Metro passengers hit with ticket price hike to 'keep network operational'

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Tyne and Wear Metro ticket fare hike plans confirmed – with a single journey to cost up to £4.50.

Tyne and Wear Metro passengers are set to be hit with a new ticket fare hike in April.

Councillors will be asked next week to sign off on proposals to increase prices on both the Metro and the Shields Ferry.

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Transport chiefs said that an average 3.4% Metro fare increase was needed to cope with higher running costs and keep the ailing rail network operational.

A passenger using the new Metro smartphone ticket app. A passenger using the new Metro smartphone ticket app.
A passenger using the new Metro smartphone ticket app.

News of the price hike comes just after it was confirmed that the Metro recently slumped to its worst ever level of performance – with only 61% of trains turning up on time between November 12 and December 9 last year.

Adverse weather conditions before Christmas and mounting problems with the Metro’s increasingly unreliable trains, which are due to be replaced with a £362m new fleet, have been blamed for the poor punctuality.

If approved by North East Joint Transport Committee members next Thursday, the new fare prices would come into force on April 1.

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The increases would take the cost of a single journey on the Metro to as high as £4.50 – though fares are being kept substantially lower for passengers who travel using a Pop pay as you go (PAYG) card.

While operator Nexus said the new Metro fares would be 3.4% higher than current rates on average, the scale of increases varies substantially between different tickets.

A two-zone day ticket, which is the Metro’s most purchased fare, will jump 7.7% from £5.20 to £5.60 – but an all-zone day ticket is frozen at £5.90. The price of weekly, monthly, and annual season tickets will increase by between 4.2% and 8.9%.

Nexus chiefs have again urged passengers to make the switch from paper tickets to Pop cards, on which a day’s travel will be up to £1.60 a day cheaper under the new proposals.

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Plans have also been announced to introduce more flexible corporate season tickets to help commuters save money, a move designed to encourage more people to travel by Metro during the impending Tyne Bridge renovation works.

People who take up the corporate season ticket offer through their workplace will, for the first time, be able to choose the specific zones they want to travel in – bringing the minimum cost of travel down to as little as £10 per week.

Fares will be frozen for 16 to 21-year-olds with a Pop Blue smartcard and for older and disabled passengers with a Metro Gold Card.

Nexus customer services director Huw Lewis said: “We are putting forward a balanced package of fares for 2024. While we are recommending some fare rises, including single and day tickets, the average rise across the board of 3.4%, which is below the rate of inflation. Fares do need to increase in order to help us meet the challenge we face with higher Metro running costs.

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“Metro is a public service, one that doesn’t make a profit, so we require Government support alongside the revenue that we get from fares, all of which goes back into keeping the network running.”

Here is a summary of the 2024/25 fare proposals:

  • The cost of a single journey paper Metro ticket will go up from £2.60 to £2.80 for one zone, from £3.60 to £3.80 for two zones, and from £4.30 to £4.50 for three zones;
  • The cost of a one-zone adult day paper ticket will go up from £4.10 to £4.40, a two-zone Day Ticket is up from £5.20 to £5.60, an all-zone Day Ticket will remain at £5.90;
  • The Pop PAYG one-zone single daily cap will go up from £1.65 to £1.80; a two-zone PAYG daily cap is up from £2.55 to £2.70; an all-zone single PAYG daily cap is up from £3.25 to £3.40.;
  • A PAYG one-zone day ticket will go up from £2.75 to £2.90, a two-zone PAYG day from £3.85 to £4, and the all-zone PAYG day ticket up from £4.85 to £5;
  • PAYG travel on Metro for young people aged 16 to 21 using Pop Blue or Pop 19-21 smartcards will be frozen;
  • The one-zone weekly Metro season ticket is up from £12.20 to £13.20, a two-zone weekly from £18 to £19.40, and an all-zone weekly from £24.40 to £25.70;
  • The one-zone four-week Metro season ticket is up from £46.50 to £50.70, the two-zone from to £68.20 to £72.50; and from £90.20 to £94.00 for all zones;
  • The price of the one-zone annual Metro season ticket is up from £513.30 to £559, the two-zone annual from £717 to £780.00, and the all-zone annual from £793.60 to £864;
  • A one-zone corporate Metro season ticket will cost £480, a two-zone £630, and £680 for all zones;
  • The Metro Gold Card for older and disabled passengers will be frozen at £12 a year, or £24 for people who live outside Tyne and Wear;
  • A single ticket on the Shields Ferry is going up from £2.30 to £2.50 for adults and from 90p to £1 for children; 
  • A ferry day ticket is going up from £3.70 to £3.90; 
  • The price of a single ferry journey on a Pop card will rise from £1.45 to £1.50, and a day ticket from £2.55 to £2.70; 
  • A one-week ticket for the Shields Ferry will go up from £11.30 to £12; a four-week ferry ticket is up from £42.40 to £45.

Mr Lewis added: “The best way for customers to keep saving money on the cost of Metro travel from April is to make the switch away from paper tickets to Pop Pay As You Go. Moving to Pop Pay As You Go in Google Pay, or getting a free Pop card from, which now has a minimum top up of just £5, means you can save more than a pound per day, compared to paying at a Metro ticket machine.

“This is something that we are actively encouraging our customers to do, so that they enjoy the lowest possible fares on Metro, and it’s something we are already running high profile marketing campaigns on across the Metro system. Our proposals will see the discounts for PAYG customers improved, saving you up to £1.60 a day if you get a Pop card, or get the product through an Android smartphone.”

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