tickets to be launched on the Tripper scheme will cover adult day and weekly passes, as well as child day and weekly passes.