Moving to Australia

Public Transport in Adelaide

When visiting the city of churches or if you are staying longer to live or study, you’ll find it pretty easy to get around. Public transport in Adelaide focuses mostly on buses which are reliable, clean and safe. They operate every thirty minutes from about 6am to midnight.

There’s also a rail network that operates for the same hours but there are some early morning services, starting at 4.30am. Adelaide also has a tram service and boasts some pretty impressive, state-of-the-art trams. And of course, there are taxis too.

Catching public transport in Adelaide – get your metroCARD

The Adelaide metroCARD is the city’s prepaid smart card ticketing system. There is no cost to purchase a metroCARD and you simply add funds to it to cover your fares as you go. You can still purchase tickets but there are more benefits with the card, such as convenience and cheaper fares. It’s easy to recharge or you can set it to auto recharge from your credit or debit card and let it do its thing as you ride the public transport network.

The card is available in the City and suburbs at various agent outlets like newsagents and convenience stores. You can add funds to it when you obtain and then you should go to the Adelaide Metro website to register your card. This protects the balance in case you lose your card or it’s stolen.

If you’re a visitor to Adelaide, simply purchase a Singletrip or Daytrip ticket from the driver when getting on a bus or from a ticket vending machine when using trams and trains.

Planning your journey

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Adelaide Metro Card

When you’re new to a city, it can be difficult to find your way around so using Adelaide Metro’s Journey Planner will be incredibly useful. Simply enter where you are travelling from, enter your destination and you will be shown a range of options. If multiple methods including bus, train and tram are available for your route, you will be able to choose which best suits your needs.

You can also download the app which will be extra helpful when you’re out and about.

If you are getting around using public transport in Sydney, the best times to take the train are outside of peak commute hours. If you can, avoid travelling between 7am and 9am and 4pm to 6.30pm Monday to Friday as these are when the trains are the most crowded.

The train also runs regularly to the airport and is a reliable way to get to the airport on time so you don’t miss your flight.

Catching the bus in Adelaide

Adelaide’s buses are clean and green, powered by diesel and natural gas. There’s even the bright green ‘Tindo’, a battery electric bus. It’s the world’s first bus service that’s powered exclusively by solar power! It runs between Adelaide City and North Adelaide and is part of the city’s sustainable transport efforts.

Most bus services terminate in the CBD or at a suburban interchange. If you don’t live or stay near a bus stop then you can always use the Park ‘n’ Ride facilities. Drive your car to one of 72 Park ‘n’ Ride locations, park it there for free and catch the bus (or train) to where you need to go.

Hot tips!

  • Keep an eye out for letter extensions on route numbers. If the bus number has an F, X or T after it, it could be an express bus and it may not stop where you need it to. Ask the driver when you get on.
  • If you’re travelling to metropolitan locations, the bus is the way to go. Nearest the City, buses come along about every 15 minutes or so. Further away, expect a bus every thirty minutes to an hour.
  • City bus stop numbers are lower the closer you are to the CBD.

Jump on a train

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Adelaide Railway System

There are six train lines in Adelaide: Belair, Gawler, Tonsley, Grange, Seaford and Outer Harbour. The trains are safe and clean and run to a reliable timetable.

3-day pass for visitors

For those visiting Adelaide, a 3-day metroCARD Visitor Pass is ideal. It is valid for travel on three consecutive days and can be used on all buses, trains and trams. When you buy the Visitor Pass, it’s already loaded up and ready to go, for unlimited travel over those three days. Here’s where to get one!

Free city bus services

The City Connector bus is free to ride and runs on two loops; there’s an inner city loop as well as an extended loop that travels around North Adelaide. It can take you to lots of different destinations for shopping, dining, entertainment and business appointments as well as popular attractions for a fun day out.

City Connector’s Routes 98A and 98C run every 30 minutes, seven days a week from early in the morning to 7.15pm. On Fridays, the last service runs until 9.15pm. Air conditioned and wheelchair and pram accessible, the buses are comfortable and enjoyable to ride.

Free trams

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Adelaide Trams

Hop on a tram for free! The Free city tram runs between the tram stop at South Terrace, the Entertainment Centre, Botanic Gardens and Festival Plaza. You can also take it if you need to go to the Royal Adelaide Hospital at the western end of North Terrace. If you’re heading to the beach, jump on the free Jetty Road Glenelg tram.

Adelaide airport to City

You can take a couple of different Adelaide Metro options to travel between the airport and the City.

  • JetExpress – This is an express double decker bus that operates hourly during weekday peak travel times. It can take you to more than 20 hotels and apartments in the CBD.
  • JetBus – Take this one if you need to go to Glenelg, West Beach or the City. If you need to go further than those stops, you can take a connecting trip via Adelaide Metro’s other usual services.

Metrotickets can be purchased on board JetExpress. For JetBus or for any other public transport, you can pick up a metroCARD at WH Smith Express in the Ground Floor Arrivals area of Adelaide Airport.

Taxis in Adelaide

Taxis are plentiful in Adelaide and they service all suburbs. You can specifically request a wheelchair accessible cab or a minibus taxi if there are more than four of you travelling.


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