The Edinburgh Trams passenger service will begin on 31st May 2014. The confirmation of the May 'go live' date comes as Edinburgh Trams approach the final stages of a period of rigorous testing, commissioning and driver training in preparation for the return of trams to Scotland's Capital.
Ian Craig, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, said:
"Everyone at Transport for Edinburgh is primed for this hugely important launch for the city. We've recruited and trained a top team at Edinburgh Trams and I'm delighted with the high levels of performance and enthusiasm from everyone involved in the months leading up to today.
"With four weeks to go, the systems are in place, our training and testing is nearly complete and the final countdown is on.
"We're delighted to be the operator of Edinburgh Trams and, through full integration with Lothian Buses, we're looking forward to delivering a transport system of the highest quality for Edinburgh."
Transport Convener Cllr Lesley Hinds said:
"We are very pleased to be able to confirm today that passenger services on Edinburgh Trams will begin running from 5am on Saturday 31 May 2014 - we're ready to roll.
"The trams have already become a familiar sight in Edinburgh's city centre as the comprehensive testing and training programme has progressed. This period has been invaluable for tram drivers and their fellow road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, as everyone gets used to interacting with the trams.
"I've been contacted by a great many residents eager to know when they'll be able to start using the trams and I'm sure that now that the official start date is known, we'll see that anticipation build further.
"Over the coming weeks in the run-up to 31 May, Edinburgh Trams will be releasing full timetable and ticket details, as well as holding helpful 'roadshow' events at tram stops to help residents and visitors become accustomed to using the trams, for example how to validate their ticket.
"In the meantime, Edinburgh Trams will ensure all staff complete any outstanding training requirements."
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
"Now that we have a confirmed date for the first passenger service it's time to look forward with confidence and for the trams to give something back to Edinburgh.
"There has been much excitement and interest generated by the driver testing phase and the response on social media alone suggests that residents and local businesses are warming to the trams. Visitors to the Capital will soon reap the rewards of a fully operational tram system, revamped Haymarket Station and redeveloped Waverley Station.
"When the revised delivery date was announced back in September the target was to have the infrastructure contract completed and handed over to the operator by March. Transport Scotland has helped deliver that and played a pivotal role in supporting City of Edinburgh Council and contractors to get the tram project back on track.”