CHANGES to fifty bus services are being unveiled as the trams get set to go live including a 24-hour-a-day Airlink service, additional night buses and a raft of revised timetables and routes.
From June 1 – the day after the trams finally start carrying paying passengers – the popular airport bus service will begin running around the clock, with buses leaving every eight minutes as opposed to the previous ten-minute timetable.
The service shuts down from 12.30 am to 4.30am, but due to increasing late flights and early international departures, bus chiefs believe there to be a viable reason to run a 24-hour service.
The Nightbus service will also be expanded, after passenger numbers rose by more than 50 per cent in 2013.
A new route N11 will be introduced between the City Centre and the existing weekend service on the N30 will be enhanced to run seven nights a week.
The one service directly affected by the tram is the X12 which will be reduced to only a small number of peak-time journeys between Haymarket and the RBS HQ at Gogarburn. Passengers will instead be directed to the tram whilst those travelling to Ratho Village are advised to use the revised service 20.
The routes of several other westbound services have been slightly altered as Transport for Edinburgh – the organisation overseeing the city’s buses and trams streamline services.
Lothian Buses chief executive, Ian Craig, said: “Edinburgh Trams go into operation very soon and integration with bus is a big priority. This makes vital changes that will co-ordinate bus and tram services to the benefit of passengers.”
A new summer service No 9 is also being introduced to link the National Museum of Scotland, the city centre and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Meanwhile night bus service N11 will begin between the city centre and Hyvots Bank, operating via Tollcross, Morningside and Fairmilehead hourly.
In total, 50 services will see a change and full detailed information will be made available to customers online through the Journey Planner and in leaflet form.
City transport convener Cllr Lesley Hinds said: “The start of Edinburgh Trams passenger services marks a very important milestone in our journey towards a fully integrated public transport system. Some of the service updates being introduced by Lothian Buses will help to integrate bus and tram.
“Edinburgh leads Scotland in having the largest number of people using public transport to travel to work. Our vision is to build on this even further so the city offers its residents and visitors a fully integrated, effective transport system, whatever mode of transport people choose.”