New survey: Tampere Tramway is extremely popular – over 80% of Tampere residents have a positive attitude towards the tramway

Tampere Tramway Ltd has surveyed the opinions and attitudes of Tampere residents regarding the tramway in a consumer study. The survey was carried out for the fifth time, and it revealed that 81% of people have a positive attitude towards the tramway. This number has increased by as much as 9% since last autumn.

Tampereen Ratikka Hämeensillalla
Photo: Pasi Tiitola/Tampere Tramway Ltd.

Tramway popularity has increased each year

The Tampere Tramway consumer study carried out by IROResearch has been performed annually since 2017, when construction work began on the tramway. At that time, 56% of respondents reported a very or somewhat positive attitude towards the tramway. The last consumer survey was performed in autumn 2020, and the corresponding figure was 72% at that time. According to the latest survey carried out in October, 81% of respondents currently have a very or somewhat positive attitude towards Tampere Tramway. That is 9% more than one year ago. The number of people with a very positive attitude towards Tampere Tramway has increased by an amazing 18% in comparison to the 2020 study – and they now account for 57% of respondents. Only 7% of respondents felt negative about the tramway, which is 7% less than one year ago. In 2017, they accounted for 23% of respondents.

The start of operation in August represented a turning point for Tampere Tramway. The genuine joy and enthusiasm that people feel for the tramway has been clearly visible, but we still didn’t expect such a wonderful consumer survey result. We’re really happy to see that the tramway has won the hearts of so many people during construction, and especially after the start of operation. This is the best possible feedback that Tampere residents could give us for the hard work we’ve done in this project, says Pekka Sirviö, CEO of Tampere Tramway Ltd.

The most common reason for a positive attitude towards the tramway are the fact that the tram is easy to use, environmentally friendly, and it makes traffic smoother in the city centre. The tramway is also considered a necessity in terms of Tampere’s development and people believe that it increases property values.

Based on the survey results, the tramway is a lot more than a mode of public transport for Tampere residents: in addition to making it easier for people to move around, it is increasingly perceived as a benefit to the City of Tampere as well. People believe the tramway makes Tampere a nicer place to live and increases the attractiveness of their residential area. A growing number of people consider the tramway to be a sensible way to use tax income and would like to see it extended to neighbouring municipalities, continues Sirviö.

The tramway meets the expectations of Tampere residents

According to the survey, Tampere Tramway and travelling on it meet passenger expectations well or very well. Travelling on the tramway is considered easy (98%) and people feel that purchasing tickets is simple (85%). The tramway is also considered accessible (95%), practical and spacious (92%), safe (91%) and pleasant (89%). The survey indicates that Tampere Tramway is perceived as standing out from other tram cars in a positive way (65%).

Based on the survey, Tampere residents clearly use the tramway mostly for commuting to work (71%), and for trips from home to the city centre (39%). Last year, Tampere residents were asked to estimate what type of trips they would use the tramway for in the future. At this time, people are using the tramway for commuting to work 7% more than the estimates made last year. The tramway is also used on a daily basis for errands and leisure-time trips (34%) and short trips within the city centre (24%). A total of 15% of respondents use the tramway to get to school.

According to the survey, three-quarters of Tampere residents have already travelled on the tramway even though it has only been in operation for four months. The coronavirus is still affecting how people move around, and it will be interesting to see what normal tramway use is like. Steadily growing passenger numbers and the fact that the survey shows that travelling on a tram car increases Tampere residents’ positive attitude towards the tramway project are good signs, says Sirviö.

Successful tramway communications

The Tampere Tramway consumer survey also examines how Tampere residents feel they have received information about matters related to the tramway. A clear majority of the respondents (79%) state that they have received enough information about the tramway. This number has increased by 9% since last year. In total, 57% of respondents feel that they don’t need any more information about the tramway. The corresponding figure for last year and the previous year was 42%. Individual topics that people would like more information about in the future included the timetables during exceptional situations and disturbances, impacts on the economy and traffic jams as well as the traffic rules for vehicle drivers.

It’s natural for people’s need for information to decrease after the start of operation as the tramway becomes a part of daily life. However, based on the survey, I think we can say that our project has been very successful with regard to communication about construction and commissioning. The requests revealed by the survey are part of communications routines for Tampere Tramway operators. We will continue to serve Tampere residents as well as possible in terms of communications, explains Sirviö.

Respondents hope to see tramway extensions

Another traditional part of the Tampere Tramway consumer survey involves examining the wishes of city residents concerning the tramway. Last year, the most common requests and expectations that city residents had for the tramway included a joint ticket for the bus and tram, completion on schedule, cars that are easy to get on and off, accessibility and low-floor cars, and well as low emissions and quiet cars. Timetables and transfer connections were also considered important. This year’s requests focused on regional extensions of the tramway, smooth traffic during all seasons, well-functioning feeder traffic, and ease of use.

We’ve been able to fulfil the wishes of Tampere residents in recent years. For many people, it’s probably particularly important that the various parts of our project was completed on or ahead of schedule and also remained on budget. The fact that we fulfilled the wishes of city residents can now be seen in these great consumer survey results. All the tramway actors are working together to ensure that we make those wishes come true in the future as well. We will also focus on developing the tramway experience in cooperation with users: the survey showed that 88% of respondents consider this to be very or quite important, promises Sirviö.

About the consumer survey

The Tampere Tramway consumer survey was carried out by IROResearch Oy in October 2021, and it was commissioned by Tampere Tramway Ltd. The goal was to survey the opinions and attitudes of Tampere residents regarding the tramway. The results are utilised to develop Tampere Tramway and in its communications and marketing.

The target group was Tampere residents aged 15-75. The sample size was 500 respondents and they were quota sampled for place of residence (tramway max. 800 m / rest of Tampere), gender and age group.

The data was collected by means of computer-aided telephone interviews on 13-21 October 2021 at IROResearch Oy’s own telephone interview centre. A sufficient sample of persons who belong to the target group was purchased from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency for data collection purposes. In order to target the register picking, the survey commissioner provided IRO with a “tramway max. 800 m” list of streets.
The survey is a follow-up study that corresponds to the surveys performed in spring 2019 and autumn 2020. The first Tampere Tramway consumer survey was performed in 2017.

Further information:

Pekka Sirviö
CEO Tampere Tramway Ltd
Tel. +358 (0)40 334 5798

Sylva Vahtera
Account Director
IROResearch Oy
Tel: +358 (0)400 964 439