Further evidence, if any was needed, of the success of Edinburgh Trams has been released with news that the trams are making an operating profit – two years ahead of the (admittedly revised) schedule.
The final business model for the reduced tramway predicted that the first operating profit would be reached in 2018 with the year ending December 2016 expected to see a loss of £170,000. However the figures released this week have shown that in fact the year ending December 2016 has seen a pre-tax operating profit of £252,000.
Lea Harrison, Managing Director of Edinburgh Trams, said: “We’re delighted with these results and they firmly reflect the growing popularity of the tram. Over the past year we’ve seen patronage increase by 10 per cent and revenue rise by 12 per cent. These encouraging figures have been driven by our move to increase the frequency of trams combined with our ongoing commitment to exceptional service. We’ve recorded industry-leading levels of customer satisfaction and exceeded the expectations of the initial business model, but we’re not about to become complacent. We’ll continue our efforts to further improve services and strengthen the tram’s position at the heart of the city’s transport network.”
Passenger numbers have continued to increase on the trams, which currently operate between York Place in Edinburgh City Centre and Edinburgh Airport. Major events at Murrayfield Stadium and the recent Royal Highland Show (held close to Ingliston Park and Ride with many passengers letting the tram take the strain to walk the short distance to the event) have helped to contribute to the increasing popularity of the trams which have firmly become part of the city’s transport network.
There are issues with congestion in the city centre which often delays services along Princes Street but on the whole Edinburgh Trams is very much a success story despite its very troubled beginnings. Now it’s time to get on with extending the line!