Young people have made a million journeys with a smartcard that gives them single trips on the Tyne and Wear Metro for £1.
Pop blue was introduced by Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, to make Metro travel more affordable for young people.
Over 11,000 young people aged 16 to 18 have taken out Pop blue cards since the product was launched in January 2018. One third of Tyne and Wear’s 16-18 year-olds now travel with Pop blue.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “We’re giving young people great value on the cost of their travel with Pop blue, with single trips for just a £1 and £2 to travel all day.
“Since we launched this product we have seen a million more journeys by young people.
“Pop blue has become increasingly popular and we now have one third of all local 16 to 18 year-olds buying their travel in this way. It’s a really simple Pay As You Go smart card.
“We’ve delivered great value, reflecting the way teenagers told us they want to pay for public transport. Pop blue fits round school and college timetables and free time activities.
“We offer the best possible value through Pop blue. More young people choosing public transport now is good news for the future of Metro and for our environment as we tackle air quality.”
Cllr Gladys Hobson, Chair of the Joint Transport Committee Tyne and Wear Sub-Committee, said: “Creating safe, reliable and sustainable public transport networks is crucial if we are to tackle climate change and air quality.
“Incentivising young passengers to use the Metro system helps create lifelong habits and I’d encourage people to take advantage of this great way to travel.”
Anyone aged 18 and under will only pay £1 for a single trip when they have a Pop blue card, which can easily be topped up online and at Metro ticket machines or at any Nexus TravelShop.
Young people using a Pop blue card will only ever pay for a maximum of two Metro trips on any single day. A £2 daily price cap will apply to Metro travel and no further charge will be applied for a third, fourth, or even fifth trip.
Pop blue cards are available from www.nexus.org.uk/popblue and from Nexus TravelShops. The card itself is free but must be purchased with a £10 balance on the card.
The Pop blue smartcard can also be used on the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry service and to pay for local bus travel, buying the applicable young person’s fare set by the bus company. The daily price cap will not apply to bus travel.
Pop blue is a major step forward for young people travelling on Metro and is a direct response to feedback from schools, colleges, and from young people themselves.