The Marshall Government has today released a tender for the provision of bus services in metropolitan Adelaide which will aim to increase patronage and deliver better bus services.
The bus services contract is a crucial component of the Marshall Government’s plan to reform South Australia’s public transport network to deliver better and more customer focussed services.
“The Marshall Government will use this new contract to deliver better bus services across metropolitan Adelaide and drive patronage,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.
“Unfortunately, over the last three years we’ve seen a decline in bus patronage across our network.
“At around eight per cent, Adelaide has one of the lowest rates of public transport usage in the country and the highest percentage of people who choose to drive to work of any capital city.
“We also have the worst level of integration between the different modes of public transport – our bus, train and tram services don’t sync up and operate as efficiently as they should.
“We’ve only seen small incremental changes in our public transport system over the last two decades and I think it’s fair to say that we’re not getting the results we want with respect to customer satisfaction and patronage levels.
“That’s why we’re launching this competitive tender process which will have a key focus on providing better services with a greater customer focus.
“This is the single biggest lever we have to pull to provide better public transport services for South Australians.
“At the heart of our public transport reform is the need to drive patronage on our bus, train and tram networks.
“The new bus services contact will be more flexible than previous contracts to ensure we have a responsive bus network that can innovate and talk to other parts of our network.
“Adelaide needs a more integrated public transport system, so our bus, train and tram services better link up to provide faster journeys for customers.
“We’re hopeful that through a new bus services contract we can improve customer satisfaction, increase frequency and faster services and improve integration of bus services with other public transport modes.
“The department conducted a market sounding earlier this year to hear from the experts and industry about the true potential of what we can really deliver through this contract.”
In July 2017, an independent review of the current contracts recommended that new and improved contracts be developed and awarded through a competitive tender process.
In May 2018, the State Government announced that it would not renew the Adelaide metropolitan bus service contracts when they expire on 30 June 2019 and will open the Adelaide metropolitan bus services to a competitive tender process.
In September 2018, as previously announced, the current contracts were extended to the second quarter of 2020 to enable sufficient time for a competitive tender process.
The tender process will split the current contract areas into two phases, the first being released today and the second phase to be release in July 2019.