Passenger Rail

Operator chosen for SA on-demand trial

A pair of on-demand transport trials will go ahead in South Australia after the Marshall Government selected one of eight operators who applied in an open tender process.

Keolis Downer will operate on-demand transport trials in Mount Barker and the Barossa over a six-month period.

Commuters will be able to download an app and request a vehicle which will pick them up from their home, or within a proposed distance of 60 to 130 metres of their location.

It’s proposed both trials commence early next year, and run for a six month evaluation period.

Keolis Downer was one of eight applicants to run the trials, with state transport minister Stephan Knoll saying the operator offered the “most comprehensive proposal”.

“The Marshall Government is continuing to look at exciting and innovative ways to drive public transport growth,” Knoll said. “We want to provide a better and more convenient service to encourage South Australians to leave the car at home and hop on a bus, train or tram.

“We consistently receive feedback that South Australians want more frequent services which unfortunately cannot always be delivered due to limited resources. That’s why we are exploring ‘on-demand’ bus services, so passengers don’t have to wait for a bus service in these areas, they can call one when they need it.”

The trials will be funded with $1.7 million from the state government’s Future Mobility Lab fund.

“In its simplest terms, these ‘on-demand’ bus services will operate in a similar way to most ride sharing apps than millions of people use right across the country,” Knoll said. “If we can provide a better and more convenient service then more people will want to catch public transport – it’s as simple as that.”