More happy passengers on Midland Metro
The Midland Metro tram has seen the biggest rise in passenger satisfaction in the country, a key survey has found.
The study by Transport Focus – the independent public transport watchdog – revealed overall satisfaction with the service rose from 81% in 2015 to 92% last year, the largest of all the tram networks surveyed.
In a further boost to the Metro, passenger numbers on the line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton are at an all-time high – 7.89 million passengers took the tram between June 2016 and May 2017.
The Midland Metro is owned by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA lead member for transport, said:
“The survey and the patronage figures prove the Midland Metro is going from strength to strength and totally vindicate the investment we have made in the system.
“The Metro is key to the WMCA’s vision for strategic growth and regeneration in the West Midlands so we are absolutely delighted with these figures.”
Colin Saward, general manager of National Express Midland Metro which operates the system on behalf of TfWM, said:
"These are great results. The city centre extension has been a huge success.
“We also introduced contactless payment on the trams at the same time. A fifth of tickets sold on the trams are now bought using contactless cards and over two thirds of our customers tell us they like it because it's quicker.
"But we are not resting on our laurels. We are still improving journeys for our passengers and we are working with the manufacturer to make the trams even more reliable.”
In its report about the latest survey, Transport Focus said satisfaction levels of users in 2015 would have been influenced by the work to build the Birmingham city centre extension from Snow Hill station to New Street station.
“Overall journey satisfaction before the works began was 85%, which provides a better like-for-like comparison,” the report said.
“The increase from 85% (before the 2015 improvement works began) to 92% (in 2016) is still a significant increase in overall journey satisfaction.”