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Ar Turas - Information on our new booking system

Ar Turas Customer FAQs

Customer Frequently Asked Questions 

What will the new ticketing system deliver?
Why are you introducing a new ticketing system?
When will the new ticketing system be introduced?  
Why have you chosen an October implementation date?  
Does any other ferry operator use the same system as the one you are introducing? 
How will you train staff on the new system? 
How will you communicate the benefits of the new system to customers? 
Will you be engaging with stakeholders and island groups on the new system? 
How many CalMac ferries will be involved in the roll out of the new ticketing system? 
I have a booking in place for next summer, is this unaffected? 
I have a booking in place for October 2022. How will the new system affect me? 
Will I need to be an internet user or a smartphone user to be able to use this new system?
Where and when can I find out more about the new system? 

What will the new ticketing system deliver?  

The new ticketing system will offer customers greater choice over the purchase, management, and use of tickets, including the ability to carry tickets on a smart device. It will also facilitate a range of enhancements including multiple vehicles on a single booking and selected concession fares will be available to purchase online for the first time.  

Improved data and capacity management will help us to improve how we utilise capacity across our major vessels, a major benefit given the rapidly growing demand. 

The introduction of the new ticketing system - through our Ar Turas programme - is one of the biggest change projects ever undertaken by CalMac and it will replace the company's current 'life expired' ticketing system.

Why are you introducing a new ticketing system? 

This new system will replace the company's current life expired system which is more than 25 years old. When introduced, it will provide our customers with a more efficient and digitally enabled booking experience. 

When will the new ticketing system be introduced?  

Our intention is to go live with the new ticketing system in October 2022.  

The original plan had been to introduce the new system in March, 2022, but the rapid rise in Covid-19 infections we faced earlier in the year meant the extensive training programme we had planned for more than 700 colleagues was not able to be progressed.  To get this right, training must be undertaken on face-to-face basis so that our colleagues can test and get to know the new software and devices well. 

Why have you chosen an October implementation date?  

We want to avoid a go live date that would take place during the busy summer months.  

Ordinarily, more than 2.3 million customers use the 29 CalMac routes during the peak operational summer months, so any change during that period would add complexity to the launch of the new system. Going live in a 'quieter' period lessens any potential disruption for island businesses and island life. 

Does any other ferry operator use the same system as the one you are introducing?  

Yes. The same system is currently in operation in 94 ports across the world and is used by 48 million passengers and 18 million vehicles annually. Some of the biggest names in the ferry industry such as Grimaldi, Scandlines and BC Ferries use the same system. 

How will you train staff on the new system? 

More than 700 CalMac colleagues will be involved in a comprehensive training programme over the coming months with significant elements of that programme including face-to-face training on the use of the system and the benefits it offers to customers and colleagues alike.  

The training schedule will be delivered around the network of 33 vessels and 50 ports. 

How will you communicate the benefits of the new system to customers? 

We have prepared a communications plan to support customers before, during and after the introduction of the new ticketing system which will include easy to follow information and explanations on the changes you need to know about, and how to make the most of the benefits the system offers.  

Will you be engaging with stakeholders and island groups on the new system? 

Yes. We regularly engage with stakeholders, and will continue to do so as we progress through the project. Our communications plan will ensure you are kept up to date with important information about the new ticketing system - and have the opportunity to ask questions too.   

How many CalMac ferries will be involved in the roll out of the new ticketing system? 

The new ticketing system will be rolled out to our entire network.   

Yes. The new system will not be in place until October 2022, so your booking for summer 2022 will be unaffected.  

I have a booking in place for October 2022. How will the new system affect me?  

Bookings which are already in the system will simply be transferred across to the new system when the time comes. You'll receive communication from us about that nearer the time, but it won't affect your booking. 

Will I need to be an internet user or a smartphone user to be able to use this new system? 

No. You'll still be able to use the same channels you previously did when booking a ticket - whether that's been via our port teams or over the telephone. This new system is about providing additional opportunities to transact with us. 

Where and when can I find out more about the new system? 

We'll be sharing more about the new system with our customers and stakeholders through a variety of communications - on and offline. Indeed, that work has already begun with the communities we serve. In the first instance, please revisit this dedicated web page, we'll be refreshing it with answers to your most frequently asked questions and details about how we'll introduce you to the system. 

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