Record Adelaide Metro patronage as passengers flock to train network

There’s been a big increase in the number of passengers taking public transport in Adelaide, with an extra three million trips recorded in the past financial year.

The Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said the increase was in part due to passengers flocking to the train network.

“Almost 67 million passenger trips were recorded across our bus, train and tram networks in 2014/15 – the largest ever patronage figures in the network’s history,” Mr Mullighan said.

“Last year Adelaide Metro carried 3.4 million extra passengers – a 5.5 percent increase on the previous financial year.

“This is well above population growth and represents the enormous investment the State Government has made in our public transport networks since coming to power.”

Mr Mullighan said the largest increase was experienced on the train network in the first full year of patronage since the electrification of the Seaford line.

“Commuters have returned to the Seaford line in droves with more than 4.45 million passengers choosing to catch Seaford services, an increase of 78 percent,” Mr Mullighan said.

“Last year’s increase on the Seaford line follows a 2.7 percent jump in the 2013/14 year when commuters returned to the newly electrified rail infrastructure and new electric trains were introduced.

“Patronage for buses and trams ramped up significantly in previous years while train services were suspended for works and part of the increase in train patronage has come from many passengers making the shift back.”

The Outer Harbor and Gawler lines have also shown steady improvements, recording 8 and 7.3 percent increases in patronage respectively.

“And on the Belair line the delivery of the Millswood Station and a revised timetable last October have helped deliver an extra 240,000 passenger trips,” Mr Mullighan said.

“These statistics show how electrifying our train network is paying dividends.”

The bus network has shown a steady improvement with a 1.5% increase in 2014/15 compared to the year before, now carrying more than 51 million commuters.

“Tram patronage was steady with a slight drop in passenger numbers over the past financial year as commuters returned to upgraded train services on the Seaford line,” Mr Mullighan said.

Mr Mullighan said for the first time free trips have also been recorded through improvements in Adelaide Metro technology and monitoring, such as the introduction of Metrocard.

“Previously we haven’t been able to record free trips but through these developments we have identified more than 8 million free trips to special events, free travel in the CBD and Glenelg, and Footy Express,” Mr Mullighan said.

The 8 million free trips are not included in the total patronage figures of almost 67 million for 2014/15.

Key facts and figures

Adelaide Metro annual patronage

  •   2014/15 – 66,785,807
  •   2013/14 – 63,312,184
  •   2009/10 – 66,505,887 (previous high)
  •   Record-high patronage for 2014/15 financial year
  •   Patronage increased by 5.5% on previous financial year

Train patronage

  •   2014/15 – 13,115,666
  •   2013/14 – 10,388,830 (includes period of line closures on Seaford and Belair lines)
  •   2009/10 – 10,702,267 (previous high)
  •   78.77% increase on the Seaford line on previous financial year
  •   26.57% increase on Belair line
  •   8.01% increase on Outer Harbor line

Source: News Release, Government of South Australia, 23 July, 2015

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