Fri, 22/06/2018 - 05:18

A winning combination of rising customer numbers, 99 per cent reliability and industry-leading customer service has seen Edinburgh Trams exceed all financial expectations, recording a pre-tax operating profit of £1.6m.

Results published today (22 June) show revenue grew by 24 per cent in 2017, and the total number of customer journeys was up by 19 per cent to 6.6 million.

The figures reflect the growing popularity of the city’s tramway and massively exceed forecasts in the City Council’s original business model, which predicted a profit of £333,000 for 2017.

Lea Harrison, Edinburgh Trams’ Managing Director, commented:

“In 2016 we returned our first operating profit a year ahead of schedule and, in 2017, financial performance has continued to exceed expectations.

“The introduction of a new timetable at the start of the year played a major part in this success, with a 23 per cent increase in services encouraging more people to take the tram when visiting the city for business or pleasure.

“We’ve also worked hard to reduce journey times, with a trip between Edinburgh Airport and the city centre taking less than 35 minutes.

“Alongside these operational improvements we’ve continued our commitment to providing the best possible service to our customers, rolling out a series of successful initiatives. These include the introduction of a contactless payment system and running additional trams when the city hosts major events.

“This passenger-focussed approach has seen Edinburgh Trams named as Operator of the Year at the prestigious Global Light Rail Awards and receive numerous accolades for excellence in customer service.

“We’re delighted at the support we’ve received from the travelling public, which is reflected in these financial results, and we’ll continue our efforts to further improve the customer experience.”

George Lowder, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, added:

“These are fantastic results for the tram Operator and help demonstrate why the City’s tramway plays a vital part in Edinburgh’s integrated transport network.

“2018 is already showing sound performance and we look forward to a positive political decision at the end of the year around taking trams to Newhaven.”

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Chair of Transport for Edinburgh, said:

“Public transport is going from strength to strength in Edinburgh and today’s annual accounts from both Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses are evidence that residents, commuters and visitors continue to value the excellent services both operators provide.

“As a Council, we’re absolutely committed to promoting public transport, alongside walking and cycling, as a cost-effective, safe, convenient and reliable way to get from A to B in the city.

“We look forward to continuing our productive partnership and working relationship with both companies as we work to deliver a sustainable and truly integrated public transport system for Scotland’s Capital.”

To view our annual accounts, please click here.