There’s a lot of talk ‘integrated’ and ‘simplified’ ticketing, both of which sound admirable. The truth is, we’ve already got both!
‘Integrated’ ticketing means you can hop on any bus or the Metro anywhere in Tyne and Wear and buy one ticket that will take you from where you are to where you want to go. Regardless of bus company, it can include using Metro or even the Shields Ferry. We’ve had this since well before Metro was introduced. Today, it’s called Network One and Transfares. Both are quite simple.
Need to use more than one bus operator, or a combination of bus, Metro, train and ferry in Tyne and Wear? Network One provides weekly, four weekly and annual tickets that enable you to do just that. Making a one-off journey using one bus and Metro? Buy a Transfare. Simple, easy to use and they’ve been around for decades.
But what if you want to make just local journeys, or commute regularly using just one bus operator? In that case, you’re probably better off with either a Route Saver (regular use on one route or a group of routes) or a Buzz Fare (a day ticket valid in a ‘colour’ zone or group of zones, also available as weekly, four weekly and annual tickets).
‘Simplicity’ sounds good, but in reality it means lack of choice. How would you feel if you went into your local supermarket and found that your favourite tins of beans, breakfast cereals and shower gels had been ‘simplified’ and replaced with the supermarkets own brand ‘white label’ versions? Even if they were cheaper? Customer choice replaced with everyone having to buy the same things. You wouldn’t stand for it, would you?
To be honest, ‘simplicity’ means taking away choice because Nanny Knows Best.
But our customers know a bargain when they see one. That’s why tens of thousands of people use our Route Saver tickets; why hundreds of regular customers have swapped to the ‘Key Lifestyle’, allowing them to get the best value ticket for a simple monthly direct debit payment; and why thousands of people who use more than one operator choose to use Network One tickets.
All our drivers have been carefully trained to make sure that they always offer you the cheapest ticket for your journey. They can sell you everything from an Explorer Ticket that gives a days’ unlimited travel anywhere in an area bounded by Berwick upon Tweed, Carlisle and Scarborough, to a single ticket for a few stops for less than the price of a half of lager. There’s bound to be an individual ticket that’s just right for your journey.
And why? because the customer knows best – not Nanny!