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Changes to taxi, hire car and rideshare services

Passenger Service Levy

From 1 February 2018, all point to point transport service providers need to pay a temporary $1 Passenger Service Levy on all trips (including taxi, hire car and rideshare) taken in NSW, to help people like mums and dads and retirees who have put their lifetime savings into the industry and are now doing it tough.

Service providers can absorb this cost or pass the levy on to you. If the levy is passed on, GST is payable and $1.10 will be added to your fare. The levy may affect the cost of your trip – you can check whether the levy is being passed on with your driver or service provider before your trip commences or when you make your booking.

While the NSW Government’s changes to the point to point transport industry deliver greater choice and flexibility for customers, the changes have not been easy for many in the taxi and traditional hire car industries. The levy is funding an industry adjustment assistance package of up to $250 million.

The levy is only temporary – it will be in place for no more than five years, or until it raises the full amount required to fund the industry adjustment assistance package: whichever comes first.

Changes to point to point transport rules

The rules for point to point transport, which includes taxis, hire cars and rideshare services, changed on 1 November 2017. Here is a guide to some of those changes:

Get an upfront fare estimate: All point to point transport booking service providers must provide you with an upfront fare estimate before your trip commences. This means you have the ability to compare and make sure you’re getting a good deal. (Please note, the fare estimate requirement applies to booked trips – such as with hire cars, rideshare and booked taxis – but not to ‘rank and hail’ taxi trips, where you either wave a taxi down on the street or catch one from a taxi rank).

Read more about booked fares and charges.

Pre-paid fares: Pre-paid taxi fares apply to all of NSW. If your driver asks, you’ll need to pay an upfront fare before the trip begins, and either pay the balance or receive a refund at the end of the trip.

For more information, see pre-paid taxi fares.

Under new laws, there will be two categories of service providers:

  1. Taxi service providers
  2. Booking service providers

Taxi service providers

Taxi service providers refer to taxi services caught at a taxi rank or hailed from the street. If you are catching a taxi from a taxi rank or hailing a taxi from the street, the maximum fare that you can be charged is regulated by the government and a fare calculation device, such as a meter, must be used.

To ensure customer safety in anonymous trips such as those hailed from the street or caught at a taxi rank, taxis are also required to be fitted with security cameras.

For more information, see rank and hail taxi fares and charges.

Remember: Only taxis have the necessary safety equipment to be hailed from the street or caught from a taxi rank.

Booking service providers

Booking service providers take bookings in advance through the phone, the internet or an app. This includes booked taxi services, traditional hire cars and rideshare services.

All booking service providers, including booked taxis, are able to set their own fares based on the service they provide. However they must provide you with an upfront fare estimate before your journey begins.

For more information, see booked fares and charges.

More information

To support the changes, The NSW Government Introduced the  Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 and the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017 that set rules for passenger services provided in any vehicle with 12 seats or less (including the driver) that can take you on any route you choose, at a time that suits you, for a fare.

For more information on the policy changes behind the new laws, visit Transport for NSW.

If you are a service provider, or are interested in becoming one, find more information at the website of the industry regulator, the NSW Point to Point Transport Commissioner.