North East operators urged to get smart

All bus companies which operate registered local services in North East England are being urged to sign up for a scheme to fund the preparation of their vehicles for smart ticketing.

All companies need to do is contact Nexus, which is co-ordinating the installation of on-board Electronic Ticket machines (ETMs) on behalf of NESTI, the North East Smart Ticketing Initiative. They must do this before the end of June.

All companies operating registered services within or into the Tees Valley, County Durham, Darlington, Northumberland or Tyne and Wear are included. 

NESTI is assisting all scheduled service bus operators to work towards smart ticketing by offering a two-pronged approach.

The first offer, adopted by major operators Arriva, Go North East and Stagecoach saw them invest in their own equipment and back office with the aid of a £1,000–per-vehicle grant.

The second offer aimed at smaller operators also provides grant funding from NESTI to a value of £1,000-per-vehicle.

This offer enables operators to purchase Electronic Ticket Machines (ETMs) and a managed service from a framework procured by NESTI in conjunction with Yorcard Ltd, a similar project in Yorkshire.

These ETMs will be preconfigured to meet NESTI requirements and once installed will be eligible to receive the NESTI grant.

In addition to the NESTI grant operators can also then take up the 8 per cent BSOG uplift from the Department for Transport, and should they take the second offer would also be eligible for further 2% RTI uplift.

Tim Roylance, NESTI Programme Manager, says ”It is crucial operators who are interested in accessing smart ticketing and all its benefits  sign up and register their interest in the scheme.”

NESTI has now opened a register of interest for operators who are interested in accessing the NESTI grant can join, providing they respond by a closing date of 30 June 2012.  Operators should email: or write to: NESTI, Nexus House, 33 St James Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX.