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Public Transport in Adelaide

Adelaide’s population is spread across a large area, but there are diverse public transport options, run by the Adelaide Metro, and plenty of bike paths to help you get around. Also known as the “20 Minute City”, almost everything in Adelaide is about 20 minutes away by car.


In Adelaide, you’re encouraged to purchase a metroCARD for all of your travel. If you are a full-time international student in tertiary education, you are entitled to a concession card. With your concession card, you are eligible for 50 per cent off regular fares. You can also purchase a concession 14 or 28-day metroCARD pass for unlimited travel within that period.

Ensure you carry your student card with you at all times on public transport when using concession fares in case ticket inspectors want to inquire. Also, make sure to make a metroCARD account so you can recharge your card online.

The reusable metroCARD is easy to use. Follow these steps:

  1. Purchase your metroCARD at the Adelaide Railway Station and pre-load it with money.
  2. Validate your metroCARD on every journey you take by tapping it onto the bright yellow ‘validators’.
  3. Travel anywhere on public transport within two hours of validating your card – it comes under a standard fee.

Alternative ticketing options include Adelaide Metro tap and pay, which uses your Visa or Mastercard (credit/debit card or an enabled smart phone or device), or you can buy a paper ticket from some ticketing machines. However, these options are more expensive.


Travelling before 9.01am and 3pm on weekdays and all-day Saturday will incur ‘peak’ prices, whereas travel between those times and on Sunday has cheaper, ‘interpeak’ ticket prices. Learn more about fares on the Adelaide Metro website. 

When planning your travel, either consult the Adelaide Metro website or use Google Maps. If you need to travel with your bike during ‘peak’ hours, you will have to buy a separate ticket for the bike.


Stretching from Adelaide’s outer towns in the north and south, through the Adelaide Hills, and weaving through the city grid, Adelaide’s bus system is the most comprehensive and frequent public transport system. Always make sure you signal to the bus driver for the bus to stop – wave to them when waiting at a bus stop to flag them down, then press the ‘stop’ button on board the bus just before you reach your destination. There are also free City Connector buses that run every half an hour through the city and North Adelaide.


Adelaide’s railway has stops in most major suburbs and it’s the quickest public transport option. There are four major and two minor route systems, servicing Adelaide’s north, west and south. At the Adelaide Railway Station there are turnstiles to get to the train platforms – make sure you validate your metroCARD/ticket/tap and go payment device at the turnstiles and then again on the train. Ensure you always double-check your train’s route – some are ‘express’ and miss stops along the journey.


Adelaide’s tram is the best for inner-city travel, with the tram free between the South Terrace tram stop, the Entertainment Centre, Botanic Gardens and Festival Plaza – outside from these, the regular fee applies. The tram provides a link to the bustling beachside hub of Glenelg. In Glenelg, between the Brighton Road and Moseley Square tram stops, travel is free.

Contact Adelaide Metro

If you need any help or further information on Adelaide’s public transport, you can visit the Adelaide Metro website, or visit the Adelaide Railway Station InfoCentre, North Terrace, in person.

Adelaide Metro Infoline: 1300 311 108