Passenger Rail

Keolis Downer begins operating Adelaide train services

Keolis Downer

Keolis Downer is now operating Adelaide’s train network. The first services run by the new operator began on January 31.

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the government hoped the new operator would contribute to increasing patronage on public transport.

“This transition is all about ensuring that the people of South Australia are being provided the very best public transport network possible,” said Wingard.

One element of this will be increased security, with a doubling of the numbers of security guards on trains after 7pm.

“Keolis Downer has 110 customer-facing staff including security guards, Passenger Service Assistants and customer information officers in the control centre to help address the needs of passengers,” said Wingard.

Keolis Downer Adelaide managing director Robert Tatton-Jones said the company would be focusing on bringing a human face to operations.

“We want to make public transport the first choice for commuters by delivering world-class services and we will be out on the network on a regular basis, through our ‘Meet the Managers’ sessions to hear from our customers,” he said.

“Our Passenger Service Assistants will be actively engaging with passengers and will be equipped with smart devices enabling them to provide real-time information on the services.”

In addition to the staff that transitioned from the South Australian government to Keolis Downer, a number of new staff will be hired. Driver training will begin in February, said Wingard, and this will reduce the number of staff lent by the government to Keolis Downer to ensure continuity of service.

“Drivers will undertake 34-week-long programs starting in March meaning that progressively drivers made available to Keolis Downer for the transition will no longer be required and will be moved into roles elsewhere in government,” he said.

“More than 1,000 applications were received by Keolis Downer for train driver positions and in excess of 600 applicants for PSA roles. It is clear there’s plenty of people excited and eager to join the sector.”