Edinburgh Trams uses Omnibus to forecast future costs

Edinburgh Trams is an award-winning operator with a fleet of 27 trams and annual ridership of 7.5 million.

Employing over 200 people across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, the light rail operator runs 2,000 services every week, connecting Edinburgh Airport to the heart of the city in under 35 minutes.

The operator partnered with Omnibus as the tram line continues to extend across the city.

Edinburgh Trams crew duties solution

The latest development, Trams to Newhaven Project, is a continuation of the existing tramway network and will add 2.91 miles of track in both directions, connecting Leith and Newhaven to the current end of the line at York Place with eight new stops by 2023.


Edinburgh Trams required a tool to produce the most efficient crew duties, model scenarios and operating patterns to forecast and budget for future operational costs. The solution had to meet the local labour agreements and be workable on the ground. Therefore, any scheduling solution had to enable the following timetable changes:

  • Facilitate the closure of York Place tram stop (the current terminus)
  • Accommodate the phased opening of the extension
  • Accommodate test running over the extension (or parts)
  • Manage the extension to the tram line
  • Adjust running times as they become better established after opening the extension


CrewPLAN is Omnibus’ next-generation automatic crew scheduling tool. It uses advanced algorithms to find the best possible solution within the parameters defined by the user. It is used throughout the passenger transport industry to quickly model multiple scenarios as well as forecast and budget for future operational costs.

“Omnibus has been key for developing a sustainable transport strategy which includes the Trams to Newhaven project. CrewPLAN will provide us with the level of control and accuracy we need to ensure optimised shift patterns. It offers tools for medium-term and long-term crew scheduling based on our organisation’s legal frameworks and guidelines” – Sarah Singh, Operations Manager, Edinburgh Trams


Edinburgh Trams has a flexible and user-friendly solution designed by schedulers who understand the UK passenger transport industry. Since adopting CrewPLAN, the operator has succeeded in:

  • Establishing costs for current and future operational needs
  • Building workable crew duties using different scenarios
  • Saving time in generating multiple rosters
  • Providing time-sensitive reports for critical decisions
  • Optimising crew schedules ensuring an efficient and reliable service

Edinburgh Trams “work collaboratively with colleagues as much as possible on any project” and positive feedback from their Scheduling Manager was “absolutely important” when choosing the Omnibus solution.