TTSS Smartcard rollout
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.
In early 2021, the smartcard and payment solution will be made available to all of New England and Queanbeyan. This will be followed by a phased rollout, region by region across NSW, concluding in Sydney.
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
- The smartcard will be 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
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 will be added to the trip electronically and the receipt as a WAT count.
Transport for NSW will make 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.
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.
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.
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.
From early 2021, if multiple passengers sharing a maxi-cab are M50 cardholders, drivers will be able to select options to allow each M50 participant to tap their card to record the WAT count.
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.
TTSS Smartcard transactions are recorded electronically. Taxi service providers will receive payments from Transport for NSW. Electronic transactions including WATDIS payments will be validated and settled to the taxi service provider by Transport for NSW.
The remittance advice will also be generated by Transport for NSW and made available to taxi service providers. Settlement of electronic transactions received by Transport for NSW will be much faster than the six weeks it currently takes to receive and settle paper travel docket transactions.
Funds from subsidies and incentive payments are transferred electronically to each taxi service provider. Settlement between Transport for NSW and taxi service providers will occur the next day. In these early stages, settlement will occur approximately weekly. We’re intending to move to daily payments to taxi service providers by the completion of the rollout.
There is no change to the current Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017.