Safer, more accessible taxi and hire car services

Published: 22 February 2017

The Victorian Government has today introduced legislation to regulate rideshare services and make taxi and hire car services safer, more responsive and more accessible for people with disabilities.

The Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill will abolish annual licence fees of up to $23,000 for taxis, making it more simple and affordable for new providers to enter the market and operate a vehicle. This will drive greater consumer choice, better service, and will place downward pressure on fares.

The Bill will enable a range of innovative ride share companies to become accredited and provide services in a more flexible environment that still requires drivers to have on-going criminal checks and medical reports.

The Bill also introduces $494 million in assistance for the existing taxi and hire car industry – the largest transition and support package in Australia.

Through this package perpetual metropolitan licence holders will receive $100,000 for their first licence and $50,000 per licence for up to three more.

The package also includes $50 million in targeted assistance for industry participants experiencing significant financial hardship, $25 million to ensure services continue to be provided for passengers with disabilities, and a rebate for annual licence fees.

A $2 per trip levy will be introduced as part of the Bill, although it will not come into effect until next year.

The levy will fund the support package and replace annual licence fees – currently up to $23,000 – considerably reducing the cost of operating a taxi, paving the way for more competition and cheaper fares for passengers.

For more information about the reforms see transport.vic.gov.au/ride-share