Public transport - my priority

14 November 2016

The provision of high-quality public transport is one of my key priorities and I have often stated that I believe the great cities of the world are characterised by strong public transport systems.

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The provision of high-quality public transport is one of my key priorities and I have often stated that I believe the great cities of the world are characterised by strong public transport systems.

I remain solidly committed to doing my bit to improve Adelaide's train, tram and bus services and I am working hard to ensure the Liberal Party has a strong suite of public transport policies which will put people first and grow patronage. 

Below is an update on some of the work I have been doing in this area. 

Train horns

As many of you would know, the train horns on the electric trains have been a significant impost on our local community and one that we have fought hard to fix.

From my position in opposition it can be hard to discover the facts, but I recently undertook a detailed Freedom of Information request to find out more about the horns by getting my hands on government documents relating to horn usage.

I note from the documents I received that there is actually a ‘high’ horn and a ‘low’ horn and drivers can use their discretion as to which horn they sound. It is my opinion that the high horn should be reserved only for emergencies and I will continue to push for this.  

The documents also canvassed a variety of modifications to the train horns, including repositioning the horns to the bottom of all trains and I have written again to the minister to find out exactly what measures have been undertaken and whether any further measures are being considered. Unfortunately, it has been over five months since I wrote to the Minister requesting this information and, despite following it up, I am still yet to hear anything.

Maintenance issues on the Seaford line

A couple of months ago, thousands of passengers were seriously inconvenienced following a power outage which shut the line, leaving some commuters trapped in trains and forcing road closures.

While the electrification of the Seaford Line has given our community a fantastic public transport asset, there's no denying that the upgrade has been plagued by problems. From huge delays in the initial electrification process to the invasive train horn; from snapping overhead cables, to a major power outage; this project continues to fall short of its full potential. 

Fare evader or faulty system?

Recently a constituent boarded a train and, when validating, discovered he needed to recharge his metrocard. Upon looking at the onboard ticket machine, he discovered that it does not take notes and that it requires a minimum of $5 in coins, leaving him with no choice but to go into Adelaide central train station and purchase a ticket there. Unfortunately, on his way to the customer service booth at Adelaide train station, he was apprehended by transit police who fined him $220. A similar situation arose just last week when a woman was left stranded in the city after she was refused a bus ticket because she did not have the correct change. 

I believe the rigid system in place on our public transport system makes it extremely inconvenient and difficult for people to recharge their Metrocards, leading to situations like the ones described here. 

We need to do everything we can to encourage people to take public transport and minimise the excuses people have to jump in their cars and this includes making it easy for people to purchase tickets online, at train stations and onboard public transport.

Tell me what you think the priorities for our public transport network should be!