Three years late and hundreds of millions of pounds over budget, Edinburgh's £776 million trams were opened to fare-paying passengers yesterday.
In spite of some "teething problems", Tom Norris, Director & GM of Transport for Edinburgh, the Edinburgh City Council controlled operator of Edinburgh Trams called the opening "an extraordinary day".
Today, Edinburgh Trams tweeted that over 21,000 people rode the tram on its first day of operations yesterday.
A stadium sized amount of people came out to try the tram yesterday - in excess of 21,000. Early days we know but pleased with enthusiasm.
— Edinburgh Trams (@EdinburghTrams) June 1, 2014
Writing on the Edinburgh Trams website, Norris said that the biggest problem on the first day was dealing with the surge of humanity wanting to try out Edinburgh's long-awaited trams.
It was never going to be completely plain sailing and we took measures early on in the day to keep things moving as smoothly as possible. We recognise that some passengers had longer waits than will normally be the case but this was mainly because of the huge popularity of the new service and because we're bedding things in.
My team pulled out all the stops under pressure and did a fantastic job - there's not much more I could ask for and I'd like to thank them for their massive effort today.
I'm pleased with how the team handled things behind the scenes, on the trams and on the streets. There was a point today when demand for tickets reached extremely high levels and this meant we could not sell tickets fast enough. A teething issue with two ticket machines compounded things.
So we sent in reinforcements in the form of three extra trams and 25 staff with handheld ticket machines to get people through quicker and onto trams and away. This worked well and it was a great opportunity for the team to interact with our passengers and experience high demand first hand.
— Vino Stockbridge (@VinoStockbridge) May 31, 2014
Catch a tram
The trams run each day from 5am from the Gyle, 6.15am from Edinburgh Airport, and 5.29am from York Place near St Andrew Square. The last trams going all the way into town from Edinburgh Airport run from 10.45pm and the last end-to-end trams running from York Place are at 11pm.
Before 7am and after 6.30pm the trams run every 10 minutes. Between 7am and 6.30pm the trams run every 8 to 10 minutes.
The Standard Fare on the tram is £10. However, you can buy pre-purchase tickets at lower prices.
£1.50 for City Zone travel (all stops excluding Edinburgh Airport)
£5.00 for Airport Zone travel (all stops)
Child aged 5-15:
£0.70 for City Zone travel (all stops excluding Edinburgh Airport)
£2.50 for Airport Zone travel (all stops)
Best for infrequent users.
You can purchase Single Tickets only from the ticket vending machines available at all tram stops.
Return (Roundtrip) Ticket
Travel in the Airport Zone (between Edinburgh Airport and all stops to York Place) £8.00.
Child aged 5-15:
Travel in the Airport Zone (between Edinburgh Airport and all stops to York Place) £4.00
You can purchase Return Tickets from the ticket vending machines available at all tram stops. The outward journey must be on the day of purchase, however the return journey is open, and can be taken when needed.
DAYticket - City Zone
Child aged 5-15: £2.00
Unlimited travel on Edinburgh Trams (all stops excluding Edinburgh Airport) and Lothian Buses day services for one day.
DAYticket - Airport Zone
Child aged 5-15: £4.50
Unlimited travel on Edinburgh Trams (all stops) and Lothian Buses day services for one day.
Perfect if you plan to make more than two journeys by tram and/or bus in a day.
All-day travel for up to 2 adults and up to 3 children.
Family DAYticket allows up to 2 adults and up to 3 children unlimited travel together on Edinburgh Trams (City Zone only) and on Lothian Buses day services, all day, for only £7.50.