It has been many years since Dorothy Barbaro caught an Adelaide tram but it didn’t take long to rekindle her love for the iconic transport.
Dorothy was chatting with Torrens Connect General Manager Magda Robertson during a recent trip to Adelaide on the Glenelg-line tram. Magda was checking out the route from the Bay to the City in her new role as General Manager of Torrens Connect, the company that will be running the tram service in Adelaide from July 5 this year.
Dorothy told Magda that she usually drives her car but, since she is in her 88th year, the tram will now be the preferred mode of transport to the city from her Glenelg base.
“I think it’s lovely, there’s no traffic, I don’t have to pay for parking in the city and it’s quick,” Dorothy told Magda.
“I know a lot of people who catch the tram and it’s just commonsense now.
“It wasn’t hard to work out how to get on, it’s comfortable and free on my concession card during the day … I’ll definitely be using it again.”
Dorothy said she caught trams regularly as a young girl to get to the beach at Glenelg and can remember using the trams when travelling to the city. Now experiencing the 2020-version of transport, Dorothy marveled at the shiny new tram that was quietly whisking her off to the city in just over 30 minutes on a cold, wintery day.
“The trams we caught to the beach back then were a bit different to these ones,” Dorothy said.
“These are wonderful, they are so clean, nice and warm … I wore so many layers today expecting to be cold but I’m lovely and warm now.”
Magda said Dorothy’s story was the one of the reasons she loves her job and why she is looking forward to leading the Torrens Connect team in the new and exciting future for the Adelaide trams and North South bus service.
Magda has run transport systems in Sydney and Melbourne. She says hearing first-hand customer experience from people like Dorothy is the driver, literally, for her public transport passion.
“When you hear people like Dorothy talk about the trams or buses we operate and maintain, it makes you realise that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves, we are part of people’s lives. Transport is critical infrastructure and without it, society, our community and economy would struggle,” Magda said.
“It can be hectic, exhilarating and sometimes just downright hard work providing transport for the community but then you meet people like Dorothy and it makes it all worthwhile.
“I use our services regularly and encourage all our staff to do the same because I think we have a great public transport system here in Adelaide.
“It also gives all of our staff a great insight into what people want from the public transport system and how we can keep improving it.
“That’s our aim … to keep providing a better and better experience for people using the trams and buses and we can do that by continually listening to our customers.”
Torrens Connect takes over the tram operation on July 5 on behalf of the South Australian Government and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. The tram operation is a consortium between John Holland, UGL and Transit Systems.
Under the contractual arrangement, all enquiries and feedback regarding the trams and bus services should still be directed to Adelaide Metro on https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/