Customer service survey to gauge progress on Adelaide transport network

The South Australian government has announced the launch of the Adelaide Metro Customer Satisfaction Survey to understand how passengers perceive public transport services in Adelaide.

The twice-yearly survey will cover trains and tram services, as well as buses and metrics will include behaviour of staff, cleanliness, availability and accuracy of information, and driving behaviours.

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December opening date set for Flinders Line extension

Teams are closing in on the completion date for the new Flinders Line in Adelaide.

An extension of the existing Tonsley Line, the re-named line will connect the Adelaide train network to the Flinders health and education precinct when it opens in early December.

Once open, the new line will increase services along the line, with an added 12,000 trips to the new timetable and weekend services from December 26. Tonsley Line services previously only ran Monday-Friday.

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the project will enable more people to use public transport.

“This extension of the railway line to Flinders health and education precincts will create new connections for not only the residents who live in the area, but all those who work or study at the university and hospitals,” said Wingard.

Services on the current line will be suspended for two weeks from the last service on Friday, November 20, to allow for testing and driver training before the extension opens.

“The closure is critical to ensure the new track is tested and our train drivers are familiar with the line before it opens,” said Wingard.

Local federal member Nicolle Flint said the new line would be a catalyst for further development in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

“The extended train line will help local residents get to and from the city, and also help people get to Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University safely and easily without the pressure of finding a car park,” Flint said.

“The Flinders Link rail line will also help the University unlock investment for their $1.5 billion Flinders Village redevelopment, as well as linking their main campus at Bedford Park to the new Tonsley Innovation Precinct.”

The joint federal-state funded $141 million extension project has involved an elevated track over Sturt Road, Laffers Triangle and Main South Road, two new stations at Flinders and Tonsley, and a shared pedestrian/cycle path adjacent to the rail line.

Tonsley station will replace Clovelly Park station, which will be closed.

Flinders Link

Tracklaying in progress on Flinders Link

Three kilometres of new track will be laid on the Flinders Link project this week.

The project will extend the Tonsley Line by 650 metres to the Flinders Medical Centre in southern Adelaide. The new line will be a single track and include two new stations, Flinders and Tonsley railway stations.

1,000 new concrete sleepers will be added between Alawoona Avenue, Tonsley and the new Flinders station.

Construction also involves elevated track over Sturt Road, Laffers Triangle and Main South Road.

Alongside the line is a shared pedestrian and cycle path.

Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the new rail line will help grow these suburbs.

“It will open up and reshape this entire area of Adelaide, for students, for health workers, for thousands of people,” he said.

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the project will connect key institutions.

“Once complete, this rail link will better connect residents in the southern suburbs with important services including the Flinders Hospital and Flinders University.”

55 jobs per year over the course of the project are expected to be created. Passenger services are planned to begin by the end of 2020.

Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the rail line would enable investment.

“The Flinders Link Rail line will also help the University unlock investment for their $1.5 billion Flinders Village redevelopment, as well as linking their main campus at Bedford Park to the new Tonsley Innovation Precinct.”

States must honour national border protocol say ALC, ARA

Inconsistency in the application of border controls for freight movements are creating delays and confusion for rail freight operators.

After the national cabinet endorsed a national protocol for freight movement over closed borders on July 24, which recommended that government agencies should consult with industry in relation to border controls, changes have occurred without consultation, said Australian Logistics Council (ALC) CEO Kirk Coningham.

“The lack of consultation directly contravenes the national protocol that all state and territories agreed to.”

Coningham said that a lack of consistency was creating confusion.

“It is especially concerning that some jurisdictions have now mandated negative COVID-19 test results for drivers coming from Victoria, yet Victorian authorities are explicitly discouraging anyone who is asymptomatic from obtaining a COVID-19 test,” he said.

“This leaves freight vehicle drivers travelling interstate from Victoria in an impossible position of being unable to comply with the requirements of one government because of the instructions given by another.”

Currently, South Australia is requiring those providing commercial transport and freight services who travel from Victoria to have a COVID-19 test within the last seven days of crossing the border.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Caroline Wilkie said that consistency was vital to enable the efficient operation of supply chains.

“Delays at the border or differing approaches across the country frustrate those efforts at a time when we rely on our rail freight network more than ever.”

The national protocol sets out that COVID-19 tests should be made available to rail crew, and that routine testing should be required for those planning on entering or leaving hot spots. States and territories should also provide pop-up testing facilities that do not add undue time to the journey.

Wilkie said that delays at the border can have a significant impact on freight operations.

“It is essential state and territory border restrictions account for the vitally important role of the rail freight sector and make sure operators have consistent protocols to follow as they travel across the country.”