The Shields Ferry service has joined the Pop card transport revolution, with smart travel now available on the cross-Tyne service.
Nexus, which owns and operates the cross-Tyne service, has fitted smartcard validators on board the Ferry and a new four-week FerrySaver ticket is available as a smart product, offering savings to passengers.
Pop card validators are already installed at Metro stations and now the Shields Ferry has followed suit in a scheme that is transforming the way people access public transport in Tyne and Wear.
Anyone with a Pop card can buy the four-week ticket online from nexus.org.uk and compared to the cost of a weekly ticket it will yield a saving of up to £6.55 a month for regular Ferry users.
The Pop card is a credit card sized piece of plastic that will allows the holder access Metro and Ferry travel in new ways, including online.
Passengers will use the validators to ‘touch in’ in a similar way that the Oyster Card is used on the London Underground.
Director of Customer Services for Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “Smart travel has now arrived on the Shields Ferry. This is great news for our passengers.
“Anyone with a Pop card can upload a four week FerrySaver and this will allow them to make savings on the cost of travel.
“The Pop card is transforming the way people access local public transport services, much like the Oyster card has done in London. Passengers will be able to use it on Metro, Shields Ferry and local bus services. It will make travelling so much easier and more cost effective.”
Cllr Gladys Hobson of South Tyneside Council and Vice Chair of ITA (the Integrated Transport Authority) said: “The new scheme provides an easy way for people to add credit to a card, which can then be used on the Metro and the Shields Ferry.
“It is well timed, as the Council has ambitious plans to regenerate South Shields town centre which includes modernising the Metro station and developing a new transport hub. South Shields 365 is a bold vision to make the town an exciting place to visit, every day of the year.”
Councillor Ed Hodson, North Tyneside’s Cabinet member for the Environment, said: “As a council we are committed to supporting sustainable transport and reducing the borough’s carbon footprint.
“We welcome the introduction of these new validators which will help increase accessibility to the ferry as part of the North East’s public transport network.”
It is free to apply for a Pop card. They are also available at all Nexus TravelShops
Travel products like weekly, 4-weekly and annual MetroSavers can be easily uploaded on to a Pop card at the new ticket vending machines at Metro stations.
Passengers will eventually be able to use their Pop card on a pay-as-you-go basis, and will be able to upload credit on to their card using their home computer, at local shops and at Metro stations.