THERE'S an app for that. Apple's 2009 marketing slogan became such a hit - in the playground, in the office, on the high street - that in 2010 the technology giant trademarked it. You can still banter with it ("My wife's left me, Steve." "There's an app for that.") but you can't use it for commercial purposes.

It's bang on, though. There generally is an app for that. But if you don't have access to the app that will solve your problem, what then?

Passengers, politicians and the general public have been appalled by this week's First Glasgow fare hikes and the company has said it will now think again. Fares for under 16s are to rise by more than 40 per cent while unaccompanied child concessions have bitten the proverbial. Not content with penalising children, First went for another vulnerable group: the unemployed. Unemployed passengers are to be gifted a 10 per cent fare hike, increasing the cost of travel to interviews and to sign on for benefits.

First Glasgow is, of course, a private company with all associated commercial demands. However, despite the fact that it provides a vital public service, the firm seems to have comprehensively failed to take account of the circumstances of the people in the city in which it operates.

The DWP is closing or is to close six Jobcentres across Glasgow, meaning those who need their services will have to travel greater distances, needing two or more buses to get there. It is a city with areas of extreme deprivation and the lowest level of car ownership in Scotland - the bus is vital for people to access local amenities, shop, work, and so on. It has to be affordable.

In the same fare increase announcement, First Glasgow revealed some ticket prices are frozen - but only for the right sort of passenger. The sort who can afford a smart phone and has the savvy - and the patience - to download an app and work out how to use it.

It’s between 25p and £1.50 cheaper to use the mTickets app. (As an aside, can we please stop random capitals and failure to use a capital where a capital should be. It stems from the nonsense of iBook. I blame you, Steve Jobs, and I’m looking at you, sportscotland.)

In response, Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director for First Glasgow, said the mTicket app speeds up journeys as people with mobile tickets don't need to hold up other passengers as they faff about for change and wait for a paper ticket to print.

Of course, it used to be that buses were never slowed down by cash transactions as fares were dealt with by the conductor. What has slowed down the boarding process is not customers but job cuts and drivers being expected to take on additional duties.

We're well aware by now of the poverty premium: that people who use pre-payment for gas and electricity pay more; those who can't access best rate bank loans are crooked by payday loans.

Expecting people to have a smartphone is the latest form of poverty premium. Not everyone can afford one, not the upfront cost of the handset or the associated monthly costs.

Some of us just don't want one, don’t want to be tethered to technology.

Firms are constantly bleating at people to download the app. I tried to book an exercise class this week but the website was faulty and the sport centre's phone rang out. "Download the app," I was told. I can't do that because I choose not to have a smartphone.

The shift of necessary services onto mobile technology will only increase. For those of us who stubbornly don't want to pay for a smartphone, tough luck. It's a tax on Luddites.

But there must be solutions for those who are forever priced out of the best deals, whether for want of a bank account, a healthy credit line or the latest mobile phone.

If they can’t do more to level the financial playing field, perhaps the Government should offer subsidised mobile phones to those on low incomes.

Because when it comes to this digital discrepancy, I doubt First will be the last.