Millions of new passengers have used Edinburgh’s buses and trams since the launch of the integrated transport group, Transport for Edinburgh, 12 months ago.
Bus patronage is up three million on 2013, from 115.4 million to 118.4 million, and the new Edinburgh Trams service has already attracted nearly three million passengers. This means six million additional passenger journeys over 2013.
Ian Craig, Transport for Edinburgh Chief Executive, said: “The first year of Transport for Edinburgh has been quite remarkable. We’re seeing fantastic results which are the sum of all the efforts put in from right at the outset by people at Edinburgh Trams, Lothian Buses, the City of Edinburgh Council and by all of our partners.
“We’ve had to invest and be bold to get here but I make no apology for leading that – we’re in new territory. Establishing a new company and brand isn’t easy but our investment is paying off and what we’re seeing as a result is six million more people using public transport in 2014 over 2013.
“This is a huge shift which is of great benefit to Edinburgh’s environment and its economy. Transport for Edinburgh is the future and it benefits from the very best with Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams. I’m delighted to be leading it.”
Edinburgh Trams successfully tested and launched in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and contractors. The service, led by Director and General Manager Tom Norris, is currently running ahead of forecast patronage with operational reliability very strong for a new service.
The Lothian Buses network has been successfully recast to accommodate and integrate with tram leading to significant passenger growth.
Other Group innovations included the launch of citysmart, the integration of tram to the Ridacard system, the successful roll out of the TFE app, free WiFi across its services and hugely successful campaigns to promote the DAYticket, DAY&NIGHT ticket & Family DAYticket range. This was delivered with a ticket price freeze (altthough the Airlink price did go up).
In terms of vehicles, £15m was invested in 65 new low emission and ultra low emission buses that will significantly impact on improving the City’s air quality and lower carbon emissions. These vehicles are specifically targeted at high pollution zones.