tram bosses will be quietly satisfied with today’s passenger figures.
The first 100 days and 1.5 million trips have come and gone.
It is said to be in line with predictions and crucially means the business case is still on track.
Even one of the major fears when the much-maligned project was under construction – that it would destroy the Capital’s flagship bus company – appears to be, on today’s evidence, misplaced.
Lothian Buses has seen record numbers itself which means all in all there have never been more people travelling on public transport in the city.
It’s not quite time for the city’s transport bosses to get the champagne out but the signs are certainly good.
The real test will come when the full-year figures are published. These will provide some proper evidence of the long-term trend and the ultimate success or otherwise of the tram line.
Any success will be limited of course, while the line terminates at York Place, and an extension down through Leith to Ocean Terminal must happen if it is ever going to be profitable.
That’s not to say there isn’t room for development in the meantime.
Today’s figures showing significantly more people travelling out from the city centre than towards it mean that there must be a potential passenger base still to be exploited.
The trams will continue to have their critics and rightly so given the huge cost to the city and the damage left in the wake of the construction. Today’s figures may do little to convince them that it has all been worthwhile. That will take years, if not longer.
But it does seem to have been the positive start which Tom Norris and his team were looking for. They can be quietly happy today then.
Quietly, of course. . . perhaps with a ding, ding.