Transport for Greater Manchester: Metrolink

Agency: Hemisphere
Client: Transport for Greater Manchester
Brand: Metrolink
Category: Service Design

Executive summary

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is expanding the reach of its Metrolink tram system exponentially. A £1.4 billion investment programme, started in 2009, will double the size of the network by 2016, with an accompanying increase in revenues of 130% required to meet capital investment repayments.

However, when the first new tram line to Chorlton opened in 2011, sales levels were more than 30% behind budget, indicating a mismatch between service delivery and public expectations. Hemisphere was asked to investigate this gap and recommend any service interventions that could help improve sales performance.

The changes that have been devised and implemented to Metrolink's sales policies, marketing approach and user interfaces have resulted in significant uplifts in sales, with recent line openings exceeding budget targets and major increases in the purchase of loyalty products that provide added value to users. In addition, the resulting shifts in passenger buying habits demonstrate that better value products can be made more accessible for customers via simplified sales channels without resulting in reduced revenues.

  • Sales of Weekly Travelcards are running at an average of 155% increase on the previous year
  • Revenues from sales of Day Travelcards have risen by 85%
  • The opening of the new line to Oldham in July 2012 delivered sales at 35% over budget in the first month and has achieved a 43% increase over budget in the first year