Ticket to trans­port chaos

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - MATT SMITH

FORC­ING pas­sen­gers to jump on and off dif­fer­ent pub­lic trans­port as part of a plan to make ser­vices more ef­fi­cient will not work, ac­cord­ing to the State Op­po­si­tion.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Stephan Knoll wants the new South Aus­tralian Pub­lic Trans­port Au­thor­ity to draw in­flu­ence from other Aus­tralian cities, where us­ing mul­ti­ple forms of trans­port for one com­mute is com­mon, when it works on new oper­at­ing pro­ce­dures for the state.

How­ever, Op­po­si­tion trans­port spokesman Tom Kout­san­to­nis said the idea was a farce that could lead to more pri­vati­sa­tion.

“I think the Gov­ern­ment is at­tempt­ing to pull the wool over the eyes of pas­sen­gers,” Mr Kout­san­to­nis said.

“Peo­ple know the pub­lic trans­port sys­tem that they want to use. You can’t have peo­ple on con­gested trains.

“The Gov­ern­ment will have to make dra­matic in­vest­ments into ad­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture.”

Mr Kout­san­to­nis said the State Gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach was “driven by cuts” in Septem­ber’s State Bud­get, which it was now try­ing to dress up as a wider plan for “greater fre­quency” of ser­vices.

At the time of the Bud­get, the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced bus routes and train ser­vices with low pa­tron­age would be scrapped in a bid to drive ef­fi­cien­cies and re­duce costs.

In Septem­ber, the Sun­day Mail re­vealed a plan to re­place 400 age­ing buses had been tem­po­rar­ily taken off the ta­ble, while the Gov­ern­ment con­sid­ered the best way to up­grade Ade­laide’s pub­lic trans­port sys­tem.

The Ad­ver­tiser yes­ter­day re­vealed the au­thor­ity would also have to con­sider whether a new sys­tem could be de­liv­ered un­der the cur­rent own­er­ship struc­ture of pub­lic trans­port as­sets.

Ade­laide’s tram and train ser­vices are run by Gov­ern­ment-owned Ade­laideMetro, but bus ser­vices are run by Tor­rens Tran­sit and SouthLink.

Mr Knoll said Ade­laide’s pub­lic trans­port sys­tem was not as ef­fi­cient as those in other cities. But Mr Kout­san­to­nis said the Gov­ern­ment ap­peared to be look­ing at ways to pri­va­tise more ser­vices.

“They are only in­ter­ested in sav­ing money,” he said. “I think what they are try­ing to do is com­mer­cialise it so that they can sell it.”

The Gov­ern­ment will this com­ing week put out a ten­der to de­velop a model for the new pub­lic trans­port au­thor­ity.

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