Metro Gold Card holders can now use the pass to get unlimited free travel on board the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry service.
The Gold Card scheme, which already offers pensioners and disabled people unlimited travel on Metro for just over £2 a month, was extended to cover the Shields Ferry from February 28 this year.
The move was agreed by the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) at its meeting on January 27. The cost of the Metro Gold Card went up from £12 to £25 a year from February 1.
Director General of Nexus, Bernard Garner, said: “Extending the Metro Gold Card to the Shields Ferry is an added bonus I’m pleased to say we’ve been able to introduce this year.
“Our ferry service is a very important link between North Shields and South Shields. It’s a popular service and a great way to travel.”
Gold Cards were introduced in 2006 by Nexus, the body which sets all Metro fares, to offer pensioners and disabled people discounted off-peak travel on Metro for a one off yearly payment.
The cost of Gold Cards has been frozen at £12 for the last four years, but budgetary pressures have meant that a price increase was unavoidable in 2011.
Nexus has also introduced greater flexibility in the way people buy Gold Cards this year. As well as an annual Gold Card for £25 people can buy a £15 card valid until the end of September 2011, if they use Metro mostly during the summer months, or want to split the cost of buying a card. A further six months travel, from October 2011 to March 2012, is available for £10.
For people not resident in Tyne and Wear, Gold Card will cost £35 for the whole year, or £20 until September 2011 and £15 from October 2011 to March 2012.