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Tram fares in Edinburgh rise before journeys begin

Car Hire Edinburgh Airport staff consider the price changes to be reasonable after fearing they could have been much higher. 

The tram system in Edinburgh has not even opened to the public, but the fares have already increased. The new list of prices reveal a return journey to Edinburgh Airport will be £8, an increase of 50p on the figures published last September.

It just adds to the issues to the scheme which is three years over its original completion date and has cost over £200 million extra than the previous estimate. Tram expert Professor Lewis Lesley felt the price increase would mean the network could stay viable. He said, “I would have thought the tram promoters will have done their arithmetic on the maximisation of revenue but given the amount the tramway has cost, there is no way this can be recovered from fares, so it’s just a matter of covering operating costs at this point. I’m sure they would have come to the conclusion that the tramway, being a smoother ride, would attract people who might otherwise go by taxi and therefore their competitor may not be the bus but the taxi.”

An Edinburgh Trams spokesperson said, “Previously published prices were draft only. The finalised fare structure has been set against revenue requirements in line with the business plan.”

There have been some other developments of the ticketing and Wi-Fi access on the trams. It revealed passengers will be able to scan a pre-paid card called ‘City smart’ for single journeys within the city fare zone. It is similar to the Oystercard system in London. Also not all the fleet of trams will be free Wi-Fi equipped, with only three potentially complete with it by the time the trams take passengers.