As the Edinburgh Trams line between the Airport and York Place in the city centre prepares to celebrate its first anniversary (the first passenger services ran on Saturday 31st May 2014) it has been revealed that more passengers than expected have been carried on the service. Approximately 4.92 million passengers have been carried during the first year which is 370,000 ahead of the pre-launch target.
At 0500 on Saturday 31st May 275 inaugurated services on Edinburgh Trams and the first few days of the much delayed tramway proved to be highly successful with 21,000 passengers carried on the first day and 130,000 in the first week. Since this period passenger numbers have normalised and now the first year’s passenger numbers have been released which show that the pre-opening estimates have been beaten by 3%.
In addition to the basic passenger figures it has been announced that 10.9% of all passengers have been concessionary card holders which is well within the Council budget.
Tom Norris, Director and General Manager of Edinburgh Trams, commented: “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.”
Over the course of the first year the tram drivers and Ticketing Services Assistants together have completed 72,525 covering 674,467 miles up and down the 8 mile route. Meanwhile the depot was manned for 8,760 hours by staff on a rota system.
It might have started under a cloud and there are still many in the area who are unhappy with the trams (with cyclists taking legal action and the ongoing Public Inquiry, which has just announced its first preliminary hearing will take place on 19th August) but Edinburgh Trams is starting to become a vital part of the local transport network in the Scottish capital and long may that continue!