The State Government has completed the review of public transport services announced in the State Budget to improve the efficiency throughout the network and provide better services.
As announced in September, the review has identified low patronised bus services with an average of under five passengers per trip and routes that are duplicated by existing train lines that provide a more efficient service.
“The State Government has a responsibility to provide services that represent best value for South Australian taxpayers,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.
“Some of these routes have been identified because they run side by side along a much more efficient and faster train line which just doesn’t make sense.
“For example, bus route 150 from Osborne to City via Port Adelaide will have reduced interpeak frequency because it runs along the Outer Harbor train line all the way into the city.
“Other routes have extremely low patronage or in some cases none at all, costing the taxpayer an exorbitant amount of money.
“For example, the outbound service on the 734 route at 11:40pm on Saturday had an average of zero passengers in the whole month of August and cost the taxpayer money to run.
“Why should the taxpayers of South Australia pay for a service that no one is using?
“Taxpayers are paying for ghost buses to run with no one on them.
“By making efficiencies in parts of the public transport network that are duplicated, we can invest more and provide a better service in the highly used areas of our network.
“We’ve ensured that there are still services to get people where they want to go.
“That’s why we’re investing $33.5 million in four new Park ‘n’ Rides at Paradise, Golden Grove, Klemzig and Tea Tree Plaza.
“The Marshall Government also secured $220 million in Federal Government funding to complete the electrification of the Gawler line to provide a better, faster and more reliable service, and is delivering the Flinders Link and Port Adelaide spur rail extensions.
“We’re also establishing the South Australian Public Transport Authority (SAPTA) that will inform the development of a comprehensive public transport strategy that is customer focused, more reliable, accessible and better suits the needs of South Australians.
“These are necessary savings that will enable the government to improve the overall efficiency of the public transport network, ultimately providing a better service for South Australians.”
Other savings will be made through school holiday and festive season timetables and the review of the Adelaide Oval express.
The estimated full year savings are $3.5 million, with the remainder of the savings target identified in the State Budget to be realised through other initiatives including potential new bus services contracts over the coming years.
The majority of changes are expected to come into effect on 27 January 2019 and new timetables will be available mid-January.