Public transport ‘chat’

By: Amie Hickland

The South Australian public will be able to chat to key public transport figures this week

Public will be able to speak directly to some of South Australia’s key public transport figures this week as part of a GOVchat event.

Premier Jay Weatherill, Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan and senior executives from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) will all take calls as part of GOVchat, which will run between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm on February 19.

GOVchat forms part of the South Australian Government’s Modern Public Service Policy, which focuses on strengthening the government’s engagement with the community.

The phone system for GOVchat will be set up so that callers make a choice between six topics for discussion: buses, route planning and timetabling, taxis, trains and trams, regional services, ticketing, and major projects and infrastructure, according to a DPTI spokesperson.

"This aim of this system is to direct each call to the appropriate expert so that calls can be answered in the best and most efficient manner," he says.

 "The aim of GOVchat is to get people more involved in the policies and decisions that affect their day to day lives. Through this initiative, South Australians will be able to phone in and speak directly with key decision makers within a range of government departments.

 "Public transport has been chosen as a GOVchat topic because it’s a topic that affects many South Australians in their day to day lives and attracts considerable attention and debate within the broader community."

The DPTI speaks to public transport users daily through various channels including face-to-face through bus/train/tram/taxi staff and Info Centres, on the telephone via our InfoLine, and also through the Adelaide Metro Facebook and Twitter social media channels.

"We expect that the GOVchat exercise will complement and enhance our existing engagement with our customers and enable us to continue to deliver reliable and efficient public transport services," says the spokesperson.

The department is unsure of how may calls to expect this week.

"It is difficult to estimate, however a system will be in place to capture questions from members of the public who might be unable to speak to someone on February 19, and the Department will respond to all questions in a timely manner."

In 2012, three ‘health chat’ phone-ins were held with more than 350 calls answered across the three events.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook