Transport Minister refuses to rule out privatising Adelaide trains and trams

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 15 May 2019 14:29
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Heath, I will take the rampant consumerism of Christmas over the celebration of the birth of the so called ‘son’ of a non existent sky fairy.

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  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Heath, I will take the rampant consumerism of Christmas over the celebration of the birth of the so called ‘son’ of a non existent sky fairy.
Aaron
Funny you should say that because i am also not religious either. Back on topic, Full privatization of public transport MAY just work if the cost of car travel was not heavily subsidized as it is now, and instead raised to cover the true amount of running a car. Look at Singapore - it costs around $8000 AUD per year just to register a car, which is what it would cost here if car registration was not heavily subsidized, and the Singapore public transport system runs at a profit all while charging very affordable fares of around $0.50 to $3.00 AUD per ride - thanks to the very high modal share of around 50% of motorized passenger journeys.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Heath, I will take the rampant consumerism of Christmas over the celebration of the birth of the so called ‘son’ of a non existent sky fairy.
Funny you should say that because i am also not religious either. Back on topic, Full privatization of public transport MAY just work if the cost of car travel was not heavily subsidized as it is now, and instead raised to cover the true amount of running a car. Look at Singapore - it costs around $8000 AUD per year just to register a car, which is what it would cost here if car registration was not heavily subsidized, and the Singapore public transport system runs at a profit all while charging very affordable fares of around $0.50 to $3.00 AUD per ride - thanks to the very high modal share of around 50% of motorized passenger journeys.
Heath Loxton
Singapore is an island about 50km across with 3m or what ever people living on it. It choose along time ago to limit the number of cars on its roads through limitations in available car registrations and auctioning those off to the highest bidder. As a result lower income earners don't own cars.

Cars here pretty much cover their costs via road taxes, fuel taxes and insurance. However with the drop in fuel consumption/km this is under pressure.

Singapores PT system runs at a profit because in an area covered by Trans Adelaide you have 4-5 x the population with a low level of car ownership. So the ridership is much higher and its mostly automated and even in the manual days they did 3min turnarounds.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-01/adelaide-trains-and-trams-to-be-privatised/11267236?pfmredir=sm
I’m going to drop this here and retreat to my bunker over the border.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
^ And about time too Potato!

I only wonder why it took so long...

BTW, what’s your taste of choice? Idaho? Kestrel? Pontiac? Russet? Kipfler are my choice.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-01/adelaide-trains-and-trams-to-be-privatised/11267236?pfmredir=sm
I’m going to drop this here and retreat to my bunker over the border.
potatoinmymouth
Before people get too carried away, lets check the wording.

The Government says it will release tenders to contract for the operation of those services on Adelaide Metro.

So its not being sold, the govt is just paying someone else to do the day to day operations of running it.
  allan Chief Commissioner

So its not being sold, the govt is just paying someone else to do the day to day operations of running it.
RTT_Rules
What can be gained by outsourcing the operations?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
So its not being sold, the govt is just paying someone else to do the day to day operations of running it.
What can be gained by outsourcing the operations?
allan
Well outsourcing is the flavor of the last 30 years and companies continue to do it for a reason. ie you are paying someone to deliver a service for lower cost/hassel than you can do so yourself.

Lets turn this around, why does the govt outsource
- cleaning
- printing
- IT
- basic maintenance, like painting, construction, plumbing, brick work.....
- why not build the trams/trains themselves
- etc
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Great news!

The international standard for profit margin on outsourced rail operations is around 3-5 % of revenue.

I dare anyone to say with a straight face that there is not at least 5% of public sector wastage at the Rail Commissioner which can be eliminated (or redeployed into more useful roles) without any reduction of service delivery.
  mawsonboii Locomotive Driver

Train and Tram services will be privatised. with the Government retaining control of ticketing prices and maintaining ownership of infrastructure.

This won't end well. but if a private investor want's to spend money on services we could see the network expand.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Outsourcing rail operations in what you do when you don't have a clue on how to fix it or improve it. Gladys inherited a bad situation in NSW, and turned it around without privatising or outsourcing. SA has lost its grain trains and it's regional rail. This is another nail in the coffin. Hard to see that it could go in any other direction.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Great news!

