Friday, May 29, 2015

One year of trams

Edinburgh Trams have been fully operational for a year now ... without diminishing the seriousness of the difficulties in getting to that point, the first 'operational' year has gone well - some details in the Release below:

Almost five million use Edinburgh Trams in first year

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 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 future 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.


Notes to Editors

  • Revenue projections include discounted products, meaning that patronage does not directly compare.
  • Transport for Edinburgh is the transport group which combines award-winning bus operator Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams Ltd, the operators of the new tram service.
  • Transport for Edinburgh’s vision is to provide seamless and high quality transport choice for residents and visitors to Edinburgh.


Duncan Edelsten said...

It’s encouraging to see passenger figures slightly ahead of target. But on the other hand it’s disappointing that the Council haven’t released financial performance figures.

In the meantime I’ve had to piece together an estimate from the figures that are available which goes something like this:

Revenue: £8,137,000
Operating Expenses: £13,700,000
Servicing costs on the £231m loan: £15,300,000

So operating loss for first year is £15,300,000+£13,700,000-£8,137,000 = £20,863,000

Which based on the number of passengers (4,920,000) gives a loss per passenger of £4.24

The reason I raise this issue is that in the interest of transparency and being honest with Edinburgh Council Tax Payers, the full financial position should be made available in the public domain before any decision is taken on borrowing yet more money to extend the line to Leith. Hopefully the Business Case will be released in an unredacted form including these figures.

Apologies if I am totally wrong with my estimated figures, but I would welcome to be corrected with sight of the actual financial position.

Best regards


Andrew said...


Thanks for the comment - just to confirm that the next set of decision/s will be taken at the Full Council Meeting on Thursday 25th June ...

... all the Political Groups on the Council will obviously be involved and the Report will be public (a week before); and the meeting webcast (and archived), all as now normal practice.