Older and some disabled people will be able to travel on the Metro for free all day this summer.
Metro operator Nexus will - during July and August - lift the restriction on holders of the Metro Gold Card, which normally prevents them from using the card before 9.30am on weekdays.
The offer starts tomorrow, with the normal all day arrangements continuing at weekends and bank holidays.
Nexus' director of finance and resources, John Fenwick, said: “This is a great special offer that we have run for the last few years, allowing Gold Card holders the chance to travel all day on Metro over the summer.
“We can do this in July and August because there are far fewer students using Metro and there are generally less commuters than at other times of the year.
“It’s an offer that encourages people with Gold Cards to use Metro for days out. It is ideal for grandparents taking their grandchildren out over the summer holidays for days out.”
The Metro Gold Card is sold as a smartcard product for an annual fee of £12 for Tyne and Wear residents and £25 a year for people from other areas and can be uploaded directly on to a concessionary travel scheme card for older and disabled people (free bus pass) from Metro ticket machines at all 60 stations, as well as at Nexus Travel Shops and via Payzone points.
To buy the Gold Card at a Metro ticket machine, free bus pass holders need to touch their card against the machine’s orange reader and then press ‘Metro Tickets’ to be offered a year’s travel with Gold Card.
Gold Card gives unlimited off-peak travel on Metro for pensioners and eligible disabled people. It also provides free travel on the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry service.