Adelaide Metro

Adelaide Metro is the public transport system of the South Australian capital of Adelaide and the brand name of the Public Transport Division of the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. It is an intermodal system with services provided by bus, tram or commuter rail throughout the metropolitan area. The services, although contracted to four separate operators, are fully integrated under Adelaide Metro and share a universal ticketing system, marketing, and common livery and signage.


The Adelaide Metro is a brand introduced in 2000 following the tender privatisation of bus services. Previously, the public transport system in Adelaide has been known under several names. From 1994 until well into 2002 the name for this South Australian State Government department was the Passenger Transport Board. Before 1994, the system was operated by the State Transport Authority. Closer to the middle of the twentieth century, the Municipal Tramways Trust was the public transport authority in Adelaide, South Australia. Adelaide removed all tramlines during the 1960s leaving only the Glenelg line. This tramline has been since extended during 2007 by the Department Of Transport, Energy & Infrastructure (DTEI). The new tram extension operates under the "Adelaide Metro" brand, but the service provider is TransAdelaide. Please see for further historical information regarding the Glenelg tramline extension during 2007.



The focus of Adelaide's public transport system is the large fleet of diesel and natural gas powered buses. The past, the majority of services terminate at the city-centre or at a suburban interchange. As privatised contracts change for public transport services, many cross suburban routes continue to come into service instead of always being City based. Buses get priority on many roads and intersections, with dedicated bus lanes and 'B'-light bus only phases at many traffic lights.

The Adelaide Metro buses are operated by:

  • Torrens Transit - north-eastern, inner north, inner south, eastern, western and north-western suburban bus network.
  • Australian Transit Enterprises, trading as SouthLink – the far south and far north
  • Transitplus - regional bus services and the Adelaide Hills

Commuter rail

The Adelaide suburban railway network is operated by TransAdelaide and consists of six lines operated by diesel railcars. It is the only suburban network in Australia to do so, with 70 diesel-electric 3000/3100 railcars and 24 2000/2100 diesel hydraulic railcars.

There are six rail lines, all terminating at Adelaide Railway Station in the CBD, and all broad gauge. They are:

Light rail

Adelaide's once extensive tram network was dismantled in the middle of the 20th century leaving only the Glenelg Tram running 12 kilometres between Victoria Square in the city-centre and Moseley Square on the beachfront at Glenelg. The majority of the line is on a dedicated corridor though the western suburbs, but travels on roadway in the city from the terminus to South Terrace and along Jetty Road in Glenelg.

An extension of the line from Victoria Square down King William Street and along North Terrace to a terminus near Morphett Street bridge opened to the public on 14 October 2007. The extended line now has stops adjacent to key city points, including Rundle Mall, the Adelaide Railway Station and the CityWest campus of the University of South Australia. Plans to extend the line from City West to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre have been proposed, as well as extenstions to AAMI Stadium at West Lakes, Port Adelaide and Semaphore. A plan to create a city loop by extending the line through either Morphett or Gray streets, Currie Street, and Grote Street to rejoin the line in Victoria Square has also been proposed.

The line is operated by TransAdelaide from Glengowrie depot, using 11 Flexity Classic trams on weekdays and 5 heritage H-Class trams on weekends, public holidays and special occasions.


Salisbury Interchange is located in Adelaide's northern suburbs and interconnects train services on the Gawler Central line and bus servics to areas around metropolitan Adelaide including Salisbury North, Paralowie, Burton, Virginia, Greenwith, Adelaide, Elizabeth, Hillbank, Greenfields, Mawson Lakes and Parafield Gardens.

Elizabeth Interchange is located in Adelaide's northern suburbs and interconnects train services on the Gawler Central line and bus services to areas around Adelaide metropolitan Adelaide including Salisbury North, Salisbury, Munno Para, Smithfield and Adelaide.

The Noarlunga Centre Interchange is located in Adelaide's southern suburbs and interconnects trains services on the Noarlunga Centre line and bus services to the Southern Area of metropolitan Adelaide. It is the last stop on the Noarlunga Centre line.

Located in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide, Tea Tree Plaza Interchange is the first or last stop on the O-Bahn Busway and services Westfield Tea Tree Plaza and the Tea Tree Plus Shopping Centre.

Part of the O-Bahn Busway.

Part of the O-Bahn Busway.

