More spaces for passengers
Trams now running every five minutes in rush hour
The move follows a trial run this month confirming there would be no impact on traffic flows.
Trams will now run every five minutes rather than current eight to ten minutes from 7.30am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
The change will add three return journeys during the morning and evening rush hours and allow for up to 1,500 more passengers to be carried.
Lea Harrison, general manager, said: “The trams have proved very popular since they were introduced, with passenger numbers increasing all the time.
“Although this is a modest increase in our capacity on the line it is still an important step in increasing the frequency of the service and providing more capacity during peak times so we can help even more people travel along the route.”
George Lowder, chief executive of Transport for Edinburgh, said: “A lot of work has gone into making sure the new journeys would integrate seamlessly with other traffic and I appreciate the efforts that all the staff at Edinburgh Trams and City of Edinburgh Council have put into this.
“We will maintain our focus on improving the service on the existing line for the benefit of commuters, residents and visitors alike.”
Councillor Lesley Hinds, chairman of Transport for Edinburgh and transport convener for the City Council, added: “Coming on the back of a strong passenger and financial performance, this is more welcome news for the trams.
“The increased demand and our ability to boost capacity so that even more people can travel by tram at the busiest times of the working day are both positive signs for the service.
“I know the Edinburgh Trams team will continue to look for new ways to further improve their offering and help us make public transport an even more attractive option for people living, working, visiting or spending time in the capital.”
There were 5.38 million passengers on Edinburgh Trams in its second 12 months of operation, a 9.3% increase on the year following launch, when 4.92 million passengers were carried, and around 340,000 ahead of the target for the period. The service also has a 97% customer satisfaction rating from a major independent survey of tram services across the UK.
There is a fleet of 27 trams and 130 staff. The line is just over 8 miles long with 15 stops (16 once the Edinburgh Gateway is complete) and a journey from the airport to the city centre takes approximately 35 minutes.