Metro passengers can now use a smartphone app to see how busy the trains are during the coronavirus crisis.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has added the new feature to its travel app to aid customers who need to make a journey, easing some of the stress around maintaining social distancing on trains.
It allows users to identify quieter times on Metro, allowing them to make informed decisions about when to travel - and see what other customers have reported.
The app works by using crowdsourced data to give people a rating from 1 to 10 on how busy the trains are. Users can select their chosen station, and it lets them input their own rating on how busy the journey was.
The current advice to passengers is to avoid busier times and to only make journeys which are essential.
Head of Corporate Planning at Nexus, Helen Mathews, said: “This new technology will really help our customers to maintain social distancing by showing them how busy the trains are.
“It’s a vital tool to keep people safe and to ensure that the Metro system is covid-secure.
“People can view the information they need at the touch of a button, allowing them to make an informed choice about when they want to travel.
“This is an extra step to give people an easy, at a glance guide on the best times to travel and to plan their journeys in order to avoid the busier times, if they need to.
“It’s part of a whole range of measures that we have put in place to ensure that Metro is covid-secure so that people can travel with confidence when they need to. We already have strict cleaning regimes, social distancing measures, and hand sanitiser points on the network.
“Passengers are advised to only travel if it’s essential, for work or school, or when the journey is essential for other purposes, and to make sure that they always wear a face covering.”
To access the information go to the main menu of the Tyne and Wear Metro app, select ‘more’, then the option ‘How busy is the Metro’. From here you can view the data received for each station and can also submit a personal rating on how busy the train was.