Nexus has started installing new smart ticket machines at its Metro stations in Newcastle city centre – and work is underway on the electronic ticket gates that will transform the way passengers access the system.
Nexus has already upgraded 45 of its 60 Metro stations with smart ticket machines which are capable of accepting credit and debit cards and banks notes, as well as coins.
The focus is now in the sub-surface stations in the heart of Newcastle, with work already underway at Manors, Jesmond and Central Metro stations. This will be followed by Haymarket and Monument.
The new automatic ticket gates, similar to the London Underground, are being installed as part of the roll out of a new smartcard ticketing system for the Tyne and Wear Metro – the Pop card.
The project involves installing smartcard validators at every station and ticket gates at 13 of the busiest stations on the Metro system.
Nexus aims to have the ticket gates and validators ready for passenger use in 2013.
Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Ken Mackay, said: “The new ticket gates are going to revolutionise the way that the public use the Metro system.
“This work is at the heart of our exciting £385m Metro all change modernisation programme. The new gates will allow us to crackdown on fare evasion on the system.
“Work to install the new ticket gates is happening now. Passengers will start to see them at Metro stations and we aim to have them in use during 2013.”
He added: “We have also made excellent progress with the new smart ticket machines. Two thirds of our stations now have the new technology and the rest will be done by early 2013.”
The new Metro ticket machines and electronic gates are at the heart of a £25m project to update the ticketing system on Metro. Nexus is replacing a total of 225 ticket machines at 60 stations.
The work is all part of the £385m Metro all change modernisation programme, which will see the system transformed with new-look stations, trains and infrastructure.
The smart ticket machines are enabled to handle smartcard transactions for the new Pop cards. Passengers will be able to use the new ticket machines to top up their Pop cards.
Pop is the name of the new travel smartcard which is being rolled out across Tyne and Wear.
The smart ticket machines are set up to accept credit and debit card payments via payWave, the contactless method of card payment that involves simply touching the credit/debit card against a sensor. This is an added feature passengers can look forward to in the future.
Nexus has also printed a guide to using the new ticket machines which is available from Nexus Travel Shops. Take the online tutorial here