Full steam ahead to deliver better train services

The State Government will today release an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the operation of Adelaide Metro train services, to deliver better and more customer focussed services.

The EOI process will close on 26 November after which time a shortlist of applicants will be invited to bid for the tender which will be released in the first quarter of next year.

It is expected that Adelaide Metro train services will transfer to the new operator in 2021.

“The Marshall Government is building a better public transport network to provide more customer focussed services for South Australians,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.

“We know that the Adelaide Metro network could be performing better, and South Australians have been voting with their feet and opting not to use public transport in many instances.

“Adelaide has one of the lowest public transport patronage levels in the country, the worst level of integration and almost half of public transport users don’t think they are getting good value for money.

“That’s why we are building a better public transport network, to deliver better services so that more people use public transport.

“The Marshall Government wants to encourage more people to catch a train, tram or bus to work, school, home or wherever they may be going.

“We want to leverage the capability, innovation and expertise from private sector operators to improve the efficiency and quality of service.

“It makes sense to take advantage of the expertise and knowledge that these operators have obtained by doing this all over the world so that we can deliver better services for South Australians

“Despite the baseless fear campaign being run by the Labor Party, the State Government will still own and control the assets, control fare prices and set service level requirements.

“The Marshall Government has already guaranteed maintaining the same service frequency levels and standards and expect an increase in service levels.

“It also means train and tram services will operate under the same arrangement as around 70 per cent of the current public transport network which is provided by outsourced bus services contracted by the former Labor government.

“The Marshall Government is also making significant investments in public transport infrastructure as we continue the $615 million Gawler electrification project, the $125 million Flinders Link project and build new Park ‘n’ Rides along the O-Bahn.”


The focus of the procurement process will be to deliver better and more customer-focussed services that will grow patronage and enable:

  • A strong customer voice with high levels of customer satisfaction;
  • Improved integration of train services with other public transport modes;
  • More frequent and faster services;
  • Greater collaboration with customers and stakeholders; and
  • Innovative and accessible service delivery (responsive to changes in the social and technological environment and accessible to the mobility challenged).

The Adelaide Metro rail network operates across four major lines: Belair (21.5km), Gawler (42.2km), Outer Harbor (21.9km) and Seaford (36.0km) with spur lines on Grange (5.5km) and Tonsley (currently 3.9km).

Under this model, the State Government will retain control of services and will:

  • Retain ownership of rail assets, including trains, trams, tracks and stations;
  • Set requirements for levels of services;
  • Continue to set the far price for travel on trains;
  • Retain the revenue; and
  • Enter into a performance-based franchise contract that keeps the operator focussed firmly on the efficiency and quality of service deliver to customers.

The State Government is committed to working collaboratively with employees who will be impacted by the change in delivery model. Employees and employee associations will be consulted in relation to proposed changes which will impact on employees as the project progresses.

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