The Midland Metro has been rebranded as the West Midlands Metro as control of the light rail system passes over from National Express to Midland Metro Ltd (MML).
On the same day that Virgin Trains East Coast was taken over by Department for Transport-owned London North Eastern Railway, control of the Midland Metro passed to a new operator, which is a subsidiary of the local government organisation the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
WMCA said the change marks the “launch of a new era” with passengers expected to see lower fares, new ticket packages and future profits put back into expanding the network.
WMCA transport portfolio holder councillor Roger Lawrence said: “Services being provided by a WMCA-owned company is an exciting new development in the story of the Metro, which is of fundamental importance to transport and the West Midlands economy.
“The tram network is a proven catalyst for economic growth and will be critical to best connect and feed into HS2 so we can reap the maximum economic benefits possible from the high speed rail line.
“The network is expanding massively over the next few years, generating millions of pounds which will be ploughed back into the tram system for the benefit of passengers and taxpayers.”
MML operations director Carl Williams added: “The previous operator, National Express, has achieved a great deal in moving the tramway forward but it is now all about taking the Metro to a whole new level over the coming years.
“As we take over we’re making some exciting changes – introducing a new range of day and group tickets and even reducing the cost of some single and return fares.”
The Midland Metro became the West Midlands Metro on June 24.
Read more: A new life for closed railway lines