More than 200,000 Tyne and Wear residents are to get a new free bus pass sent to their homes over the next month.
The new English National Concessionary Travel Scheme smart cards will be sent to anyone who already holds a permanent card which expires at the end of March 2013, on the grounds of age or disability.
Nexus is delivering the cards for the Government free travel scheme, which is paid for by local councils in Tyne and Wear.
The new cards will be valid for a further five years and will be sent out in batches until the middle of March, meaning some people will get cards before others.
Tobyn Hughes, Director of Customer Services at Nexus, said: “We issue fresh cards every five years, and this year the vast majority of holders who first got their national cards in 2008, will be getting a new one.
“Most people do not need to do anything more than keep an eye on the post – we will be sending out new smart cards automatically between now and the middle of March, a few weeks before existing cards expire.
“If you have any questions regarding the renewal of your Concessionary Travel card you should contact us on 0191 2020 747.”
More than 240,000 people aged over the state pension age or eligible through disability in Tyne and Wear hold an English National Concessionary Travel Scheme smart card issued by Nexus.
Nexus, using funds from local councils, pays transport operators around £38 million a year for cardholders to be carried without charge after 9.30am on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays.
Card holders can also buy a Metro Gold Card for £25 if resident in Tyne and Wear (£35 otherwise) extending the benefit to the Metro system and Shields Ferry.