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New director for public transport authority

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The South Australian Public Transport Authority (SAPTA) has appointed Rita McPhail as Director of Customer Service and Transformation.

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McPhail will be responsible for delivering targets for customer satisfaction, service delivery and community engagement, focusing on information, ticketing and digital services.

She comes to the job after previous roles as SA Power Networks’ Manager of Customer Service Engagement and Programs, and the state government’s Head of Digital Citizen services.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure has set up SAPTA as part of a “customer focussed” approach to public transport.

“I’m looking forward to working with South Australians and visitors to the state so we can improve public transport services in line with expectations, ultimately increasing the use of our buses, trains and trams,” McPhail said.

The appointment comes soon after after Transport Minister Stephan Knoll announced operation of Adelaide’s trains and trams would be privatised.

Results of a customer survey taken in 2018 showed there was “a lot room for improvement” in regards to Adelaide’s public transport services.

The study also revealed 80 per cent of bus users expressed “overall satisfaction” with the privatised bus service, compared with 87 per cent of train users and 91 per cent of tram users using the state-run system.

Knoll stressed that the “outsourcing” a private contractor would allow the Government to better enforce key performance indicators.

“We know that private business is able to provide a customer-focused service in ways governments struggle to,” he said.

McPhail starts at SAPTA on August 12.

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