LATEST NEWS: Metro fares to rise in January

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PASSENGERS must pay higher fares from January as transport bosses hike prices by 4.1 per cent.

Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority members agreed to raise fares from January 6 2013 at a meeting this morning.

•The price of Metro single tickets is going up by 10p, with a one zone single up from £1.60 to £1.70.

•The Metro DaySaver is going up by 20p, compared to the existing off-peak DaySaver.

•A child’s Metro single fare is up from 70p to 80p and the child’s DaySaver ticket goes up from £1.10 to £1.20

•The annual MetroSaver goes up by £20 from £500 to £520 – which transport bosses say offers unlimited Metro travel for £1.42 per day.

But Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, say revised fares will see the peak Metro DaySaver tickets withdrawn in favour of cheaper off-peak tickets, benefitting commuters and part-time workers. There will also be greater discounts for students.

Students at universities in Newcastle and Sunderland are getting an enhanced 20 percent discount on the cost of Metro travel in comparison to the equivalent adult product.

Nexus also stressed children with a Nexus Under 16 Card can still buy a concessionary single for 60p and a Child All day Ticket valid on Metro and other public transport for £1.10.

Director General of Nexus Bernard Garner said: “I recognise the current pressures on household budgets and that is why we have kept next year’s Metro fares as low as possible. There are still ways for passengers to make savings on the cost of travel.

“We have abolished the peak Metro DaySaver, allowing people travelling to work in the morning to benefit from cheaper daily fares. There are greater discounts for students, and people who renew passes online will save money too.

“We are introducing smartcards next year and passengers will benefit from cheaper travel by switching over to the Pop Card when it goes live.

“Nexus is a public body and doesn’t make a profit from Metro. The system requires a public subsidy to keep it going and the cost of operating the system must balance the subsidy available and the fares charged.”

He said passengers will also be able to get substantial discounts by buying tickets online.

Mr Garner said Nexus had kept the 2013 price increases as low as possible while meeting tough budget targets. He said the changes are necessary to offset higher Metro running costs, particularly high-voltage power.

The price of a Metro Gold Card, which is available to Tyne and Wear residents with a National Concessionary Travel pass for a one-off annual payment of £25 per year, is being reviewed separately and recommendations will be presented to members of the ITA in the new year.

Tickets on the Shields Ferry are also going up from 6 January. A single ticket is up from £1.40 to £1.50, the one day FerrySaver is up from £2.40 to £2.50, and a seven day pass is up from £10.80 to £11.20.

The child single ticket on the Ferry is up from 50p to 60p. A new four week season ticket is going to be introduced which represents further savings against the cost of paying daily.