Metro Futures

The Tyne and Wear Metro has used the same trains since it opened in 1980, but these will soon need to be replaced. Nexus, which owns and manages the Metro collaborated with Open Lab to design methods and digital tools to involve more of Metro’s 40 million passengers in the consultation process around the design of the next generation of Metro trains.

Open Lab ran workshops with local residents, which included using Bootlegger to share their experiences of Metro journeys and developing design ideas for the new trains. The videos and design concepts were uploaded to the Metro Futures website, where members of the public could vote and comment on the issues and ideas shared.

Drop-in ‘pop-up labs’ were also held across Tyne and Wear to engage the public directly. Tools developed in Open Lab such as ThoughtCloud and JigsAudio were used to capture ideas, while social media and the Metro Futures website provided an online platform for discussion. Local schoolchildren also made video ads for ‘Metro 2036’ on board an empty Metro train, imagining everything from solar panels to disco balls.

Nexus will use the ideas from the consultation, together with their own online surveys and feedback from a transport watchdog, to shape the requirements for the new Metro trains.