Taxis, hire cars and rideshare - new Commissioner, new rules from today
Taxi, hire car and rideshare customers will benefit from more choice and more competition on fares as new laws for the point to point transport industry come into effect from today.
Supporting the industry through these changes is Inaugural Point to Point Transport Commissioner, Barbara Wise.
“With the start of the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016, a new era for the transport industry has begun,” said Ms Wise.
Sydney taxi customers in particular will notice some changes for the better - hailing a taxi and crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge northbound will no longer include the cost of the return toll – a saving of up to $4.
For the first time, consumers will also be able to shop around for the best price when they want to book a taxi. Taxi booking companies will be able to set their own prices and potentially offer “frequent rider” discounts, price matching or similar schemes.
Consumers booking taxis and hire vehicles, including traditional hire cars and rideshare will also get an estimate of the price before their trip begins. This could be a fixed amount, a rate per hour or per kilometre. Importantly, they will also have to accept the estimate before the trip starts.
“Prescriptive and costly rules have been removed, and point to point transport businesses have the level playing field they have been asking for. It is now up to them to seize the opportunity to innovate to provide better services for their customers,” Ms Wise said.
The Government has also provided a generous industry assistance package to help them adjust to the changes, with up to $250 million set aside to help taxi and hire care licence owners. More than $92 million has already been provided, while regulatory changes have also seen CTP insurance costs drop.
While the new laws reduce red tape, safety standards have been strengthened. The Point to Point Transport Commissioner has significant powers to hold industry to account for safety.
“For the first time the buck will stop with the company making profit from the services – not just the driver,” Ms Wise said.
The new laws are on the back of a state-wide industry and customer education campaign about the changes.