When the trams come, bus routes will be cut

This is in part true! And so what…?

In basic terms, on many routes (not all), there is no point running trams AND buses to the same frequencies as today.

For example, the number 22. Its route roughly mirrors that of tram line 1. Given that the vast majority of passenger journeys are within the city centre (for example Leith to Princes Street) what is the point of having number 22s every 2 minutes when most people will be catching the tram?

But there will still be number 22 buses, they will just be less often (let’s not forget there will be fewer tram stops than bus stops).

The same applies to many other buses as well.

The trams and the buses will be run by the same company. They will assess demand as and when the trams start running. Routes will be adjusted according to demand. This should cut congestion on streets like Princes Street and free up buses to run on other routes. There will be much more flexibility to re-route buses linking in to tram stops as people’s travel habits change.

At the moment, we have a very radial bus system with most routes going towards the city centre. Travel habits will change. People will begin catching a bus to the nearest tram stop and go into town that way. This will in many cases still end up being faster than making the same journey entirely by bus, even if on the map it looks more direct.

This is backed up by evidence of people’s travel habits in other cities with mass transit systems. Look at London and the Underground – people get on at their nearest Tube and change lines to carry on their journey. Nobody refuses to use the Tube because there is no line direct to where they want to go. Instead, all the lines are integrated and changing is easy. Trams and buses can integrate just as easily.

Bus and tram interchange – hop from one to the other.


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