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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 7 (November 1, 1928)

South Australia

South Australia.

In common with other railway systems through—

out the world, that of South Australia has been confronted with serious road competition from independent operators, many of whom were working on a quite unsound basis. In such circumstances it was a difficult matter to deal effectively with the situation. The Railway authorities, however, faced the position boldly, deciding, in February, 1925, to inaugurate a road service. A fleet of vehicles, both passenger and goods, was mobilised for service and, in 1927, 46 passenger vehicles, 25 goods vehicles and 11 parcel delivery trucks were in commission on various routes.

In 1927, however, the competition became so serious that Parliament passed a Motor Transport Act which vested the control of all motor traffic outside the Metropolitan area in a Board of three, of which the Railway Commissioner was chairman. In terms of this legislation the Railway Department page 31 ceased to operate motor vehicles (other than in connection with traffic to and from the railway) within the Metropolitan area. Outside the Metropolitan area the Railway Department is not permitted to operate a motor service unless it can be shown that no other road operator is agreeable to carry passengers or goods on any specified route at rates or fares equal to, or less than, those proposed to be charged by the Railways. The 1927 Act further provides that no person can, outside the Metropolitan area, drive a motor vehicle for the carriage of passengers and goods unless such vehicle is licensed by the Board, which fixes the route or routes that may be traversed, and also imposes such conditions as the Board thinks proper regarding the rates to be charged and the timetables to be observed.

The results of the working of this Act in South Australia are said to be quite satisfactory, which would indicate that it is possible to co-ordinate road and rail traffic with results beneficial to the community at large.