The government says Adelaide Metro is underperforming compared with most other public transport networks in Australia and has one of the lowest comparable patronage rates and the worst level of integration.

Under the outsourcing model the government will:

  • enter into a performance-based franchise contract that keeps the operator focussed firmly on the efficiency and quality of service delivery
  • retain ownership of rail assets, including trains, trams, and infrastructure
  • set requirements for levels of services
  • continue to set fare prices, and
  • retain revenue.

“There is no doubt that we can and must provide better and more customer-focused public transport services for South Australians,” says Mr Stephan Knoll, minister for transport, infrastructure and local government  “We know that public transport patronage growth has stalled, and customers want a better level of service than is currently provided. The government guarantees maintaining the same service frequency levels and standards, and we expect an increase in service levels once this model is fully implemented.”

Tenders for Adelaide’s tram services will be released immediately and are set to be included in Phase 2 of the current Bus Services Contract Tender, which will released on 2 July 2019.  

Timings for the tender for train services will be finalised after a market engagement process, which will begin later this year. Full transition to private-sector operation is expected by mid-2021.

Adelaide Metro’s rail network consists of the Glenelg to Adelaide Entertainment Centre tram service (with branches to Festival Plaza and Botanic Gardens), and trains operating across four major lines; Belair (21.5km), Gawler (42.2km), Outer Harbor (21.9km), and Seaford (36.0km), with branches to Grange (5.5km) and Tonsley (3.9km).