Smart tickets make it easy to travel anywhere in North East England using a single card. Passengers with Pop cards can top up at Metro ticket machines or in local shops, as well as buy season tickets and other special offer products. And the smart systems we have created are integrated across the region so they can be used for a vast range of products and services - like students having a single card covering campus facilities and travel, or councils offering an 'all-in-one' smart access system for services.
Nexus has led one of the UK's biggest roll-outs of smart technology, in partnership with local councils and commercial transport companies. There are two main strands to our work:
A regional partnership to deliver a single smart infrastructure for North East England from the Tees Valley to the Scottish border. Most buses in the region plus Metro and the Shields Ferry now accept the Pop Pay As You Go smart card, making it possible to travel anywhere with a single smart payment card. The programme has included major grants to bus companies to equip their vehicles with common smart devices, technology to handle millions of smart transactions a week, including those on concessionary bus passes, and the creation of a regional retail network for smart products.
Pop and smart travel on Metro
More than 100,000 people use smart cards to travel on Metro. Pop card holders can travel using season ticket products or with a Pay As You Go cash balance, depending on what suits them. Tickets can be topped-up and renewed online or at ticket machines. Pop cards carry the NESTI logo meaning they can be used for travel and other services throughout the region as these develop. Pop Under 16 cards also confirm eligibility for some of the cheapest child concessionary travel in the UK, on bus, Metro, Ferry and rail within Tyne and Wear. You can find out more about Pop by clicking here.
The next steps for smart travel will include using devices such as phones and watches in place of the traditional card. We have begun work with leading industry partners to expand the potential of the 'back office' smart systems we have created, as Pop takes its next step into the future.