City Trains – 2011 Ratings

Posted by Canstar Blue June 14th 2011

You are viewing the archived 2011 ratings for city trains. Go to the current city train ratings.

* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in 2011, published in 2011.

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Transperth the clear winner in city train services

The people of Perth must love their trains, as Transperth has been awarded Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award for City Trains.

The survey showed Transperth passengers were more satisfied with their train network than the passengers of Adelaide Metro, Queensland Rail, Sydney’s City Rail and Metro Trains in Melbourne. Adelaide Metro was voted top of the line by its passengers for ticket prices.

But our independent consumer survey has revealed the extent of consumer dissatisfaction with Australian train networks, with 1 in 2 commuters surveyed believing overcrowding on trains is substantially impacting their quality of life.

The survey showed Victorians are the grumpiest commuters, with 55% of those surveyed believing overcrowding was substantially impacting their quality of life compared with only 27% of South Australians.

Interestingly, the survey showed a surprising 1 in 10 Australian commuters surveyed have had to ask for a ‘late-to-work’ note from the rail system to explain unscheduled train delays in the last twelve months. This was the biggest issue in NSW, with 15% of respondents having to ask for a ‘late-to-work’ note compared to only 5% of West Australians.

The results conclusively showed that Perth residents are the most satisfied Australia-wide with their train network, giving Transperth top marks nation-wide in the categories of overall satisfaction, reliability and performance, comfort on train and its timetable.

Those surveyed in Western Australia are the most passionate about their train network, with a whopping 94% believing further investment in their local metro rail system should be a key transport priority compared with 83% of Queenslanders.

Some common gripes with city trains were:

  • Overcrowding
  • Reliability of services
  • Cleanliness of carriages
  • Behavior of other passengers, and associated
  • Safety concerns
  • Ticketing options are limited and prices are expensive
  • Clarity of signage and announcements

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to survey 2,500 Australian consumers across a range of categories every few months to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers of city train services within the survey group. To qualify, the customer has to have used a city train service within the last 12 months.

Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands that received three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10.

Overall satisfaction

While Adelaide and Brisbane’s rail services received a strong four star rating, it was the Transperth train service that received five stars. Sydney’s City Rail was awarded three stars and Melbourne’s Metro Trains was awarded two.

Ticket price

Adelaide Metro customers were the most satisfied with their ticket price, with this service receiving five stars. Transperth received four stars, while Sydney’s City Rail and Queensland Rail were awarded three stars each. Melbourne’s Metro was awarded two stars.

Reliability and performance

Transperth were awarded five stars for reliability and performance, while Adelaide Metro and Queensland Rail were awarded four stars apiece. Melbourne Metro was awarded two stars for reliability and performance, while Sydney’s City Rail was given three stars.

Comfort of the train

The Adelaide Metro and Queensland Rail services both were given four stars for comfort, while Transperth triumphed again and was awarded five stars. Both Sydney’s City Rail and the Melbourne Metro were awarded two stars.


Those Transperth travellers surveyed were the happiest with the timetable and scheduling of their city rail services, with the Adelaide Metro and Queensland Rail closing the gap with four stars each. Sydney’s City Rail brought up the rear with three stars, and Melbourne’s Metro was on two stars.

Signage and announcements

Commuters in Perth were the happiest with navigating the network, with Transperth awarded another five stars. Adelaide Metro and Queensland Rail again were awarded four each. The Sydney’s City Rail and Melbourne Metro were both given three stars for signage and announcements.


Transperth commuters were the most satisfied with safety (five stars) over Queensland Rail (four stars), Sydney’s City Rail and the Adelaide Metro (three stars each). The Melbourne Metro was awarded two stars for safety.