Metro fare cap approved by Tyne and Wear travel chiefs in move set to slash ticket prices from 2023 - but only for three months and for Pop card users

Trips on the Tyne and Wear Metro will cost no more than £2 under a special offer set to be introduced early next year.

Transport chiefs have approved plans to cap the price of Metro journeys, in a bid to help North East households feeling the financial pinch of the cost of living crisis.

From Thursday, January 2, until March 31, the cost of a single Metro ticket will be no more than £2 and all-day travel will be set at a £4 maximum – cutting some fare prices by almost 40%.

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However, the major discount will only be available to passengers who travel on the network using a pay as you go Pop card – and not to those buying paper tickets.

A three-month cap on Metro ticket prices due to be introduced next year will slash the cost of fares.
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Regional transport chiefs were told on Tuesday (November 15) afternoon that only around one in five Metro users, excluding those with season tickets or gold cards, use a Pop card – meaning the vast majority will miss out on the savings if they do not sign up before January.

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The £2 cap will give an adult with a Pop smartcard savings of up to 38% on a single journey, with an all-zone ticket currently costing £3.25.

The daily cap on all-zone travel will fall by 85p, from £4.85 currently.

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The fare cap offer will only be available to travellers using the Metro Pop card

The £2 cap will also apply to young people with a Pop 19-21 card and to bus services that are contracted by Nexus.

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It matches an announcement on bus fare prices, after the Government confirmed that all bus journeys in England would be capped at £2 between January and March 2023.

Nexus has said that its offer was only being made on Pop cards, which already boast cheaper prices compared to paper tickets, in order to “encourage further take up” of the pay as you go cards – having previously announced it wanted to cut the amount of money it spends on printing tickets.

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Gateshead councillor John McElroy raised concerns at Tuesday’s meeting of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear sub-committee that those most in need of the savings this winter would also be those least likely to have easy access to Pop card.

The pay as you go card can be ordered online and is also available on Android phones via Google Pay.

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Nexus customer services director Huw Lewis replied that Metro bosses were working with foodbanks and credit unions to give them Pop cards to hand out to help people without access to a computer or smartphone.

North Tyneside deputy mayor Carl Johnson, who chairs the sub-committee, expressed hope the deal could remain in place beyond March – possibly paid for through funding secured through a new devolution deal for the North East.

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He added: “We really need to encourage it and hopefully we can continue with it. I know it will be a net cost and we will have to fund it, but it is a fantastic offer for now.”

Nexus expects that the offer will cost it just over £300,000 over the three months and generate an extra 9,000 journeys on the Metro network.