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Almost five million use Edinburgh Trams in first year

Posted: 29th May 2015


Newly released figures show that there were approximately 4.92 million passenger journeys on Edinburgh Trams during its first year of operations, that’s around 370,000 ahead of target set before launch.

Launched on Saturday 31 May 2014 at 5am, Edinburgh Trams is also set to surpass revenue targets set out in its business model by around 3%. Concessionary card holders are currently accounting for 10.9% of passengers which is well within the Councils budget which was set to ensure that Edinburgh’s card holders get free travel on the tram.

Edinburgh Trams received a 95% overall customer satisfaction rating following an independent UK wide survey by Passenger Focus and operated with 99% service reliability. This means that reliability and satisfaction levels are among the top performing public transport operators in the UK.

Tom Norris, Director and General Manager of Edinburgh Trams, said:

“The first birthday is a very exciting day for all of us because it rounds up a hugely significant year for everyone involved. We’ve beaten our targets and we’re on the right path.  The success we’ve worked so hard to achieve is down to the commitment and hard work of everyone involved in delivering the service day in day out.

“We were absolutely delighted with the initial surge of interest when we launched, but even more grateful that the local and visiting public have continued to give us their support.

“We have developed the service over the first year and we’ll continue to improve and adapt to keep our passengers happy, whilst being ready to take advantage of opportunities that come our way. The airport is growing, TFE is developing well, a new tram stop will link us to the Fife line and our city is going from strength to strength.  We’re ready to be at the centre of that development and part of the continued success of Edinburgh.”

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Chair of Transport for Edinburgh, added: “To have had nearly five million passengers on board the trams since their launch is a massive achievement – it’s thanks to the support of the public that we’ve had such a successful first year.

“Credit must also go to the team, whose efforts and professionalism ensure Edinburgh Trams provides an excellent service to passengers every day. As it continues to develop as a key element of the city’s transport offering we now look forward to its future as part of the city’s modern, integrated transport system.”

Highlights of the first year included major spikes in passengers heading to Murrayfield Stadium for a One Direction concert, Celtic FC’s Champions League match and Scotland Rugby’s Six Nations games, plus significantly increased passenger numbers during Edinburgh’s summer and winter festivals.

Edinburgh Trams has a fleet of 27 and currently employs 130 staff including drivers, Ticketing Services Assistants (TSAs), control centre operators and maintenance engineers.

Between them, tram drivers and TSAs completed 77,525 journeys over the year covering 674,467 miles up and down the route. The depot was manned for 8,760 hours by staff on a rota system.

The tram line is 14km long with 15 stops (16 once the Edinburgh Gateway is complete) and a journey from the airport to the city centre takes approx. 35 minutes. In 2014 the service contributed 3 million new passengers to the Transport for Edinburgh group with Lothian Buses also carrying an extra 3 million passengers more than in 2013. That’s 6 million more passengers on public transport in 2014 over 2013.

The service carried 21,000 passengers on its first day and 130,000 in its first week.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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