South Australian Transport Minister Stephan Knoll has refused to rule out privatisation of the state’s train and tram network.
The South Australian Government intends to deliver a more “customer-centric public transport system” to address declining patronage across the state.
Buses in South Australia are already franchised, becoming privatised in 2000 following the launch of Adelaide Metro. South Australia is currently the only remaining Australian state with a publicly-operated tram network.
Minister Knoll told radio station FIVEaa Breakfast host Will Goodings this morning that it was too early to leave any options for improving transport off the table.
“It is fair to say we want to maintain control over what’s going on,” Knoll told Goodings in an interview.
“There is a very large social equity component to the public transport service and that has to be maintained but at this stage to play a ‘rule in, rule out’ game is a bit disingenuous.”
The South Australian Marshall Government is currently undergoing review of the state’s public transport system. Premier Marshall has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the state’s public transport use, particularly in Adelaide.
He stated last month that the state capital needed a “more integrated public transport system capable of providing faster journeys for customers.
“At around eight per cent, Adelaide has one of the lowest rates of public transport usage in the country and the highest percentage of people who choose to drive to work of any capital city,” Marshall explained in April.
“We also have the worst level of integration between the different modes of public transport – our bus, train and tram services don’t sync up and operate as efficiently as they should.”