Transport for NSW statement regarding ride sharing apps

Transport for NSW today made clear that the law relating to public passenger services has not changed.

“The law is clear and has not changed: if a NSW driver is taking paying members of the public as passengers, the driver and the vehicle must operate in accordance with the Passenger Transport Act,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.

“Under the Act, such services must be provided in a licensed taxi or hire car, by an appropriately accredited driver, authorised by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

“The Act requires drivers to be fit and proper persons and vehicles to comply with specific standards to ensure an appropriate standard of safety for customers.

“A person who carries on a public passenger service in breach of the Act may face prosecution and fines of up to $110,000.

"However, these laws do not apply to, for example, a group of friends sharing expenses or a car pooling arrangement between colleagues sharing a ride to the office.”

RMS is the agency responsible for enforcing the Passenger Transport Act.

Any driver authorised by RMS undergoes a police check.

Under the proposed new passenger transport laws announced earlier this month by the NSW Government, all taxis offering services to customers – whether via apps and other booking services, at ranks or by street hails - must be licensed taxis with authorised drivers and using the taxi meter.

None of these requirements will change.  Any taxi booking service, including apps, must make sure that these requirements are always met, or risk losing their authorisation to operate as a booking service.

All existing requirements that protect customer and driver safety will continue – including duress alarms, GPS tracking and security cameras – and be subject to taxi network control, as is currently the case.

Transport for NSW statement regarding ‘ride sharing’ apps (pdf 39KB)

30 April 2014