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Nexus launch new ITSO smartcard for Metro travel for Under 16s

An easy new cash-free way for Under 16s to pay for Metro travel has been launched by Nexus.

A new ITSO based smart card, called Junior blue, can be bought and topped up online, meaning passengers don’t need to think about carrying cash or using ticket machines.

The Junior blue smartcard will work like other Metro smartcards, and journeys are priced the same as the commercial single and day tickets available to 5 to 15-year olds via ticket machines. 

Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “Launching Junior blue for under 16s means we now offer cash-free smart card travel for everyone, no matter what their age. 

“We know parents want an easy cash-free way to pay for their children’s Metro travel, so we sped up the development and launch of Junior blue due to the pandemic.

“With Junior blue parents can get a free smart card online and keep it topped up – so they never have to worry about their children having the right change or using ticket machines.

“Travel on Metro is already great value for young people, with commercial single trips for just 90p and £1.40 to travel all day.  Junior blue is a really simple pay-as-you-go card, which our young passengers can use as often as they like, to get to school or go out with family or friends outside of school time.

“Passengers just need to tap through the station gates or validators, and remember to top the card up online, taking away the need to use the ticket machines.”

Chair of NECA’s Tyne and Wear Transport Sub-Cttee, Cllr Gladys Hobson, said: “This is an excellent smart card product for young people who need to use the Metro.

“It means there is now a cash-free smart travel option for everyone, which is vital in this Covid-19 era where we need to move away from cash transactions as much as possible.”

The launch of Junior Blue completes Metro’s new and improved offer for families. Teenagers aged 16-18 can already travel for £1 single and £2 all day with the Pop blue ITSO smartcard, and adults can take up to three under-11s for free at weekends with any valid ticket.

Junior blue cards are available from www.nexus.org.uk/Junior-blue The card itself is free but must be purchased with a £10 balance on the card.

On Metro, holders will be charged the commercial child fare for their journey, including a daily price cap.  The cheaper child concessionary fare is available from ticket machines for Tyne and Wear residents with a Nexus Under 16 identity card.

The Junior blue smartcard can also be used on the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry service and to pay for local bus travel, buying the applicable young person’s fare set by the bus company. The daily price cap will not apply to bus travel. 

For more information on Junior blue and to order a card, visit www.nexus.org.uk/Junior-blue