By James Gratton/Illustrations by Pip Kruger
Published: Thursday, November 5, 2020
Whether it’s a bus, tram or train, we’ve all jumped on board public transport at some point in our lives. But if it’s been a while, you could probably benefit from a refresher.
If you’re someone who relies on your own 4 wheels to get around, chances are you might’ve forgotten the basics of public transport — where to get a ticket, how to top up, or where to find a timetable.
It’s now easier than ever to jump on board public transport in our great state. Whether you’ve got questions about travelling with kids or what to do with your bike, we’ve got you covered.
Here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Can I take my bike on public transport?
Unfortunately, bikes aren’t allowed on buses or trams in South Australia, but they can be carried on trains for free during off-peak times. At all other times, a concession fare must be purchased for your bike.
While space on public transport can be hard to come by, particularly on buses, there are a still a few things you can bring with you.
Pushers and prams are permitted on all Adelaide Metro services but should be folded up and placed in designated onboard storage areas.
Unfortunately, you can’t bring your 4-legged friend on any Adelaide Metro services.
The only animals allowed to ride on public transport are accredited working animals accompanying a person with a disability.
2. Where can I find a timetable?
Before catching public transport, it’s crucial to check which service will suit your needs.
Some routes may have changed since you last stepped on board.
While you can still find physical timetables at the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre, bus depots and selected newsagencies, there are some much easier ways to find out when you’re going to be picked up.
For example, you can easily map out your trip with the online Journey Planner function on the Adelaide Metro website.
Just enter your starting point and final destination, and it’ll recommend the easiest way to get there.
You can also access real-time public transport information by downloading one of Adelaide Metro’s third-party apps – Moovit, NextThere or Transit.
If you still have questions about how to find a timetable, call the Adelaide Metro InfoLine on 1300 311 108 or visit the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre at the Adelaide Railway Station.
3. How do I buy a ticket?
There are 2 types of tickets you can purchase to ride public transport in SA – a metroCARD and a MetroTicket.
If you regularly use public transport, a metroCARD is the best option for you.
These electronic smart cards can be topped up with credit and used on board all Adelaide Metro buses, trains and trams.
You should always keep your metroCARD handy in your purse or wallet on the off chance you need to use public transport.
You can purchase and top up your metroCARD online, as well as at selected post offices, newsagents and shopping centres across the state.
If you order your metroCARD online, you’ll receive it in the mail. If you don’t use public transport often, buying a MetroTicket is a hassle-free way to ride.
These paper tickets can be purchased from Adelaide Metro fare vending machines, which are on board all tram and train services and at some interchanges.
You can no longer purchase these tickets on bus services, so it’s essential you have a metroCARD or MetroTicket ready to go.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Adelaide Metro no longer accepts cash. Instead, you can purchase tickets from vending machines using a credit or debit card.
Adelaide Metro’s also trialling new smart payment technology (initially on trams) so you can use your Visa, Mastercard or enabled smart device to pay for tickets.
Just tap or wave your card on the new ticket validator when jumping on board a tram, and you’ll be charged for one regular fare.
If you use your credit card on the tram, the 2-hour free transfer window is only available on other tram services, not buses or trains.
4. Who do I need to give up my seat for?
Remember, it’s important to keep common courtesies in mind when travelling on public transport.
Giving up your seat for elderly passengers, people with disabilities or assistance dogs, pregnant women and people with young children can make a big difference to another traveller’s day.
A bit more public transport etiquette you should follow while onboard: while listening to music or catching up on your favourite Netflix show can shorten even the longest public transport journey, it doesn’t mean your fellow passengers will appreciate it.
Make sure you wear headphones and keep the volume down when using personal devices on public transport.
Even simple gestures like thanking the driver or standing clear of doors when other passengers are disembarking can make public transport a more positive experience for everyone.
5. How is Adelaide Metro staying COVID-safe?
Adelaide Metro has pulled out all the stops to ensure passengers are kept safe when catching public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March, cleaning schedules have increased across all modes of public transport to keep passengers safe.
Surfaces such as handrails, validators and push buttons are all cleaned more regularly and areas directly behind drivers have been cordoned off to help stop the spread.
Signs encouraging passengers to socially distance have been added to vehicles, bus stops and interchanges, as well as tram and train stations across Adelaide.
Most importantly, if you’re feeling unwell, don’t travel on public transport.