The international standard for profit margin on outsourced rail operations is around 3-5 % of revenue.

I dare anyone to say with a straight face that there is not at least 5% of public sector wastage at the Rail Commissioner which can be eliminated (or redeployed into more useful roles) without any reduction of service delivery.
justapassenger
This is Steve Marshall's government you're talking about here - they'll stuff it up, I guarantee you.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

That can be gained by outsourcing the operations?
allan
That thing which our current crop of politicians crave, deniability.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Outsourcing rail operations in what you do when you don't have a clue on how to fix it or improve it. Gladys inherited a bad situation in NSW, and turned it around without privatising or outsourcing. SA has lost its grain trains and it's regional rail. This is another nail in the coffin. Hard to see that it could go in any other direction.
ANR
Agree
Kennent achieved most of the gains in Vic prior to privatisation as well, but assumed they'd only picked the fruit off the ground, not the whole tree and the limited gains made post privatisation are open for debate if they would have been achieved with or without privatisation.

However, its now been over 20 years since Kennent started the ball rolling and at least one renewal of contract under the ALP govt, so you can assume by this that the Govt of Vic, regardless of their persuasion is happy with the net outcome of continuing the current arrangement and got better things to do than run a railway.

How much the SA Govt believes they can achieve by contracting out the operation remains to be seen and again will be open to debate if they could have or would have done that anyway. If there are net job losses is it then fair to say the job really didn't exist anyway and the taxpayers are better off so the right outcome?

Personally I cannot blame them for trying, however if they did say during the election they wouldn't do it, then they should have waited until the next election and deserve some voter backlash, even if they do save money.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

However, its now been over 20 years since Kennent started the ball rolling and at least one renewal of contract under the ALP govt
RTT_Rules

It’s a rare fact check that actually improves someone’s point, but it does in this case – after Kennett’s initial contracting, every refranchise has occurred under a Labor government. 2003 (major restructure, including reintegrating the two halves of the network and removing outrageous passenger growth assumptions, probably a big contributor to saving the furniture) to Connex, 2009/10 to Metro, 2017 Metro contract extension.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

However, its now been over 20 years since Kennent started the ball rolling and at least one renewal of contract under the ALP govt

It’s a rare fact check that actually improves someone’s point, but it does in this case – after Kennett’s initial contracting, every refranchise has occurred under a Labor government. 2003 (major restructure, including reintegrating the two halves of the network and removing outrageous passenger growth assumptions, probably a big contributor to saving the furniture) to Connex, 2009/10 to Metro, 2017 Metro contract extension.
potatoinmymouth
The story is similar for buses in Adelaide.

The initial round of tenders was done by a Liberal government in the 1990s. It was a very cautious beginning as they only put 3/6 operations areas out to tender while the others remained publicly operated by the government-owned company TransAdelaide. They also allowed TransAdelaide to enter the bidding, which resulted in them winning one of the tenders.

The initial contracts expired in 2000 and were re-tendered, with 5/6 areas going to fully private operators and the last one being a joint venture 50% owned by TransAdelaide.

The ALP was then in government from 2002 to 2018. In that time they awarded new contracts for three areas in 2005 after Serco declined to exercise their right to an extension, and then for all six areas in 2010.

The last time the ALP government made any change to the system in 2010, they actually made a change which increased the proportion of private ownership by banning TransAdelaide from entering the bidding as a full or partial owner of an operator. It could be said that putting rail operations out to tender will only be a case of this policy being inherited from the previous government and its application extended.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
The Boy Wonder is on 891 now, and very unsure of even the simplest point, not being able to reasonably justify the move, in other words it is an ideological move rather than a practical move.    "We have been told we will save money" - by whom and with what justification?

You have to wonder his grasp of his portfolio given that he announced on Friday Bombardier would supply 12 2 car trains capable of being built up to 3, yet Bombardier, who should have a pretty good grasp of what is required, say they are supplying 3 car trains.
  mike49 Station Master

The Boy Wonder is on 891 now, and very unsure of even the simplest point, not being able to reasonably justify the move, in other words it is an ideological move rather than a practical move.    "We have been told we will save money" - by whom and with what justification?

