The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:37): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, representing the Minister for Transport, a question about the Adelaide Metro service.
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: When a consumer pays for a service, there is an expectation that the service will be delivered as promised. In cases where the service is different to what was described, there is an expectation that the consumer would be entitled to a refund or a discount. However, this is not the case with Adelaide Metro, where consumers are required to pay full price for substandard services. For example, the train network is currently offering replacement services by bus, which makes the trip much longer and the regular bus services are often late and unreliable, yet Adelaide Metro customers are required to pay their full fares. Can the minister advise if there are any remedies available to Adelaide Metro customers in the form of a reduced or refunded fare if the service they have paid for is not delivered as promised?
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (14:38): I thank the honourable member for his question and his ongoing interest in public transport in South Australia. I will refer that very important question to the Hon. Stephan Knoll, Minister for Transport in the other place, and bring back a reply.
Answer to Question
30 April 2019
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment): The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government has provided the following advice:
Upkeep and maintenance of rail infrastructure remains a key safety requirement and where required, substitute bus services are offered as replacements for train services during closures. Advance notice regarding these works and the deployment of substitute buses is advertised via the Adelaide Metro website, social media, announcements at impacted stations along with SMS and emails to customers who subscribe to alerts.
These communication notices enable our customers to make an advanced choice whether to travel via the substitute bus service or other means. The cost of fares for bus services are the same as trains. The planning of rail substitute services includes careful consideration to minimise disruption to passengers. This includes ensuring there is a bus service to replace every train service, providing a mix of express and all-stopping services and locating bus stops as close as possible to train stations, subject to local street networks.
Our public transport network continues to undergo a significant transformation with a number of projects already completed or underway and the South Australian government and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure appreciate our passengers' patience during these times.
Metrocard or any products produced by the Metrocard system are non-refundable with the exception of senior Metrocard's whereby card holders are referred to the Seniors Card Unit as part of the Office for Ageing Well. In the event that a system error or public transport network issue is suspected, it is investigated prior to any determination on a refund on a case by case basis.
Information regarding Metrocard policies and conditions of use is also available for all customers via the Adelaide Metro website where information regarding the refund policy is included.