TTSS Smartcard rollout

Overview

Supporting people with disabilities

NSW taxi drivers have been assisting people with disabilities to travel using the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS) since 1981.

The scheme provides subsidised fares to eligible residents who are unable to use public transport because of a qualifying severe and permanent disability.

Transport for NSW is introducing a smartcard to make the scheme easier to use. This tap-and-go card will reduce the time it takes you to process transactions and receive payments.

TTSS Smartcard rollout

The smartcard and payment solution is replacing the current TTSS paper travel dockets. The rollout commenced with a pilot in Tamworth in November 2020.

Regions/cities now accepting the smartcard:

  • New England including Tamworth and Armidale
  • Areas around the ACT border including Goulburn and Queanbeyan
  • Northern NSW including Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Ballina, Byron Bay, Kingscliff, Casino, Lismore and Tweed Heads
  • Western NSW including Lithgow, Bathurst, Mudgee, Orange, Parkes, Young, Griffith, Dubbo and Broken Hill
  • Southern NSW including Batemans Bay, Moruya, Albury and Wagga Wagga.

The rollout will continue in areas such as the Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Port Macquarie, Taree, Kempsey, the Blue Mountains and Sydney later in the year.

Transport for NSW is contacting taxi service providers directly, prior to the rollout in each area.

Why a smartcard?

Smartcards are considered the most broadly accepted digital product to transition from a paper-based system. Benefits include:

  • Smartcards don’t require a particular companion device. For example, apps require a smart phone.
  • Older participants (who comprise many TTSS participants) are familiar with using cards.
  • Smartcards don’t require complex technology to operate.
  • ‘Tap and go’ functionality is easy to use.
  • A smartcard is much easier to carry than a docket book.

Benefits for industry

Drivers:

  • The smartcard is easier and faster to use as it removes the need to hand write dockets and drop them off at depots
  • More timely payments.

Taxi service providers:

  • Reduced operational costs and faster payment settlements
  • Less manual processing, collating and postage of paper dockets
  • Improved reporting and data capabilities
  • More simple trip reconciliation processes
  • Reduced risk of human and scanning errors.

Accepting the TTSS Smartcard

Payment terminals

The TTSS Smartcard can be used in taxis equipped with Cabcharge payment terminals.

Drivers select a ‘TTSS’ option on their payment terminal. The participant or the driver taps the card on the device to deduct the TTSS component of the fare.

The participant pays the remaining portion of the fare.

Receiving the WATDIS (M50) payment

The following TTSS codes appear on the smartcard:

  • M40 – standard taxi
  • M50 – wheelchair accessible taxi

If the passenger is a M50 participant, this is added to the trip electronically and the receipt as a WAT count.

Transport for NSW makes any Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Driver Incentive Subsidy (WATDIS) payments once we validate that the vehicle was a wheelchair accessible taxi. The WATDIS is $16.50 including GST.

Emergency dockets

In the unlikely event of a terminal outage or faulty smartcard, drivers can use a TTSS Emergency Docket. 

Emergency Dockets can only be used in limited circumstances. Please refer to the full instructions in the TTSS Smartcard – Guide for taxi service providers and drivers. 

Original copies of completed Emergency Dockets should be mailed to:
Transport for NSW
PO Box K659 
Haymarket NSW 1240

Participants without smartcards

TTSS Smartcards are being rolled out in a phased approach. Participants are expected to use their smartcard once they have been issued. TTSS paper travel dockets will continue to be used during the transition period and until notification is received from Transport for NSW that dockets are no longer accepted.

Non-compatible payment terminals

In taxis where the payment terminal is not enabled to accept the TTSS Smartcard, participants can use a TTSS paper travel docket. Participants with smartcards have been asked to carry a minimum of 2 paper travel dockets as a back-up.

Once participants have received their smartcard they will only use a paper travel docket if the taxi is not enabled to accept the smartcard. Drivers should process paper travel dockets in the usual way.

Interstate travel

The TTSS Smartcard cannot be used for taxi trips in other states. NSW TTSS participants will still need to use their paper interstate travel dockets for taxi travel in other states and territories. 

Smartcard validity

The smartcards are valid for three years. The expiry date is printed on the font of the card. The card expires on the final day of the month that is printed on the card. If a card has expired, it won’t work if it is tapped on or inserted into a payment terminal. Expired cards should not be accepted. TTSS participants are required to pay the full fare until they receive their replacement card.

Multiple hires and shared rides

For each ride, one participant can use their smartcard to deduct the TTSS subsidy component of the fare. If applicable, the WATDIS payment will also be recorded. The remaining portion of the fare can be split between the participants.

Drivers are entitled to the WATDIS for each M50 passenger that travels in a wheelchair within the vehicle. 

If multiple passengers sharing a maxi-cab are M50 cardholders, drivers can select options to allow each M50 participant to tap their card to record the WAT count.

Lost smartcards

If drivers find a smartcard in their taxi or elsewhere, they should please contact their taxi network to return it to the cardholder. Otherwise, they can post it to the address on the back of the card or call 131 500 to report it as lost.

Payment settlements

TTSS Smartcard transactions are recorded electronically. Funds from subsidies including WATDIS payments are validated and settled to the taxi service provider by Transport for NSW.

Funds will be transferred to each taxi service provider via a new payment platform. Smartcard transaction settlements will be much faster than the six weeks it currently takes to receive and settle paper travel docket transactions.

Settlement files showing trip details and transaction amounts are generated by Transport for NSW and made available to taxi service providers via the new payment platform.

TTSS Smartcard payments are matched to the corresponding taxi plates and deposited into your bank account. This means it’s important keep your list of plates updated in our system including when taxis are added or no longer in your fleet.

Terms of use and regulations

The TTSS terms of use have been updated to accommodate the use of the new smartcard.

There is no change to the current Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017