Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has praised the South Australian Government’s decision to franchise train and tram services in Adelaide.
The policy-focused think tank has “consistently recommended” bus and train services be franchised, according to chief executive Adrian Dwyer.
“Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Infrastructure Australia, and many others have consistently recommended that state and territory governments pursue the franchising of their bus and train services and its good to see that SA has listened,” he said.
South Australia is the only remaining state or territory in Australia to maintain a publicly-funded metro system. The state’s bus system was first privatised in the year 2000, and is set to be re-tendered under the incumbent Marshall Government.
SA Minister for Transport Stephan Knoll stated that SA needed to “keep pace with the rest of the nation” in order to deliver a more customer-focussed public transport solution for Adelaide, which is subject to some of the lowest levels of patronage in Australia.
Dwyer stressed that the SA Government’s decision to franchise the metro was different to privatising it, and that it was unhelpful to conflate the two.
“Customers don’t care about who operates their bus or tram, they care that it’s clean and on time,” he said.
“Train and tram customers right around the country are already enjoying the benefits of having the best private providers operating their service and South Australian customers should too.”