Metro passenger numbers at Manors station have soared since a new university campus opened opposite the station.
Nexus, which, owns, manages and is modernising Metro, says passenger numbers were up 40% between September and November 2008 compared to the previous year.
More than 107,000 passengers used the station in this period, compared to 77,000 the previous year, making it Metro’s fastest-growing station.
Nexus believes the sharp rise, which compares to growth on the system as whole of only 2.1%, is because students and staff at Northumbria University are discovering how easy it is to use Metro to get to work and lectures.
The £102 million state-of-the-art Northumbria University City Campus East opened in September 2007. It includes the University’s business, design and law schools and is used by 9,000 students plus staff.
A new £4m pedestrian and cycle bridge has also been installed, linking both sides of the campus across the central motorway providing a new public access route from the centre of Newcastle to the east of the City and the Quayside area.
Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: “Metro plays a vital role in helping students from all over Tyne and Wear to colleges and universities easily and flexibly – it plays its part driving the skills economy we are creating in the region.
“Manors station is across the road from City Campus East and this easy public transport link is a real selling point for students considering coming to North East England to study.”
Professor Andrew Wathey, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University, said: “City Campus East has won numerous awards for its eye-catching, iconic design and environmentally-friendly features. Its proximity to public transport adds a helpful dimension of accessibility.
“I am pleased that our staff and students are choosing a “greener’’ way of getting to the University.’’
Students can get discount season tickets on Metro, giving them up to 40% off the normal season ticket price.
Northumbria University is also a member of Nexus’s Corporate Ticket scheme, which gives its staff a discount on the Metro annual season ticket plus the bonus of having the cost deducted monthly from their salary, rather than all in one go.