The key

the key cardWhat is the key?

The key is a smartcard that makes travelling by bus easier, cheaper and more secure.

If you purchase a ticket online for your key card or are looking to do that today, please note that tickets bought before 2100 will be ready for use the following day.  Tickets bought after this may take up to 48 hours before they can be used.


Will the key save me money?

Our best value tickets are available on the key and tickets that aren't available on board the bus, such as 28 day tickets and key lifestyle pay monthly, making travel with us even easier and cheaper.  If you’re under 18 the key will also give you discounted single journeys.

See Buzzfare, Get Around and Route Saver pages for more information.

key benefitsNot only does the key save you money on bus travel, but you can save even more with 'key benefits' as we team up with local companies to offer key holders discounts.

How do I buy tickets for the key?

Buying tickets online or away from the bus is the cheapest way.  You can buy online here or download the free key mobile app. You can also buy tickets for your key smartcard by phone on 0845 60 60 260 and from Go North East travel shops. You can renew 7 day tickets that are already on your key on the bus but you'll miss out on the savings available away from the bus.

Its easy to get the key

Getting the key smartcard is free and it is delivered direct to your door. Register online now or call us on 0845 60 60 260 and your key will be sent to you in a few days. To buy tickets on your mobile download the free key mobile app.

Using the key

Using the key is simple, if you've got a key smartcard just place it on the reader, if you're using the key mobile show your phone to the driver.

key connect logokey connect

key connect is a gateway to cheaper and greener bus travel for your business, employees and partners. See how key connect can benefit you and your employees.