Free buses for SA

Commuters in South Australia are being offered a free bus service as rail works run off schedule

September 19, 2013

Free buses will replace train services on the Noarlunga line in South Australia as rail services will not be able to resume this month.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Tom Koutsantonis says contractors involved in installing the new signalling systems are not as far advanced as they should be to allow the diesel services to safely resume.

Mr Koutsantonis says substitute buses will continue to run until diesel services can be returned to the Noarlunga line.

"Under the circumstances, I have decided it is only fair that those substitute buses run free of charge until the Noarlunga line services resume," he said.

"I know this is frustrating for all those Noarlunga passengers who have endured the inconvenience and have been looking forward to diesel services returning this month.

"But I would be failing in my duty if I allowed passenger services to resume unless I was completely assured that all safety requirements have been met."

He says signalling is crucial to the safe running of a modern rail system, and there is no room for compromise.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure have thoroughly reviewed the Noarlunga rail program and are delaying the restart until they can provide a date that can be achieved.

"DPTI still expect to be in a position to return services before the end of the year," says Koutsantonis.

"I don’t want to announce services are ready to resume unless I can guarantee that they will be there at the platform and working to timetables they can meet."

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