Mawson Interchange is located in Adelaide's northern suburbs and interconnects train services on the Gawler Central line and bus services to areas around metropolitan Adelaide including Adelaide, Mawson Lakes Central and Salisbury.


The Adelaide Metro ticketing system is uniform and standardised across all modes of transport and all operators. The system is branded as Metroticket. It is an automated system which uses magnetic stripe tickets to encode conditions of ticket validity. The system was developed by Crouzet-SA (France). It was introduced on 27 September 1987.

Passengers are required to insert tickets into validating machines on every bus, train and tram. The machine examines the ticket for time validity and then magnetically encodes and prints the relevant information on them. Information is only printed on the ticket if a new fare is used.

Metrotickets are available in three types, and each are sold at Regular fare, Concession fare, and Student fare ('2-Section' tickets are available only as a Regular fare):

  • Singletrip ticket (one journey)
  • Multitrip ticket (ten journeys)
  • Daytrip ticket

Singletrip and Multitrip tickets are available as Zone and 2-Section tickets. 'Zone' gives unlimited transfers within two hours of the initial validation; '2-Section' gives travel over two 'sections' (approximately 3 km), with no transfers.

Singletrip and Multitrip tickets are available as all-times and interpeak tickets. 'All-times' gives travel at any time, 'interpeak' between 9.01am and 3.00pm on weekdays (excluding public holidays).

Daytrip tickets give unlimited travel and transfers until 4.30am the following day, with free travel for two children aged under 15 on weekends, public holidays and during school holidays when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Future development

Through the South Australian 2008 budget, almost $2 billion is being invested into transport over the next decade to revitalise the public transport network. Which includes:

Light rail

  • The Tramline network will be extended coast-to-coast providing a service running through Glenelg to the City, to West Lakes and Semaphore through Port Adelaide. The light-rail network will transport commuters and tourists alike from Glenelg, through the city to historic Port Adelaide and, along a new light rail connection to Semaphore. A new connection will also be established from Woodville, via a branch line to AAMI Stadium and the West Lakes retail area.
  • The Tramline will extend further along North Terrace onto Port Road, where it will travel to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre before joining the Outer Harbour line.
  • The purchase of 15 new dual voltage trams and 4 additional Flexity Classic trams.
  • New dual voltage trams will operate alongside electric trains and use the existing Outer Harbor line and then travel to AAMI Stadium and West Lakes on a new track built from the Grange line. Another extension will be built from Semaphore, linking back through the heart of Port Adelaide from Rosewater. The 4 additional Flexity Classic trams will be added for the initial Entertainment Centre service.

Commuter rail

  • Upgrading and conversion of the suburban rail network from broad gauge to standard gauge.
  • 25 kV AC electrification of the lines to Noarlunga, Grange/Outer Harbor and Gawler.
  • The purchase of 50 new electric railcars (25 x 2-car trains).
  • 58 of the 70 existing 3000-class railcars will be converted to electric operation after refurbishment. The other 12 3000-class railcars will be used on the upgraded Belair line, which is not suitable for electrification due to restricted clearances in tunnels.
  • By 2018, when all the new trains are planned to be in service, the 30 older 2000-class trains from the early 1980s will be retired.


  • An extra 20 new buses a year for the next four years. The older buses that were introduced in the 1980's will also be retired in the next 5-7 years.
  • The O-Bahn will also be upgraded with planned station redevelopments at key interchanges. A new ticketing system, "gated interchanges" where tickets are validated before the bus arrives.


Year Description

  • Service improvements across train/tram/bus.
  • Order new trams


  • Tramline extension construction begins.
  • Electrification of Noarlunga line begins.
  • Ticketing System upgrade begins
  • Major upgrades to Belair line.


  • Tramline extension complete
  • New trams arrive.
  • Electrification of Grange/Outer Harbor line begins(2010/11).


  • New trains arrive.
  • Electrification of Gawler line beigns.


  • Grange/Outer Harbor lines complete.
  • West Lakes rail link construction begins.


  • Delivery of first dual voltage tram.
  • Noarlunga line complete.


  • 3000-Class train electric conversion complete.
  • Port Adelaide to Semaphore rail link construction begins.
  • West Lakes rail link complete.


  • Gawler Line complete.


  • Station upgrades including O-Bahn complete.


  • Port Adelaide to Semaphore rail link complete.


See also


External links

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