You have to wonder his grasp of his portfolio given that he announced on Friday Bombardier would supply 12 2 car trains capable of being built up to 3, yet Bombardier, who should have a pretty good grasp of what is required, say they are supplying 3 car trains.
kipioneer
The SA government has only ordered 12 trains for the Gawler electrification rather than the 15 that were originally suggested? This would seem to be the minimum number that would be required for the service & makes little allowance for patronage growth unless of course the 3000's continue to provide some peak time services. I would hope that the contract has the option of some additional sets if required.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The privatisation appears to be a forgone conclusion https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-44406/
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The Boy Wonder is on 891 now, and very unsure of even the simplest point, not being able to reasonably justify the move, in other words it is an ideological move rather than a practical move.    "We have been told we will save money" - by whom and with what justification?

You have to wonder his grasp of his portfolio given that he announced on Friday Bombardier would supply 12 2 car trains capable of being built up to 3, yet Bombardier, who should have a pretty good grasp of what is required, say they are supplying 3 car trains.
kipioneer
Couldn't explain why the Gawler electrification had been delayed by 12 months when put on the spot. Doesn't fill you with confidence as a public transport user, does he.

I also read a post-budget interview with him where he said that they weren't going to extend the existing tram network because 'new technologies' would come along and supersede trams. When pressed as to what they actually were he nominated 'trackless trams'.

You mean trolley-buses, Minister? The kind that we ripped out in the sixties because they were too old fashioned?
  allan Chief Commissioner
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I'd be more convinced that they were serious about it if they were actually looking at doing that. They aren't. It's just an excuse to not spend money.
  mawsonboii Locomotive Driver

This is why people should have stuck with Labour. Yes they where having funding issues. but they solve it one way or another WITHOUT selling of our assets.

I can assume what went wrong with our public transport system, but I thought everything was going well. Patronage was up and rising. It's why they have kept spending money to keep improving it.

Privatising the rail networks won't work. Our bus network is f**ked because "Adelaide Metro" set up timetables that are almost impossible to keep. People complain to Adelaide Metro who respond with "will pass on the information to the service provider" YOU are the service provider. Don't push the blame to the companies operating your service.

If you truly want to improve the network, expand it. Create regional rail. All though this won't be profitable it will create more jobs and better connect our state. Extend the O-bahn to the airport via a tunnel and Interchange under the CBD
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Trackless trams are a game-changer. https://theconversation.com/why-trackless-trams-are-ready-to-replace-light-rail-103690
allan
Anyone else notice the almost collision in the photo with the "tram" overhanging the roadway:


Obviously would not happen with a tracked system. Hopefully this is not the best they can do.

There are some questions on the claims in this article. For example it seems unlikely the system could be installed in a weekend, including guidance, stops, traffic management changes and to be competitive with light rail partially segregated right of way and road modifications. It also seems unlikely the existing pavement would not need an upgrade for such vehicles, given weight and frequency similar to light rail.

Energy efficiency would have to be significantly worse too considering the double effects of battery charging (charge/discharge cycles) and use of rubber tires over steel wheels (rolling resistance). Interesting, but more likely a niche, not a replacement.


Cheers
  ausbulldog Station Master

Location: Mt Barker SA
The Boy Wonder is on 891 now, and very unsure of even the simplest point, not being able to reasonably justify the move, in other words it is an ideological move rather than a practical move.    "We have been told we will save money"
I have to question as to whether there will be any saving to SA. The Government will retain assets, rolling stock, dilapidated run down stations etc, which depreciate and the Government will retain 100% of all fares collected, don't get me started on the fare avoiders or outstanding $300 million in unpaid fines.....

So the new operator will be looking to make a profit, they aren't going to get any revenue or return from fares which will be set by and kept by the Government. So in my un-educated but concerned taxpayer mind, the new operator will have to have very low operating costs or be subsidised by the Government. Now I do recall hearing Mr Knoll on the radio and he stated that the Government will have to subsidies the new operator. But to what cost and how big compared to the current operations costs? Public transport is not a profit making exercise.  

I think this is going to end up being a complete mess. Yes the network does need improvement, but what is needed is a Government with a vision, interest and firm willingness to investment in putting rail forward as a viable transport medium, not just flogging off SA's interests to the  highest tender bidder for short term gain.

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