The Metro system has the fastest growing passenger numbers outside of London, new figures have revealed.
A report by the Department for Transport has shown that the Metro has seen better passenger growth than any other similar transport systems in the UK.
The Tyne & Wear light rail systems figures were bettered only by the Docklands Light Railway in London.
Raymond Johnstone, director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, said: “The Metro system is vital for getting people to places of employment, which helps to drive economic growth.
“The gradually improving economic climate is clearly an important factor.”
Metro has seen a 6.7 per cent increase in passengers numbers, with 38.1 million passenger journeys in 2014/15.
The report looks at the performance of England’s light rail and tram systems for the 12 months leading up to the end of March 2015.
Ticket sales of Metro tickets saw an increase of 4.4 per cent with ticket sales totalling to £47.9million.
Councillor Nick Forbes, lead for transport on the North East Combined Authority, said: “The Metro is a very sustainable form of transport removing 15 million car journeys from Tyne and Wear’s roads every year, and I expect passenger experience to improve as the network undergoes its extensive modernisation programme.”