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3 November 2014, 06:00
Britain's biggest bus companies are to bring in Oyster-style smart ticketing in England's largest urban areas including Tyne and Wear.
Greater Manchester bus passengers will be the first to get the ticketing in 2015.
It will then be rolled out across Tyne and Wear, Merseyside, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire as well as the city regions of Nottingham, Leicester and Bristol.
In the West Midlands nearly 30 operators are already part of the Swift smart multi-operating ticketing scheme.
The initiative involves the Stagecoach, First, Arriva, Go Ahead and National Express companies and represents a multi-million investment.
The technology will allow smaller bus operators to be included and provide a platform to extend the system to other transport modes, such as trams and trains.
In a joint statement the chief executives of the companies involved said:
"Millions of people in our biggest city regions will benefit from this transformational initiative to provide London-style smart ticketing. It will deliver an even bigger programme and wider benefit than the capital's Oyster system.
Bus operators share the aspirations of our city regions to become growing economic powerhouses and we know high quality public transport is an important part of making that happen.''