New train contract putting passengers first

Passengers can expect better, safer and more frequent services on Adelaide trains from early in the new year with the Marshall Liberal Government announcing a highly experienced operator to run the city’s rail system.

Following a competitive tender process Keolis Downer Pty Ltd has signed on to operate the Adelaide Metropolitan Passenger Rail Network from the end of January 2021.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the new contract will improve services for all passengers, modernise the system and help to increase public transport patronage.

Some of these include:

  • Faster and more services upon completion of the electrification of the Gawler rail line.
  • More than 2,200 new services per year on the new Flinders Line when it opens in late 2020 offering weekend services for residents, students and workers in the southern suburbs.
  • An extended trial of high security zones on platforms that includes CCTV, improved lighting and the installation of “help phones” to create a safer environment for travellers.

“The Marshall Government was elected to deliver better services and that is why we’re investing in our public transport network – to deliver better and more frequent train services,” Minister Wingard said.

“We’re all about getting people from A to B faster so they can spend more time with their families and doing what they love. Public transport should be a convenience.

“Keolis Downer has an exceptional track record of running successful public transport systems across Australia and around the world.

“From Melbourne to the Gold Coast and Newcastle, Keolis Downer is heavily focused on customer service and ensuring the journey for rail users is simple, easy and efficient.

“It’s important to note the State Government still owns all the rail assets including tracks, trains and stations and will continue to have control of fare price, revenue and standards for service levels.

“The former Queensland Bligh and Victorian Brumby Governments both entered into contracts with Keolis Downer and both states have wonderful public transport systems.

“Keolis Downer will operate Adelaide’s train services for an initial eight year period under a performance-based $2.14 billion contract focused on delivering significant improvements to the customer experience.

“As part of the contract, Keolis Downer will implement a new customer experience strategy to enhance customer satisfaction.

“The new system will also lead to the digitisation of work practices for Passenger Service Assistants meaning less time spent in the office doing paperwork and more time out with customers to get a better understanding of their needs.

“The company already has a good reputation in South Australia with the former Labor Government outsourcing bus services in 2005 and 2011 to private providers including Keolis Downer,” Minister Wingard said.

Keolis Downer not only benefits from the rich capability of their existing operations in Australia but also their parent companies; Keolis which has heavy rail operation and maintenance experience internationally and Downer which has expertise in rail infrastructure and rolling stock maintenance and asset management both locally in South Australia and around the rest of the country.

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