A new smart ticketing scheme is aiming to help save Metro passengers money and time.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones and Coun Nick Forbes, lead member for transport on the North East Combined Authority, helped launch the new Pop Pay As You Go card, the first outside London to offer a daily price cap.
Customers can top up their cards in advance, avoiding the need to pay every time they travel, and is also being extended on a growing number of bus routes.
The provides a discount compared to normal single fares on Metro and people will pay less than a DaySaver.
Mr Jones said: “The Pop Pay as you go card is a great initiative that will ensure passengers across the north east can enjoy seamless journeys and save money on their local bus and Metro services.
“The government is fully committed to improving the ticketing experience for all passengers. That is why we’re investing £2.2m in smart ticketing technology in the north east.”
Coun Forbes said: “I am delighted that the new Pay As You Go Pop card is going to make life much simpler for travellers across the region’s Metro and bus networks.”
“The Pay as You Go System makes paying for journeys easier and cheaper. I have already signed up for mine and I am sure this is going to be just as popular as London’s Oyster Card.”
The new Pop Pay As You Go card allows users to store a cash value topped up online, at PayZone agents or station ticket machines.
Pop Pay As You Go customers on Metro also benefit from a ‘last journey’ guarantee – allowing them to travel even if the journey takes them into a negative balance, provided that they top up to a positive balance before they next use the card.
Customers touching in and out at Metro validators and gates will see the best fare for them calculated automatically.
Single journeys made with Pop Pay As You Go cost 10p less than the standard fare, and all day travel will cost 20p less than the equivalent DaySaver price for the zones used.
The smart system keeps track of journeys made, and stops charging once a guaranteed daily price cap has been reached for the zones used.