The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that the performance of urban roads and urban public transport in Adelaide is a key challenge for South Australia.
The Audit estimated that the cost of delay on Adelaide’s urban transport network was $1.4 billion in 2016 and would grow to $2.6 billion in 2031 in the absence of investments or other changes beyond those already funded.
The major public transport destination in Adelaide is the CBD, with most public transport use being on buses. Public transport use in Adelaide is signiﬁcantly lower than in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. In Adelaide, the proportion of passengers using public transport for journeys to work is just under 9%, compared to 11.6% in Brisbane, 15.6% in Melbourne and 22.8% in Sydney.
Adelaide’s recent employment growth has been centred on the inner and middle suburbs, whereas population growth has been strongest in the middle and outer suburbs. Existing public transport services do not support urban density. A continuation of existing land use patterns will result
in greater reliance on and use of private passenger vehicles, in turn leading to further road congestion and delays at the expense of economic efficiency.
The initiative is for public transport network improvements to and from the Adelaide CBD. Infrastructure SA released the 20-Year State Infrastructure Strategy in 2020, which identiﬁed a range of public transport options that could increase access and capacity. This includes Bus Rapid Transit, a heavy rail city loop to increase capacity and potential extensions to the tram network.
The South Australian Government has established the South Australian Public Transport Authority to improve public transport services. The Adelaide Council and South Australian Government are currently developing a City Access Strategy, which will detail public transport options.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).