The South Australian Liberal Government has officially announced plans to privatise the state’s train and tram networks.
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said that the new model would help to provide more efficient and customer-focused services for commuters.
The transition will follow the model already employed by South Australia’s outsourced bus services, which were privatised in the year 2000.
“There is no doubt that we can and must provide better and more customer-focussed public transport services for South Australians,” said Knoll.
“We know that public transport patronage growth has stalled, and customers want a better level of service than is currently provided – and the Marshall Government agrees with our customers.
“Under this model, we will be able to deliver more efficient services, so we can reinvest back into the network to provide better services.”
The state government will continue to own the network’s assets, control fares and set service level requirements following transition to the new private system.
The Adelaide Metro has one of the lowest levels of patronage of any metro system in Australia, with roughly half of users believing they don’t get good value for money from the service, according to the government. South Australia is also the only remaining state in Australia that does not outsource its tram and train services.
Knoll cited the Melbourne Metro as a positive example of how outsourcing tram operation can deliver “sustained, improved efficiency” for its users.
“If we are going to provide better and more customer focussed public transport services, we need to keep pace with the rest of the nation and benefit from their learnings,” he said.