NSW to welcome a fairer playing field for taxis and hire vehicles
A focus on customer safety and fare flexibility is at the heart of new rules for the taxi, rideshare and hire car industry to come into effect on 1 November 2017.
Delivering on a commitment to provide more choice and flexibility for customers and a more level playing field for service providers, the final Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017 has been published following public consultation on a draft of the new rules during April and May, a Transport for NSW Spokesperson said.
One major change customers will notice is the requirement for service providers to provide an up-front fare estimate when they book a trip in a taxi, traditional hire car or rideshare service. This may be a time or distance based estimate, or a set amount, or a combination of these.
“This will bring greater transparency to the booked point to point transport market, making it easier for customers to shop around for a good deal,” the Transport for NSW Spokesperson said.
“We received a wide range of insights and feedback on the proposed Regulation, with about 215 formal submissions considered,” the Spokesperson said.
“The new rules give the industry the flexibility it needs to meet the demand of customers for greater choice in the point to point transport space, while continuing to meet safety standards set by the Government.”
Following the legalisation of rideshare in NSW in December 2015, the new Regulation underpins a modern safety regime in which service providers are accountable for the safety of their services.
To help eligible taxi licence holders and hire car licence holders through the transition, an industry adjustment assistance package of up to $250 million is available and will be funded by a $1 levy per trip placed on all point to point transport providers, for up to five years. The temporary levy will start on 1 February 2018.
“During the public consultation on the proposed Regulation, stakeholders were overall supportive of the new safety standards, but they have requested guidance and support – as well as a reasonable length of time – to understand and comply with their new safety obligations,” the Spokesperson said.
“Phasing in the start of the levy means all service providers have time to meet their safety obligations first, while getting systems in place to account for the levy.”
The new regulator for the industry, the Point to Point Transport Commissioner, will continue working with industry closely between now and 1 November 2017 to help ensure everyone understands their new obligations.
The new Regulation can be viewed at https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/
To find out more about the Regulation and the point to point transport reforms, visit www.transport.nsw.gov.au/pointtopoint