Pop blue

**NEW!**
 

What’s Pop blue?

Pop blue is the brand new way to pay for your travel in North East England if you're aged 18 or under. Just load a balance onto your Pop blue card and use it to pay for journeys as you make them. A Pop blue card gives you special discounted fares on Metro  - just £1 single or £2 all day - that are much cheaper than buying adult Single or Day Tickets. You can also use your Pop blue balance on the bus and the Shields Ferry but it works differently, see below for details.

Where can I get a Pop blue card?

Get your Pop blue card online here or from any Nexus TravelShop. The card itself is free but must be purchased with a £10 balance.

Where can I top up my Pop blue card?

  •  Online at the Pop Shop. Then load your purchase onto your Pop blue card at a Metro station validator, gate or ticket machine.
  •  At any Metro station ticket machine
  •  At a Nexus TravelShop

Where can I use my Pop blue card?

You can use Pop blue on Metro, on almost all bus services and the Shields Ferry. Pop blue works differently on Metro, bus and ferry. See below for more details.

Pop blue is valid on services in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Teesside.

  • On buses - pay for single, return and day tickets from the driver using your Pop blue balance.
  • On Metro - pay for your trip by touching in at the Metro station validator or gate at the start of your journey and touching out at the end. You’ll only pay for the journey you have made and we’ll calculate the best fare for you.
  • On the Shields Ferry - pay for 18 and Under Ferry Single and 18 and Under Ferry Day Tickets from the ferry operator using your Pop blue balance.

Is there anything I should do before I use my Pop blue card?

Yes, go to our online Pop Shop at popcard.org.uk to register your Pop blue card and set up a Pop Shop account.

Why should I register my card?

Registering your card allows you to top up your Pop blue card online and load your purchase onto it at Metro stations.

It also means that it is protected - if it’s lost or stolen, you can report it to us and we can block the card so that nobody else can use it. We can then transfer any remaining balance back into your Pop Shop account ready for you to load onto a new Pop blue card.

If you don’t register your Pop blue card and it’s lost or stolen you will lose your balance.

How do I check my Pop blue balance?

You can check your balance quickly and easily:

  • online at popcard.org.uk (it can take up to 48 hours for this to be up to date)
  • by using the Pop card checker app (visit Google Play and search for Pop card checker)
  • at any Metro station ticket machine
  • on your bus or ferry ticket when you use Pop blue on bus or the Shields Ferry
  • on the Metro station gate or validator every time you touch out.

What if my Pop blue card has a negative balance?

On Metro, you can’t start a journey if your Pop blue card has a negative balance (ie less than zero), so you need to top up your Pop blue card balance or find another way to pay for your journey.

If your card is in credit when you touch in at a Metro station, we’ll give you one last trip to make sure you can get to where you need to be, even if making another journey will take your card into a negative balance. Your card then can’t be used again until you top it up.

What happens to my Pop blue card when I turn 19?

Once you reach 19 you won’t be able to use your Pop blue card. You’ll need to use your balance before your 19th birthday. Don’t worry, we’ll email you to remind you.

What if I realise that Pop blue isn't for me?

If you change your mind about using a Pop blue card, and have registered your card at popcard.org.uk, you can apply for a refund via Nexus Customer Services.

What is Pop Shop?

Pop Shop - popcard.org.uk - is the place to go to:

  • register your card to protect your balance
  • top up your balance - if you’re going to load your purchase onto your Pop blue card at a Metro station
  • close any Metro journeys where you didn’t touch in or out
  • report a card as lost or stolen
  • change your details

Contact

If you’ve got any queries:

Using Pop blue on Metro

How does Pop blue work on Metro?

On Metro you need to touch in at the start of your journey and touch out at the end. You do this by touching your Pop blue card onto the reader on the yellow Metro station validator or the orange card reader on the Metro station gates – even if they’re open.

If you don't do this, you won't have a validated smartcard and you could be issued with a Penalty Fare Notice.

When you touch in at the start of your journey, we deduct the cost of a single Pop blue fare from your Pop blue balance. You must then touch out to complete your journey. If you make a second journey on the same day, you'll be charged another single fare, and will reach the daily price cap. You must continue to touch in and out for any additional journeys, so that your Pop blue card is validated - but you won't be charged for any more journeys once you've reached the daily price cap.

Please note that, unlike on buses and the Shields Ferry, you can't use your Pop blue card to buy tickets from Metro station ticket machines.

Will I need to prove how old I am when I travel?

You may be asked for proof of age when travelling on Metro with a Pop blue card; here's what we'll accept as ID:

  •  Full or Provisional UK/EU driving license
  •  ID card with the PASS hologram
  •  NUS Extra card
  •  Under 16 Pop card (can be expired)
  •  Pop card with a valid 16-18 entitlement
  •  Passport or birth certificate (can be a copy)

How much does it cost?

Pop blue is cheaper than adult single and DaySaver tickets - the current fares are here.

You can travel as many times as you like in a day. Your card is charged each time you travel until you reach the daily price cap. You’ll never pay more than the daily price cap as long as you touch in and out.

Please note that if you’re using your Pop blue card more than 3 or 4 days a week, it might be cheaper to buy an 18 and Under Season Ticket. See nexus.org.uk/metro for more information.

What happens if I can't, or forget to, touch in or out?

If you don’t touch in or out, your journey will be incomplete and you may be liable for a penalty fare - so remember to touch in and out.

Using Pop blue on buses

How does Pop blue work on buses?

On buses, you use the balance on your Pop blue card to buy a single, return or day ticket from the driver.

Simply tell the bus driver which ticket you want to buy, then touch your Pop blue card on to the reader on the ticket machine. Take your ticket from the machine as normal. The cost of the ticket will be deducted from your Pop blue balance. Your new balance will be printed on your ticket.

Please note that, unlike on Metro, there is no daily price cap for journeys on buses.

Which buses can I use Pop blue on?

You can use Pop blue on selected bus services - check nexus.org.uk/pop/payg/buses for the most up to date list.

How much does it cost?

Click here to see the current fares for young people on Arriva, Go North East and Stagecoach buses.

Using Pop blue on the Shields Ferry

How does Pop blue work on the ferry?

Just tell the ferry operator which ticket you want to buy, and then touch your Pop blue card on to the reader on the ticket machine. Take your ticket from the machine as normal. The cost of the ticket will be deducted from your Pop blue balance. Your new balance will be printed on your ticket.

Please note that, unlike on Metro, there is no daily price cap for journeys on the Shields Ferry.

Will I need to prove how old I am when I travel?

You may be asked for proof of age when travelling on the Shields Ferry with a Pop blue card; here's what we'll accept as ID:

  •  Full or Provisional UK/EU driving license
  •  ID card with the PASS hologram
  •  NUS Extra card
  •  Under 16 Pop card (can be expired)
  •  Pop card with a valid 16-18 entitlement
  •  Passport or birth certificate (can be a copy)

How much does it cost?

Ferry single and day tickets are cheaper when you buy them using the balance on your Pop blue card. See current Ferry Pop blue fares here.