Transport User Voice – Trams become the benchmark for happy passengers

30 June 2017

The latest Tram Passenger Survey shows that passengers rate their trams highly with an overall satisfaction score of 93 per cent.

Results published in our fourth Tram Passenger Survey have seen remarkable levels of passenger satisfaction with the six operators in Blackpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield.

By comparison with other modes in our latest bus survey 87 per cent of passengers were satisfied and 81 per cent of passengers were satisfied in the National Rail Passenger Survey. Edinburgh Tram, in particular, has become the benchmark for excellence with its 99 per cent satisfaction score.

Whether tram passengers are commuting, travelling for leisure or business, overall passenger satisfaction is driven by local operators placing their passengers consistently at the centre of the service. On each major measure in our survey – value for money, the helpfulness of staff, overall satisfaction with the stop, punctuality and cleanliness of the tram – passengers are offered a service that they value to be frequent, punctual and reliable and also feel personally safe to travel on.

The report highlights some of the challenges tram operators have faced some. Network expansion has caused some reduction in passenger satisfaction in certain places, particularly if any subsequent disruption is not handled well. Levels generally rise again when the work is complete.

The rising number of passenger journeys in the last four years, by more than 35 per cent, has also resulted in more congestion. Manchester, Nottingham, West Midlands and Sheffield have seen satisfaction ratings on the amount of personal space fall since the previous year. Tram operators must manage the demands of their remarkable success well, otherwise, declining services and scores could even see operators lose passengers.
The survey provides important feedback for the operators by pinpointing where they can improve the passenger experience. In Edinburgh, for example, the survey showed passengers were not very satisfied with the frequency of the service, so Edinburgh Trams increased the frequency.

You can view the latest Autumn 2016 results, including the webinar launch presentation here.

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