A new digital ticketing and reservations system is to be introduced by CalMac later this year.
The ferry operator announced on Thursday that the new system will be rolled out in October.
It will replace the company’s existing 25-year-old process for ticketing across its network.
CalMac has pledged the change will give customers “greater choice” on purchase, management and use of tickets.
The move will enable passengers to carry their tickets on a smart device, with selected concession fares being made available to purchase online for the time first.
The new system will be delivered by ferry industry ticketing provider, E-Dea, which has nearly two decades of experience in delivering similar projects to the ferry, cruise and port sectors.
Robbie Drummond, CalMac managing director, indicated that staff will be given “in-depth training” to make sure there is a smooth transition to the new system.
“This exciting project will revolutionise the way in which we interact with customers by offering more choice and flexibility for everyone using the 29 CalMac routes to more than 50 destinations around Scotland’s west coast,” he said.
“Our staff will be given in-depth training on the new system so that we can provide a smooth transition for our passengers.
“We are confident that this new system will deliver positive results for our business users, island visitors and those who use our lifeline services on a daily basis.”
Drummond explained that the decision to introduce the scheme in October is aimed at avoiding the busy summer season.
He continued: “We will use the time between now and October to introduce stakeholders and customers to the new system and continue the extensive training programme we have already implemented for our staff.
“The decision to go ‘live’ in the quieter October period was taken to avoid the introduction of a completely new system during the height of the busy summer season.
“Choosing October reduces the risk of any potential disruption for island businesses and life during their busiest period.”
Drummond added: “The CalMac team are confident ‘eBooking’ will be a significant improvement in the customer experience and a welcome development for our business.”
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