More people than ever are travelling on Midland Metro with the Birmingham City Centre extension seeing a major increase in passenger numbers according to the latest figures released. 6.6 million passenger journeys were recorded in 2016 and the latest projections are suggesting that the period between June 2016 and June 2017 will see the seven million passenger journey broken for the first time ever.
Since Midland Metro opened to the public in May 1999 it has been hovering around the 5 million passenger mark with a high of 5.4 million in 2000/2001 and a low of 4.4 million in 2014/2015. But following the extension of the line into Birmingham City Centre first to Bull Street and then along Corporation Street to Grand Central (New Street Station) there has been a major increase in the number of passengers taking a journey.
The extension has seen a 32% increase in passenger numbers and the recently released figure for 2016 is 6.6 million passenger journeys. Projections are also showing that the period between June last year and June 2017 will see more than 7 million journeys recorded – by far the largest figure since the line opened.
Cllr Roger Horton, lead member for rail and Metro on the West Midland Combined Authority’s Transport Delivery Committee, said: “This impressive increase shows why the WMCA is moving forward with a £1.2 billion expansion of the tram network and why Metro is an important part of the authority’s economic and transport plans. These future tram extensions will be a catalyst for economic growth and jobs and will significantly improve people’s ability to travel between key destinations in the West Midlands, including the forthcoming HS2 stations.”
With Midland Metro set to expand further over the next few years this increase is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg with the network looking set to approach the passenger numbers carried on Nottingham Express Transit and Stagecoach Supertram.