The South Australian Government says it will privatise Adelaide's train and tram services.

The Government has announced it will issue tenders for the operation of services on Adelaide Metro.

It plans to retain ownership and control of rail assets, including trains, trams, tracks and stations, and will set fare prices for travel.

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll said Adelaide's public transport network is underperforming, with one of the lowest patronage levels in Australia.

“There is no doubt that we can and must provide better and more customer-focused public transport services for South Australians,” Mr Knoll said.

“We know that public transport patronage growth has stalled, and customers want a better level of services than is currently provided — and the Marshall Government agrees with our customers.”

Bus services were sold almost 20 years ago by the Liberal government of the time.

Mr Knoll said some service levels will be guaranteed, while some service expectations will increase too.

“We will be able to deliver more efficient services so we can reinvest back into the network to provide better services,” he said.

The government is not making any guarantees to current drivers.

“We will be working with those tenderers to make sure, to the greatest extent possible, the existing workforce gets the greatest opportunities to transition,” Mr Knoll said.

“But there are strong provisions in place around retraining and redeployment that exist in the enterprise bargaining agreement and we'll be making sure for those workers that don't transition that we also continue to find ways to help them and help them on an ongoing basis.”

A State Government survey released this week found over half of all commuters (56 per cent of train and tram users and 54 per cent of bus passengers) currently believe they are getting good value for money.

“The biggest things that our customers told us was that we need to improve reliability, that we need to improve overcrowding on certain sections of our network and we also need to improve the frequency of service,” Mr Knoll said.