Go North East, Arriva and Stagecoach North East have introduced a new multi-operator smart card, ‘SmartZone’, which allows travel on buses operated by all three of these operators. Valid in Sunderland, Newcastle or North Tyneside, it provides unlimited travel from less than £2 per day. This new initiative follows the launch of the South Tyneside SmartZone scheme last December and supports the pledge made last year by the country’s major bus companies to deliver multi-operator smart ticketing across England during 2015 as part of the government’s Smart Cities initiative.
The new SmartZone products can be loaded onto either a StagecoachSmart Card, a Go North East Key Card or Arriva Connect Card and will be accepted on any Stagecoach, Go North East or Arriva services in Tyne and Wear, within the SmartZone boundaries. The tickets offer unlimited travel from £13.50 a week or £52 for four weeks in Sunderland, £14.30 a week and £55 for four weeks in North Tyneside and £14.50 a week and £56 for four weeks in Newcastle.
In a joint statement, the MDs of the bus companies involved (Phil Medlicott, Stagecoach North East; Kevin Carr, Go North East and Nick Knox, Arriva North East) said, ‘Our buses are used by millions of people every year across the North East. Collectively we are investing millions of pounds in new digital technology to make it easier for people to use the bus. Smart ticketing, better information and easier ways to buy travel are at the heart of our strategy and support the government’s wider objectives to make buses better through effective partnership working.’