Bus passengers across Tees Valley will benefit from smart, multi-operator travel from 30th July as the region’s top bus operators join forces to launch the latest smart ticketing initiative.
Stagecoach North East and Arriva have now been joined by Go North East as part of the Easyrider scheme and together have launched a new multi-operator smart card. The scheme will give customers the flexibility to use one card to travel across the region and allow unlimited travel on each operator’s buses throughout Teesside for the equivalent of less than £3 per day.
The new Smart Easyrider, developed in partnership by all three bus companies, will build on the success of the north east SmartZone card and demonstrates the continued investment of the operators to deliver smarter ticketing for millions of bus passengers across the region.
Passengers can now purchase their weekly Easyrider on a StagecoachSmart card, Arriva Connect or Go North East key smartcard from their driver. Longer term Easyriders can also be purchased online or in travelshops. Tickets will be accepted on any Stagecoach, Go North East or Arriva services across Teesside, or across the wider Tees Valley.
Once purchased, customers can catch the first bus that comes along, making their journeys even easier and more convenient. Passengers simply hold their card over the ticket reader when boarding the bus to record their journey. Smartcards are also very secure as they can be replaced or cancelled if they become lost, unlike a traditional paper ticket.
The new tickets offer unlimited travel from as little as £20 a week or £75 for 4 weeks on Teesside, and it is hoped the new smart ticketing will encourage even more people to use buses in the region.
In a joint statement, Steve Walker, Managing Director, Stagecoach North East, Kevin Carr, Managing Director, Go North East and Nick Knox, Area Managing Director, Arriva North East, said: “We’re proud to be launching this exciting new ticketing development across different operators which is a major step forward for passengers across the Tees Valley and will make travelling by bus even easier by giving customers complete ticketing flexibility, improving value and convenience.
“Smart ticketing, better information and easier ways to buy travel are at the heart of our strategy to make buses better through effective partnership working. Improving the customer experience is at the heart of what we do and follows our ongoing multi-million pound investment campaigns in new vehicles, smart and contactless ticketing and improved online and mobile information and ticketing tools.”
Kevin Carr, Managing Director, Go North East, added: “We’re pleased to be joining the Teesside Easy Rider scheme which, working in partnership with the other bus operators, gives people one ticket to use any bus across Tees Valley.”
Go North East will be joining the scheme from 30th July, bringing travel across a wider area to customers, which now covers Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, East Cleveland and Darlington.
Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: “Buses are the backbone of the Tees Valley public transport system, so it’s great to see operators working together to promote flexible, convenient and affordable travel for passengers.
“I’ll be launching a my own bus strategy over the coming months, and look forward to working with Stagecoach, Arriva, Go North East and others to deliver for local people.”