Edinburgh Trams has hit back after the Scottish Conservatives published data suggesting that the £776m network was running at an average of 25% capacity.
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the city’s controversial tram network carried 5.3 million passengers in 2015 compared with a maximum capacity of just over 21 million, yet this was a significant increase from 2.9 million in 2014.
Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs said: ‘
However, Edinburgh Trams pointed out that two-thirds of the capacity on a tram is standing, which means that usage levels based on seating capacity were around 80%.
The company also pointed out that figures are based on 2015 patronage, and suggested that 2016 was likely to show a significant increase.
A spokesperson said: ‘It’s disappointing that the Conservatives have issued a figure that misrepresents both the success of the trams to date and how public transport in general operates.
‘We’ve already had to introduce extra services at peak times and there will be good news early in the new year on further service improvements. 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 company announced this week that it is boosting service frequencies ‘in response to growing demand from customers’ and following a successful trial when extra trams were introduced during peak periods.