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 will replace the current TTSS paper travel dockets in a phased rollout commencing with a pilot in Tamworth from November 2020.

A select group of participants from the Tamworth area will each receive a smartcard to use in the pilot. Payment terminals in Tamworth area taxis have been upgraded to accept the card.

Following the pilot, in 2021 the smartcard will be introduced across NSW, region by region, then Sydney. Transport for NSW will contact 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 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

Payment terminals

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

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

The participant will pay 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 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 accepted throughout the pilot.

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.

If one or more of the passengers in a maxi-cab is a TTSS participant, they can use one of their smartcards to cover up to 50% of the total taxi fare, to a maximum total subsidy of $60.

This is different to when passengers use paper travel dockets. Each passenger can use a paper docket to cover 50% of their portion of the fare. With the smartcard, only one passenger’s smartcard can be used to cover 50% of the total fare. However, with both methods the full subsidy is still recorded for that trip.

If multiple M50 participants are sharing a maxi-cab, one participant can use their smartcard (which will indicate they are a M50) and the WAT subsidy for the other passengers in wheelchairs can be claimed with TTSS paper travel dockets.

The driver must only write the subsidy on the docket and not claim any additional money for the trip. This process can be used for all additional passengers in a wheelchair until further notice.

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. 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 the pilot phase this may take more than one day.

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