Edinburgh Trams hits back over criticism for ‘running empty’ services


EDINBURGH Trams has come under fire after it released figures showing the trams run only 25% full on average.

Its services have the capacity for 21 million passengers each year, but only 5.3 million were carried in 2015, the latest year for which numbers have been released.

The tram firm has hit back, however, stating that based on seating capacity, usage levels are more like 80%. This is because the trams are designed to have two-thirds of their capacity as standing.

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It also says that the 2015 figures were double those for 2014, and the company expects the numbers for 2016 to show
‘a significant increase’.

A spokesperson said: “Although a relatively recent form of transport for the city, the tram continues to go from strength to strength and is clearly proving its value for the people and economy of Edinburgh.”

The city is currently looking at expanding the network, and has also recently introduced extra services at peak times as some trams were running 100% full.

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■ The free tram trial offered for the city’s Hogmanay celebrations in the early hours of January 1 has been judged a success. Between midnight and 05.00 more than 5,000 people used the service, and extra trams were brought out to cope with demand. General manager Lea Harrison said: “Both the airport and park and ride were busy destinations after midnight and, right across the network, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of people taking a tram to get around.”

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