Scottish Concession Cards

All of our buses are now equipped with new, state-of-the-art ticket machines.

These new machines can read both Lothian Buses RIDACARDs and Scottish National Entitlement Cards.

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.

How to use your Concession Card (also applies to RIDACARD holders)

Concessions Card

  • 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
  • Hold your card against the card reader on the ticket machine.
  • 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.
  • Take your card and enjoy your journey with us.

If you need some time to get to your seat, please tell the driver.

What happens if the ticket machine can’t read my Scottish National Entitlement Card?

This could mean your card is faulty.  You will need to obtain a replacement card from the local authority in whose area you live. On the bus, you can choose to either:

Keep your card and buy a ticket for the journey you intend to take.


Give the faulty card to the driver who will then issue you with a temporary concession pass, valid for 7 days on all eligible local bus services throughout Scotland.

Whichever you choose, please make sure that you apply for your replacement card as soon as possible.

What happens if I lose my Scottish National Entitlement Card, or it has expired?

You will need to contact the local authority in whose area you live to apply for a replacement.  Please be sure to do this as quickly as possible – while you wait for your replacement card, you will have to pay for your bus travel.

Useful contacts

  • City of Edinburgh Council 0131 200 2351
  • Midlothian Council 0131 561 5455
  • East Lothian Council 0162 082 7367
  • West Lothian Council 0150 677 5291

Download a copy of the Hold It Right There leaflet from our Policy Documents page.