Edinburgh councillors are adamant that the city’s new tram network will turn a £5 million profit over its first 15 years in operation.
The authority has said that it expects the tram to run with a £48 million operating surplus in that period.
Breaking down the figures, the City of Edinburgh Council said that the £87 million maintenance costs would be paid for by the predicted operating surplus, a £30 million dividend paid by Lothian Buses, a £3 million dividend from tram operation and £11 million from other sources.
Council papers suggest that this £11 million could be found “if the sinking fund payments are allowable as deductions from income for Corporation tax purposes”.
Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said: “These figures are provisional but they stack up and, all things considered, Edinburgh’s new transport company is predicted to deliver a surplus. Even on its own, the tram is predicted to deliver an operating surplus.
“The tram and bus service will be fully integrated, with tickets, timetabling and everything else being delivered through one system – this is the same for the finances. Under one company both services need to operate together.
“Whilst this business model and all predictions have been and continue to be verified externally, it’s important to remember that they are still predictions. The council will bear the financial risk, so I’m determined that numbers are closely and continuously scrutinised as we move towards service.”