The Tyne & Wear Metro became the first rail system outside London to offer the convenience of pay as you go smart travel on the Pop card, which can also be used on a number of bus routes as well as the Shields Ferry.
Sales have grown by word of mouth in the two months since Pop Pay As You Go was launched by transport minister Andrew Jones MP, ahead of a major marketing campaign starting this week.
As well as making paying for travel much easier, Pop Pay As You Go also gives Metro passengers a guaranteed 10p saving on single tickets and a 20p saving on Daysaver fares.
John Fenwick, director of finance and resources at Nexus, said: “Pop Pay As You Go has already been a word-of-mouth success and we expect sales to grow significantly in the coming months as we begin a major marketing campaign.
“The feedback from passengers in our pilot has been excellent – people recognise how much easier it is to travel with Pop Pay As You Go, as well as getting a saving compared to standard ticket prices.
“The roll-out of smart ticketing, including Pop Pay You Go, is a key feature of our Metro modernisation programme which has seen strong growth in customers using the service and we expect to see 40 million passenger journeys this year, the highest for more than five years.”
Pop Pay As You Go cards are available from Nexus Travelshops at Haymarket, Central, Gateshead, Park Lane Interchange in Sunderland, North Shields station and in Fowler Street, South Shields.
The launch is part of the investment in smart travel across the region led by NESTI, the North East Smart Ticketing Initiative.
NESTI is a partnership of 12 local authorities, the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority and Nexus.