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New train operators will get a cash bonus, on top of a lucrative $2.14 billion contract to run Adelaide’s services, if they increase patronage and keep customers happy, documents reveal.
A report to parliament by Transport Minister Corey Wingard shows Keolis Downer can make extra money for delivering improved customer service and increased patronage.
On the other side of the ledger, the company can be financially penalised for trains running late, not checking tickets and cancelled services.
The State Government has stressed the undisclosed extra payments for Keolis Downer will not come at an extra cost to the taxpayer because they would be reliant on additional revenue.
The baseline from which Keolis Downer’s performance will be judged will be determined over the first couple of years of the contract, after COVID-19 saw a decline in patronage and revenue.
Details of the contract continue to come under fire from the Opposition which says there are serious probity issues.
Opposition transport spokesman Tom Koutsantonis. Picture: Tom Huntley
“The report finally lifts a lid on a lot of the suspicions we had about this contract,” Labor’s transport spokesman Tom Koutsantonis said.
“We are finding all of these extra costs to the taxpayer even after a private company is being paid … over $2.13 billion dollars.”
He said the documents showed the Transport Department would sell maintenance vehicles to Keolis Downer, confirming concerns over privatisation of rail assets.
The document also appears to confirm reports a bidder pulled out of the process early, although that has been denied by the Government. The Government has also said all costs were contained within the contract with Keolis Downer.
Mr Wingard said the contract was heavily focused on customer service and making sure passengers were being offered the best possible travel experience.
“The Marshall Government pulled off a huge win for South Australian public transport users by finalising the outsourcing arrangement despite being in the midst of a global health crisis,” he said.
“We’re committed to delivering the best public transport system possible – a system that’s convenient and easy to use.”
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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