People across the region are seeing the benefits of the hard work done by the ITA, NESTI, Nexus and local authorities to put a single smart infrastructure in place.
John Fenwick, director of finance and resources for Nexus, said: "We are proud to have delivered a common smart technology and standard for North East England on behalf of our local authority partners within NESTI.
And thousands of students now upload Metro tickets on to their Newcastle University campus cards in a unique pilot project between NESTI and the university, something that could soon be rolled out across other universities and colleges across the North East.
And the story could be just beginning for smart technology, now that NESTI has delivered a smart infrastructure that could be deployed into a whole range of local public services in the future.
Existing students who wish to use a University smart card for Nexus travel may exchange their existing smart card for the NESTI compatible smart card by registering their interest - details of which will be advertised to Newcastle University students.
From later this year students will be able to use cash credits on their cards to pay for public transport right across the North East, not just Metro, as a result of work by the NESTI partnership.
Professor Suzanne Cholerton of Newcastle University and NESTI Chairman Harvey Emms at Haymarket Metro with students to mark the launch of smart travel for the university
This is thanks to NESTI
investment in a single smart infrastructure, from PS1m spent on bus ticket machines through to a single back-office IT system already processing more than a million journeys a week.
The challenge for NESTI is to make sure individual products like the Key and Pop cards can talk to each other so passengers can travel freely without worrying who owns the bus or train they climb on.
NESTI is formed of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority, the North East's 12 local authorities, four major commercial public transport operators and many smaller bus companies.
Nexus plays a lead role in NESTI both because of its strategic role in providing, planning and promoting public transport in Tyne and Wear, and through its parallel PS385m Metro: all change modernisation programme.
The HOPS we have developed will support not only Metro Pop cards but any developed by local authority partners within NESTI, and need not be limited to transport applications.