Users of new tram line satisfied with the service

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Tram line 22, which connects Utrecht Central Station to the Science Park, has been very well received, according to two reports released by the province of Utrecht and a survey of its users. They gave it an outstanding average score: 8.1.

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Respondents were particularly pleased with the ease of boarding (9.2) and the cleanliness and comfort of the trams (8.7). According to the province of Utrecht, these good grades can be attributed to the underfloor heating, the air conditioning and the height of the tram, which is the same as the platform, making it easier for travelers to board. Users were also happy with how spacious the trams are.

As for how fast they go from Utrecht Central Station to the Uithof, users gave it an 8.3, which is a surprise considering the Utrecht City Council verified in September that the journey is taking two minutes longer than expected. In its first months, tram 22 departed on time 94% of the time.

Which brings us to the first improvement suggestion: respondents said they would like to be better informed about delays. With an average score of 8.1, tram line 22 is doing better than public transportation across the country and the U-OV bus, both evaluated at 7.8. Syntus Utrecht got a 7.9 and the trams connecting Utrecht to Nieuwegein and IJsselstein received a 7.7.

The survey also gave insights into the people using tram 22. Most of them used to make use of other public transportation lines, or use a bicycle or car to reach Utrecht Science Park. Still, 68% of those surveyed also use bus 12 to get to the Uithof.

Tram line’s success comes as no surprise
The success of the Uithoflijn comes as no surprise. Since its completion in December, many students have been enthusiastic about the new line. According to the spokesperson for the province of Utrecht, the good assessment may stem from travelers’ discontent about bus line 12: most good grades were given by respondents who used to travel with that line.

The survey was conducted before Coronavirus reached the Netherlands. Initially, the idea was to have the tram run sixteen times per hour in each direction, but it currently runs twelve trips per hour in each direction because the number of travelers has decreased. It is estimated that some 7,000 people now travel on tram 22 every day, which is about 60 percent of the number of users before the crisis.

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