Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising the Tyne and Wear Metro, has seen a major growth in the number of passengers paying for journeys using debit and credit cards following the installation of smart ticket machines.
Over 100,000 card transactions are being taken every month on Metro, with card payment facilities installed at every station on the system.
One in five purchases made at stations are now paid for using a credit or debit card.
Nexus, the body which collects Metro fare revenue, has seen the rapid growth in the popularity of card payments as more Metro stations have had the new smart ticket machines fitted.
The ticket machines’ ability to sell weekly MetroSaver tickets up to seven days in advance has proved popular with passengers, who can simply pay for these at the machine using a cash card.
Nexus has installed 225 new smart ticket machines at 60 stations as part of the £385m Metro all change modernisation programme, which is seeing the system transformed in an 11 year programme of work.
The new ticket machines are capable of accepting cards and banknotes as well as coins and they will soon be ready for smartcard payments as well, meaning huge benefits for Metro’s 37 million passengers a year.
Deputy Director General of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “One of the great benefits of our new smart ticket machines is the fact that they accept debit and credit card transactions and bank notes. It’s made life so much easier for passengers.
“The growth in the number of card payments has not been surprising given that almost all of the 60 Metro stations on the system now have the new technology installed.
“The next step will be to allow passengers to top their Pop cards using the new ticket machines and to switch on the new automatic ticket gates. The £385m we are investing in modernisation is transforming the way people access the Metro system.”