A new pre-pay smartcard for the Tyne and Wear Metro has been launched.
The "Pop" card, from Nexus, will be phased in over the next year. It will mean a complete overhaul of the ticketing system, with new gates and machines across the network.
In future all passengers will be able to put credit on a "Pop" card and then use it to pay as they ride.
Nexus, the Metro's operator, is investing £15m from government funds on the new form of ticketing.
Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus, said: "Smartcards will soon be used by hundreds of thousands of public transport users, and we are one of the first regions in the UK to fully embrace the future of travel.
"The Pop card will make using public transport so much easier than now, and opens the way for people to get better value and pay more flexibly."
Nexus passengers will start to get their regular Metro season tickets and under-16 identification cards replaced with Pop cards from March.