I thought I'd start a thread on some of the practical issues around working in the CBD to help those who are coming over with jobs, or likely to get jobs, in the CBD to make informed choices about where to live. Feel free to add anything you think I've missed or add a correction if I've got something wrong (hard to believe but I don't know everything).
Okay, first thing to point out is not all jobs are in the CBD. There are plenty of big employers in other areas and there are quite a number on the outskirts of the CBD. This advice is mostly meant for the CBD but some could also apply to other areas.
Unless you live within walking distance you will need to use some form of transport to get to work. I've listed out the different forms below along with comments about each. For more information about buses, trains and trams have a look at adelaidemetro.com.au
The obvious one I suppose. Car travel is pretty popular here and things can get busy at peak times. If you have a job that is flexible with start and finish times then travelling early can help to miss the worst of the traffic. I know people that start work at 8am so they cam avoid the worst of the traffic. Getting across the city can be a bit of a nightmare, especially at peak time, with the hundreds of traffic lights that all seem to change to red just as you get to them.
If you travel by car you will need to park it. Car parking in the CBD can be really expensive, especially around the main shopping area. Some car parks do early bird parking where if you are in before 9am or 9:30am you can park for the day for just $12 or $13. Just watch these though as you might have to validate your ticket and some you only get the early bird price of you leave after 3pm. If you are going to be parking everyday then it can work out cheaper to get a parking pass. I think these are around $250 a month. They don't guarantee a space though, just get you entry to the car park, and if the car park is full you would have to park elsewhere and pay. It is possible to get reserved spaces but these cost much more. Some employers will allow you to salary sacrifice your car parking which can save you more money.
Buses will vary on how frequent and reliable they are depending on where you live. The North East is well served by the O-Bahn, that is basically a bus that runs on a track. This gets in to the CBD much faster than driving and is very popular. There are car parks at the O-Bahn stations but you have to get there pretty early to get a space. Alternatively you can catch a bus to the station and get the O-Bahn in to the city. I'm not sure how often the O-Bahn buses run but it is pretty regular.
Other areas will have a reasonably regular service in the work travel periods but then not much else during the day. Other areas have Go-Zones where the buses are supposed to be at least every 15 minutes between 7:30am and 6:30pm. A bus trip costs me $3.39 at peak time using a metro card for two hours unlimited validations. This basically means you can get on as many buses as you like within a two hour period for no extra cost. Travel is cheaper outside of peak times and concession card holders and students also travel cheaper. If you are not travelling far you can also get a two section ticket which is $1.84 per trip with a two section metro card.
The buses themselves vary from being brand new to being very old but usually seem pretty clean. Most have air conditioning but it works better on some buses than others.
I've never caught the train so can't really comment too much about this, although I do know there are train lines in Fromm the south and north of the city (and possibly elsewhere?). The train station in the city is located on North Terrace almost half way between East Terrace and West Terrace. Once you get off the train you have to then get to your place of work and the best way will depend on where your work is. There is a tram stop almost right outside the train station (tram travel is free in the city) or you could catch the free loop bus. Depending on the time of day and where you are going it may be quicker to walk from the train station to work than try and catch further public transport, although in the really hot or wet weather this might not be so pleasent.
Again I've never really caught the tram and I'm not overly familiar with where they run to and from. I know there is a tram from Glenelg to the city and that the trams are free in the city but that is about the limit of my knowledge. Hopefully someone else can add more.
If you live close enough then cycling might be an option for you. Adelaide doesn't do too badly for cycle lanes on some of the main roads and there are loads of places to leave your bike in the CBD. The worst thing about riding would be the car drivers, many of whom seem to think cyclists shouldn't be allowed on the road. If you live near the Linear park that runs by the Torrens river you could ride all the way in to the CBD without having to go on a road at all. The Torrens runs right from Athlestone/Highbury in the North East to West Beach/Henley Beach in the West.
Adelaide CBD Itself
The CBD is about 1 mile square and is surrounded by parklands. The main shopping area (with all the clothes shops etc) is around Rundle Mall but there is also Chinatown and the Central Market around Grote Street and a number of retail outlets on a Hutt Street, and various other places around the CBD. After you get over the travelling in to it the CBD can be a pretty nice place to be working.