Looking back on five years of Edinburgh Trams

Love them or hate them, the trams are now a familiar addition to  the city’s landscape and despite a challenging start, the network has seen a boost in journeys over the last five years.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 7:58 pm
Edinburgh Trams

Since 2015 there have been 27.7 million customer journeys, with Edinburgh Trams posting growth of 40 per cent between 2015 and 2018.

Tram driver Sharon Peat, who was a ticketing services assistant on the first day, looks back fondly on the past five years. She said: “Being on board on the first day of service was an exciting time for every one of us as it was a completely new experience.

“The trams were so busy, but the passengers were all pretty excited. It is still great when you have customers who have travelled with us from day one who you’ve built up a rapport with and they give you a friendly wave and a wee chat when possible.”

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As the five year statistics are released Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said the service has become a crucial part of the transport system. “Working with and complementing our fantastic bus services, they have outstripped passenger and income forecasts and won hugely impressive industry awards,” he said.

Transport for Edinburgh, chief executive George Lowder, added: “The introduction of trams was a major step in creating a truly integrated public transport system in Edinburgh, as well as offering modal choice for the customer.

“In five short years Edinburgh Trams have changed perceptions and exceeded expectations.”

Key statistics

Customer journeys

o 2014 (May – December) 2.9 million

o 2015 5.2 million

o 2016 5.6 million

o 2017 6.7 million

o 2018 7.3 million

Edinburgh Trams has demonstrated a 40% growth in patronage between 2015 and 2018.

Profit

o 2014 (May – December) (£564k)

o 2015 (£22k)

o 2016 £252k

o 2017 £1.6 million

Awards

Edinburgh Trams has been shortlisted for awards at the Scottish Transport Awards, National Transport Awards, VIBES Awards, National Rail Awards and National Customer Service Award with further success at the Global Light Rail Awards and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

- 2015 Global Light Rail Awards Operator of the Year

- 2016 Global Light Rail Awards Most Improved System

- 2017 Global Light Rail Awards Operator of the Year

- Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Health & Safety

- Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Best Business: High Growth

- 2018 Global Light Rail Awards Operator of the Year

- Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Health &Safety

- 2019 Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Best Business: High Growth