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14.06.17

Trams now ‘benchmark for excellence’ for passenger satisfaction in rail

The tram network is setting the bar for passenger satisfaction across the UK rail industry according to consumer champion Transport Focus, which has found that people are very satisfied with the performance of light rail operators.

In its latest Tram Passenger Survey (TPS), Transport Focus found that passengers were very happy with their tram services, as 93% of people reported being satisfied overall.

The survey also found that the top factors that make for a decent journey are length of time waiting for the tram and punctuality of services.

Respondents also voiced the importance of interiors being clean and pleasant to make for a more enjoyable and comfortable journey.

“Tram travel is becoming a benchmark for excellence in transport success,” said David Sidebottom, director of Transport Focus, who regularly writes for RTM. “Their overall scores are well over the 90% mark. By comparison our latest bus survey is 87% and train survey 81%. “

Sidebottom also revealed that Edinburgh Tram in particular should be rightly proud of its 99% satisfaction score.

“But there are challenges which the tram operators should manage in future to maintain their high satisfaction scores,” the director added. “Expansion of the network in certain places causes some reduction in satisfaction, particularly if the subsequent disruption is not handled well. Once complete, satisfaction normally rises, but operators should not take this for granted.”

He also warned that tram operators needed to continue dealing with the challenges that come with expansion, such as handling a greater number of passengers using the network.

“The other challenge arises from these expansions. As we have seen on four networks (Manchester, Nottingham, West Midlands and Sheffield), they become more popular and then more congested,” he added.

“We have seen that the satisfaction rating on the amount of personal space has fallen since last year. If they don’t manage the demands of their success, satisfaction with services may fall and they could even lose passengers.”

Top Image: Hec Tate

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