The South Australian government has confirmed that 83 staff drivers will take up an employment offer from Keolis Downer to drive trains once Keolis Downer begins operating the Adelaide passenger network at the end of January.
To ensure passengers have access to the same number of services, the South Australian government will make 57 train drivers available to Keolis Downer for up to 18 months to boost staff numbers during the transition period.
The 57 additional drivers will remain employed by the government and their costs will be reimbursed by Keolis Downer.
The South Australian government estimates that having Keolis Downer operate the network will save $118 million over 12 years.
“We are committed to ensuring South Australians enjoy better train services through an improved system that, ultimately, increases public transport patronage,” said SA Treasurer Rob Lucas.
Keolis Downer was awarded the contract to operate Adelaide’s heavy rail passenger network in September 2020.
While the joint venture will begin operating the Belair, Grange, Outer Habor, Seaford, and Flinders Line from January 31, delays on the electrification of the Gawler Line will see Keolis Dwoner not begin operating services on the line until late 2021.