METRO travellers in Wearside will see their fares rise by almost six per cent in the new year, transport bosses have announced.
All single Metro tickets are to increase by 10p from January 1.
Weekly, monthly and yearly passes are also to rise, although discounts are available if commuters buy online.
A one-zone weekly pass goes up from £9 to £9.40 and an all-zone yearly pass from £475 to £500.
But the increases could have been much steeper.
A proposed 20p rise for a single journey was scrapped after lobbying by the region’s Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) to win one-off additional support from the Government.
Meanwhile, the annual MetroSaver pass will now be frozen in price for a fourth year – if renewed online. The price of corporate MetroSavers and a child Daysaver have also been frozen, while season tickets and student passes will go up in price by less than was first planned.
The Tyne and Wear ITA was successful in securing extra financial help from the Government, on top of its normal subsidy, so that the Metro fares will rise by an overall level of 5.8 per cent, instead of 7.2 per cent, as had been planned.
Coun David Wood, chairman of the Tyne and Wear ITA, said: “As a result of discussions, we have won an improved settlement from the Government in 2012 that will reduce the impact of fare rises at a time when families are struggling with the cost of living.
“I am pleased the Government has listened to the concerns of the authority and seen the need to assist with funds to alleviate the fares increases.”
Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, said: “The cost of single tickets, student passes and weekly and monthly MetroSavers will all go up by less than previously planned.
“Annual Metrosaver customers who renew online will be paying the same price as in January 2009.
“When we recommended new Metro fares to the ITA last month we kept them as low as we could, but we now have extra funds in 2012 to reduce the increase or freeze the price of some fares.
“Despite this, an increase in overall Metro fares is still needed to balance the contribution passengers make with the subsidy the system receives from local and national Government.
“This is one-off support from the Government, which will not be available next year, but it will help hard-pressed families and the economy now, when it is needed.”
The increases come into effect from Sunday, January 1.
For more information, go to nexus.org.uk.
NEW Metro ticket prices from January 1
Singles – one zone £1.60, two zones £2.40, three zones £3.10. Daysaver (off peak) – one zone £2.30, two zones £3.30, three zones £4.20; Daysaver – one zone £2.70, two zones £3.90, three zones £5; Transfare – one zone £2.50, two zones £3.30, three zones £4; Child fares – Transfare 80p, single 70p, daysaver £1.20; Weekly passes – One zone £9.40, two zones £13.80, three zones £19; Four-week passes – One zone £34.50 (online £31.05), two zones £48.50 (online £43.65), three zones £64 (online £57.60); Annual all-zone – £500 (online £450); Student passes – annual all-zone £425 (online £382.50), four-week all-zone £51.20 (online £46.05), four-week 16-18 student £32 (online £28.80), weekly student all-zone £9.50.