The delayed fares review for the Tyne and Wear Metro – as well as the Shields Ferry – has now taken place with an overall rise in line with the cost of living, although many of the savings offered to workers and families will continue. These new fares will be introduced from Thursday 1st April.
While fare increases are not welcome at any time, probably even more so now, the Metro is currently facing its biggest financial history during its 40 year history and to cover costs these fare changes are said to be necessary. But its not all increases as there is a freeze in the price of Pop Blue Pay As You Go fares for those 18 and under and commercial fares for those 16 and under through the recently launched Junior Blue Pay As You Go smartcard. In addition Older People and those with disabilities see the price of the Gold Card frozen at £12. The Take The Kids For Free offer which is currently applicable at weekends will be extended all day, every day in the Spring (provided restrictions have eased).
The main headline fare changes are:
- 1 zone single will increase from £2.00 to £2.10, 2 zone single increases from £2.90 to £3.00, all zone single increases from £3.60 to £3.70. Pop As You Go prices will also rise by 10p – maintaining the 45p difference
- 1 zone adult Day ticket will increase from £3.20 to £3.30, 2 zone Day Ticket is up from £4.30 to £4.40, all zone Day Ticket rises from £5.30 to £5.40. Again, Pop As You Go prices will go up by 10p maintaining the 55p difference in place now.
- A total freeze on all tickets for those aged 18 and under.
Other fares changes have been made and more details can be seen at https://www.nexus.org.uk/news/item/metro-fares-review-offers-savings-workers-and-hard-pressed-families. The overall average increase is 1.6%, in line with the Retail Price Index rate of inflation in July 2020.
Martin Kearney, Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, said: “We are determined to keep the excellent discounts that we offer through Pop Pay As You Go, despite facing the biggest financial crisis in 40 years of Metro operations due to Covid-19. Our Pay As You Go product will help workers and hard-pressed families during difficult these times for North East England. People will still be able to get 45p off the cost of a single journey and 55p off the cost of a day ticket. It is excellent value and is the best way to get the most affordable Metro travel on offer. Other fares do need to go up to help us meet our running costs at a time when we have seen a ridership drop due to Covid restrictions. We have kept these proposed increases as low as we possibly can. The Metro is a public service that doesn’t make a profit, so we require Government support to keep it running. This year we have required extra financial support and ministers have already allocated £39m for Metro since the start of lockdown. The latest deal will take us through to the end of March of this year. Despite this, we have put forward a balanced a package of fares, one that will ensure that we can continue to offer the most affordable fares in the country.”