Transport authority Nexus has taken over the day-to-day running of the Tyne and Wear Metro service.
From April 1, the operation of the Tyne and Wear Metro, and fleet maintenance, will be carried out in-house, having been contracted out to DB Regio since 2010.
Last year, Nexus announced plans to run services directly when the current contract expired. At the time, Nexus said the decision was taken to allow it to prepare a future contract that would take account of a planned £400 million investment in new trains.
Nexus plans to operate Metro services until at least 2019.
Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus, said: “I am looking forward to the next few years as we seek to improve Metro for our customers.”
He added: “The most important first step is to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible for our employees and customers alike, with the trains continuing to operate safely throughout the process.
“Much hard work has already been done recently to improve train reliability and punctuality and that will continue.
“The next few years promise to be truly exciting as we look to secure funding for a new train fleet, and at ways to expand the network.”