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The pay-as-you-go cards will be able to be topped up in shops, online and by telephone. The fare will be deducted from the card when it is swiped on card-reading machines on buses and trains.
Private bus and rail companies will shell out for the expense of setting up and running the new scheme.
Mr Baker said: "The aim is that you get one smartcard ticket which enables you to use it whether you are in Bristol on the bus, on the Tube in London or in Newcastle on the Metro.
"It won't be overnight, but I've asked my officials to bring forward the old target date of 2020 to within a few years."
A Department for Transport spokesman said: "The Coalition government is considering a range of new ideas to modernise our transport system and make it greener and more efficient."
Do you think a new nationwide travelcard is a good idea? Would it make you want to use public transport more? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.