NSW Passenger Transport Legislation Review
As part of the NSW Government’s plan to deliver a more integrated transport network, we are committed to collaborating with those who depend on the quality of the transport network – our customers.
Transport for NSW is carrying out a review of the laws which govern the public transport network in NSW, the first comprehensive review of the legislation since the Passenger Transport Act 1990 came into force.
What has happened so far
The review commenced in September 2012 with the release of a Discussion Paper and a call for public submissions. A copy of the Discussion Paper is available, along with submissions received from organisations and individuals who agreed to have their submissions made public.
As a result of the review, changes to passenger regulation – covering ticketing, revenue protection and passenger conduct – were made in 2012 to allow for the introduction of the Opal electronic ticketing system. Changes to support the introduction of consistent national safety laws for rail, heavy vehicles (including buses) and commercial vessels (including ferries) were made in 2013.
On 8 April 2014, the then Premier and the Minister for Transport announced the changes that the Government would make to the regulation of taxi services, subject to the passage of legislation. These included:
- Halving the surcharge most taxi customers pay when they use a credit or debit card to pay for their fare.
- Bringing smartphone taxi booking apps into the regulatory framework. This will modernise the customer experience while ensuring that existing safety and service standards continue to be met.
Read the Premier's announcement.
A Bill to repeal and replace the Passenger Transport Act 1990 and the Air Transport Act 1964 was then introduced to Parliament on 18 June 2014 and passed by Parliament on 10 September 2014. While the new Passenger Transport Act 2014 received assent on 17 September 2014, it has not yet commenced. Therefore, the Passenger Transport Act 1990 and its regulations continue to operate.
Important changes in the new Act
The new Act gives effect to the Premier’s and Minister’s 8 April 2014 announcement about taxi surcharges and booking services, and also makes a number of other important changes. In particular, the Act:
- Gives Transport for NSW necessary powers to enter into contracts for public passenger services, regardless of the mode of delivery or the service model. This replaces the previous outdated provisions that were based on service type.
- Recognises community transport as a public passenger service and enables these services to have safety accreditation.
- Brings the air licensing regime into the new Act and strengthens the regulatory framework.
- Introduces the concept of ‘close associates’ to prevent someone who is no longer ‘fit and proper’ to operate a service continuing to run a service using a ‘front man.’
The Passenger Transport Act 2014 can be found on the NSW Legislation website:
The Minister for Transport’s Second Reading speech can be found on the NSW Parliament’s website:
What is happening next
The next step in the process is to review the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007 and develop an updated set of regulations to support the new Act. Transport for NSW will continue to consult with industry stakeholders while developing these regulations.
In early December 2014 relevant parts of the new Act commenced to give effect to the Government’s immediate priorities. Some parts of the new Act will commence at a later stage, such as the provisions relating to community transport. This is to ensure that industry stakeholders, as well as Roads and Maritime Services, have enough time to prepare for any changes that affect them.
The 5% (inc GST) cap on taxi surcharges took effect on Friday 12 December 2014. Anyone involved in breaching the surcharge cap could face fines of up to $11,000 for an individual and $110,000 for a corporation.
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