Tyne and Wear Metro fare hike approved

Passengers buying paper tickets on the Tyne and Wear Metro will face higher fare prices from April. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A hike in the cost of paper tickets on the Tyne and Wear Metro has been signed off by councillors.

From 1 April, fares will rise by up to 13.9% depending on which zones the tickets cover.

Members of the North East Joint Transport Committee approved the move at a meeting on the evening of Thursday 12 January.

The move will see the maximum cost of a single journey rise from £3.90 to £4.30, a day ticket from £5.70 to £6.20, a weekly pass from £24 to £24.40, and a four-week ticket from £81.30 to £90.20.

Around four in five passengers on the Tyne and Wear Metro still use paper tickets.

However, prices for those who use the network's Pop Pay As You Go scheme will have their fares frozen at 2021 prices.

The price increases were branded 'insulting' following months of disruption to service, however transport leaders said they were left with no alternative but to increase the fares due to increased energy and running costs.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: "One in five Metro customers are now using Pop Pay As You Go and we will continue to encourage more people to go smart and enjoy the lowest fares that we have.”

"Other fares, including single and day tickets, will have to rise from 1 April in order to help us meet the challenge we face with higher Metro running costs, not least the big jump in the price of high voltage power. Metro is a public service that doesn’t make a profit, so we require Government support alongside the revenue that we get from fares, all of which goes back into keeping the network running.”

It comes as talks continue to try and make Nexus' Pop card system accessible for iPhone users.

Since the digital Pop card launched in 2022, it has only been available to those with Android smartphones via the Google Pay app, which also allows them to touch in and out at Metro station gates using their phone.

iPhone users are still not able to access the Pop app or get digital tickets added to their Apple Wallet. Credit: PA

However, the service is not available via iPhones' Apple Wallet and nor is the Pop app which can store weekly tickets.

Gateshead councillor John McElroy said leaders did not want to put fares up while residents are struggling with the cost of living crisis, but “we have to balance the books”.

Carl Johnson, the deputy mayor of North Tyneside, added that “astonishing” inflation levels, particularly for the high voltage electricity which powers the Metro system, meant there was no choice but to reluctantly increase ticket prices.

Huw Lewis said: "I completely understand that people with Apple phones might be frustrated that they can't use those smartphones to pay for Metro travel the same way people with Android phones can.

"We talk to payment solution companies all the time, and we want to work with them to make it as easy as possible for people to travel on Metro.

"Our supplier is currently upgrading the operating systems on which our gatelines and validators function, in order to pave the way for collaboration with more payment solutions, including a wider range of smartphones."

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