A commuter rail contract improve the passenger experience
After four months of preparation, Keolis Downer assumed responsibility of the Adelaide commuter rail network on 31 January 2021. In September 2020, the South Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport awarded Keolis a €1.32 billion (AUS$ 2.14 billion) contract to operate and maintain Adelaide’s Metro Rail network for a period of 8 to 12 years. This is the first time this network will be managed by a private operator.
Spanning 131 kilometres -including 39 kilometres of electrified track- the commuter rail network features 89 stations, six lines (Belair, Gawler, Outer Harbor and Seaford, Grange and Tonsley).
Keolis will partner with the Department for Infrastructure and Transport to successfully operate the 650 metre Flinders Link extension launched in December 2020 to enhance access to the Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University precinct.
Over the contract period, Keolis Downer will also introduce 12 additional electric trains to the network’s 92-train fleet, which already features 22 locomotives powered by electricity, to offer a more comfortable passenger experience and increase vehicle capacity by 15% during peak hours.
Two hundred employees, including drivers, passenger service assistants (PSAs) and customer information officers, were transferred from the South Australian government or recruited externally. As Keolis Downer continues to expand its staff numbers to ensure the highest levels of safety, operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction, new staff members have been trained in Keolis’ “Zero Harm” safety culture and “Think Like a Passenger” approach.
Keolis Downer staff members in Adelaide are also equipped with smartphones to anticipate and meet the needs of passengers by responding to enquiries with real-time information about train timetables and traffic conditions.