The new Metrolink line to East Didsbury will open to passenger service on Thursday 23 May – several months ahead of schedule.
The 4.4km (2.7 miles) extension to the existing South Manchester line has five new stops, with services calling at Withington, Burton Road, West Didsbury, Didsbury Village and East Didsbury.
A 300-space park and ride facility – free to use for Metrolink passengers – will also be available at the East Didsbury stop.
The very first tram will leave the East Didsbury stop at 5.49am on Thursday and journeys from East Didsbury to the city will take less than half an hour.
Services will run every 12 minutes all day Monday to Saturday and between 9am and 6pm on Sundays and bank holidays (15 minutes at all other times).
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to announce the opening of this new line several months earlier than we expected.
“It’s something that I, personally, have been promoting for more than 30 years, but for it to be complete so far ahead of schedule is a wonderful achievement, and my thanks for that go to TfGM, our local authority partners and, of course, our contractor, MPT.
“I am particularly pleased that the last government committed funding for this project before the last general election. This ensured that the contract was signed before the spending axe fell.
“This new line is a great addition to our ever-growing Metrolink network and will give people a new and exciting way to experience all the vibrant things that South Manchester has to offer.”
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Environment for Manchester City Council, said: “Having a well-connected city where people can easily access employment, social and leisure opportunities is absolutely fundamental to Manchester’s future success.
“This new line is another important step towards delivering that vision and it will be great to see it up and running.”
Tickets between East Didsbury and Withington will cost £1.80 for a peak ‘anytime’ single and £2.60 for a peak ‘anytime’ return.
The same tickets from stops between East Didsbury and Withington to stops between St Werburgh’s Road and Firswood will cost £2.10 and £3.60 respectively. Journeys between neighbouring stops will start at £1.30 for a single.
Tickets from East Didsbury to all stops in Manchester city centre (up to and including Manchester Victoria) will cost £3.40 and £5.40 respectively, while an off-peak return will cost £3.80.
A range of weekly, four-weekly, quarterly and annual season tickets will offer even greater value.
The extension brings the total size of the Metrolink network to 73.4km (45.6 miles).
By the time new lines to Ashton (winter 2013/14), Oldham and Rochdale town centres (2014), and Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe (2016) are complete, the network will serve 92 stops and cover 95km (59 miles): more than three times the original 30km (18.5-mile) network that opened in 1992.
A further line – a second, 1.6km (1 mile) route through Manchester city centre, with an additional stop at Exchange Square – is also being progressed.