End of the line? Metro prices rise again

As Metro fares continue to rise, our writers discuss whether the service is value for money.

Joe Holloran
19th February 2018

Laura Bolden

Now, more than ever, the Metro seems to be extremely unreliable. It feels like every day a different issue occurs, whether it’s a lift out of service or a train that has been removed from service, yet we are paying increasingly more for our tickets.

Are we even getting value for money?

Last month the price of an Inner Newcastle Student Ticket increased from £25.20 to £26.10. While 90 pence might not sound like a lot of money it is one of many gradual increases that have occurred over the past few years. I don’t mind paying a little bit extra to get around if it means a good service is maintained, but this does not seem to be the case with the Metro.

Metro is a publicly owned system meaning the money they gain from tickets is reinvested into the system such as new trains and cheaper fares for young people among other improvements. The question is when will we see these changes? Are we even getting value for money?

I am failing to see how the increased prices are justified

There is no denying that the easy access to the Metro is perfect for us students. It’s a quick way to get to campus and can save a lot of time, especially in the rush to make a lecture on time. For that reason, and because the thought of walking in the cold and rain is extremely unappealing, I will continue to pay my monthly pass, but I am failing to see how the increased prices are justified.

Hopefully we will see an improved service sooner rather than later.

Joe Holloran

As anyone who takes the Metro into university will tell you, the average price for a ticket has increased. Whilst there is good news for kids and college students, who will see a slight drop in price, the rest of us will yet again have to justify spending even more money. Although many students live close enough to simply walk or cycle, for some of us the Metro is the most convenient way into the city. So, what is to be done?

...for some of us, the Metro is the most convenient way into the city

Interestingly, the North East is one of the least rail-reliant urban areas in the UK, with just 1% (9,845) of people in our region using the train daily to commute to work, as opposed to around 24% in London. Surprisingly, 978,856 people reported that they got the bus to their destination each day. That is nearly ten times the number of people who take the Metro. This is problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, I thought the current administration was committed to being the greenest government in British history. So, logic should dictate that they introduce incentives throughout the country that promote public transport use that is not reliant on fossil fuels.

Nexus and their shareholders seem keen to constantly remind us that they are updating their services, which, of course, costs money. This money comes directly from the commuter's pockets. Many economists on the left and right have called for nationalisation of the nation's railway infrastructure in order to provide cheaper, better service. This debate will continue to rumble on down the line for years to come, with no end in sight for price rises. But, as with many things, it is still better to be in the North than the South.




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