Fares for AIRLINK, Lothian Buses’ service between Edinburgh city centre and Edinburgh Airport, are to increase for the first time in five years.
From Sunday 5 January 2014, an adult single ticket will increase by 50p from £3.50 to £4 and a return fare will be £7 rather than £6. Child fares are unaffected, having stayed the same since 1996, and RIDACARD users can still travel for free.
Lothian Buses defend the increase by pointing out that the rise is well below the rate of inflation, with AIRLINK fares having gone up by only 1.7% over the last 20 year period.
The AIRLINK 100 express bus service operates a shuttle service between Edinburgh Airport and Waverley Bridge with designated stops en route. The fleet consists of fourteen specially branded low floor vehicles, with every vehicle having been replaced within the last three years at a cost of £3.5m. Well known for both its comfort and convenience, AIRLINK now has faster 4G Wi-Fi technology installed on all its buses, following a successful trial.
Chief Executive Ian Craig said: “We always try to keep prices as low as possible for our customers but we also have cost challenges to deal with, such as fuel and investing in new vehicles. Over the years, prices have gone up by a tiny fraction over a long period and we still think AIRLINK provides excellent value as well a very high quality service.
“Together, the integrated bus and tram service, once operating next year, will mean it’s easier than ever for people travelling to and from the airport to connect with the city centre and other locations.”
The tram which will begin service by May this year will run from Edinburgh Airport to York Place.
The bus day ticket price will remain at £3.50 but will now include tram journeys too. For £8, passengers will be able to get on the tram at the airport and travel on trams and buses all day.
A standard return ticket to the airport will be £7.50 (£4 child fare) and drivers will be able to take the tram from Ingliston Park & Ride for £2.50 with a £1.50 child fare.
Day tickets will be usable across both tram and bus and Ridacards will be valid throughout the entire route.