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News & Blog

Tram Popularity Surges as 5.1 Million Get on Board in 2015

Posted: 21st December 2015

Newly released figures show that tram patronage has increased by 12% when compared to this time last year and the projected total of 5.1 million passengers for the whole of 2015 means that the service continues to outperform targets set in the business model.

The service, which was launched on Saturday 31 May 2014 at 5am, is also bringing in revenues that are considerably ahead of business plan with revenue growth.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Chair of Transport for Edinburgh, said:

“These latest figures demonstrate the continuing popularity of Edinburgh Trams and add to the success of our first year of operations, which saw almost five million passengers ride the trams. We now want to build on this success for the future of the service, as we look to extend and develop the network to provide for even more people in Edinburgh.”

Ian Craig, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, said:

“Edinburgh Trams continues to go from strength to strength and this is because of a huge effort from the team over the past two years. Our first year of operations was a big success and a time of much excitement but the real test is sustainability and continuing high quality operations.

“The service we’re delivering is great, it’s highly reliable and, as a result, we’re seeing more passengers get on board than last year. Edinburgh Trams is getting more popular and we want to make sure that trend continues for the benefit of the city.”

Car parking at Ingliston Park & Ride has increased by 60% when compared with the same time last year (to 5th December) meaning that more and more people are choosing the tram ahead of taking their car into the city centre.

The busiest week of service so far was during the Edinburgh Festival season in August when 137,000 passengers were carried. This outstripped even the first week of operations in 2014.

Six major Murrayfield events (Foo Fighters and five rugby matches) each brought around 10,000 additional passengers to/from the Murrayfield tram stop.

Earlier in 2015 Edinburgh Trams received a 95% overall customer satisfaction rating following an independent UK wide survey by Passenger Focus whist operated with 99% service reliability. This means that reliability and satisfaction levels are among the top performing public transport operators in the UK.

Further success came in October when Edinburgh Trams secured Edinburgh Trams the Operator of the Year award at the 2015 Light Rail Awards following a successful first sixteen months of service. Edinburgh Trams was also shortlisted at both the Scottish and UK Transport awards.

The tram team carried out a successful six week ‘red-eye’ trial to service earlier departures from Edinburgh Airport. More than 1200 additional passenger journeys were recorded. A trial of mobility scooters has been prepared and will take place from early 2016.

Between them, tram drivers and TSAs completed more than 82,000 journeys over 2015 covering 649,073 miles up and down the route. Trams have now covered 1,041,728 miles in service since May 2014.

There were approximately 4.92 million passenger journeys on Edinburgh Trams during its first year of operations to May 31 2015, around 370,000 ahead of target set before launch. Launched on Saturday 31 May 2014 at 5am, Edinburgh Trams also surpassed revenue targets set out in its business model by around 3%. Concessionary card holders accounted 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.

Full financial details for 2015 will be published through the annual reporting process.

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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