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Rank and hail taxi fares and charges

Fares for a taxi caught from a taxi rank or hailed from the street are regulated by the government. The Transport for NSW fares order sets the maximum fare components such as flag fall, distance rates, peak time charge and waiting time. This means that taxi service providers and drivers are not allowed to charge anyone who catches a taxi from a taxi rank, or who hails a taxi from the street, more than the maximum fare, unless you are travelling out of the taxi service provider’s area of operation.

Taxi service providers must set fares for rank and hail services provided in the taxis that make up their service. These fares cannot exceed the maximum authorised fare set out in the fares order.

The information about a taxi service provider’s fares will be displayed in the vehicle for your reference. You may request that the driver show you if you cannot locate the display in the taxi. Taxi service providers are also required to maintain information about the fares and charges on their website (if they have one). 

The information to be displayed includes:

  • fares
  • any additional tolls, fees and charges, and
  • any differential pricing that may apply to journeys such as those taken at night or on public holidays

The driver may charge you less than the maximum fare if they choose to do so. Once the rank and hail trip has commenced, a visible fare calculation device (such as a meter) must be turned on and running during your trip.

Rank and hail taxi fares are treated differently to booked fares. This is because unlike when booking a service, you do not have the luxury of time to review the rates and shop around to compare fares when hailing a taxi on the street or catching one from a taxi rank. For this reason, the NSW Government believes the regulation of rank and hail taxi fares is an important mechanism to protect customers from being charged excessive fares.

Fares for Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme customers will remain regulated. The fare calculation device must be used, and the fare charged must not exceed the regulated maximum fare set by Transport for NSW, for both booked and rank and hail taxi trips.

Remember: only taxis have the necessary safety equipment to be hailed from the street or caught from a taxi rank, and you cannot be charged more than the regulated maximum fare for a rank and hail taxi service.

Taxi fares and charges

Taxi fares and charges in NSW differ depending on whether you are travelling in an urban area or a country area. 

Taxis charge city and urban fares if they are operating in:

  • Sydney metropolitan area
  • Newcastle
  • Wollongong regions
  • Local government areas of Blue Mountains
  • Gosford
  • Wyong
  • Shellharbour
  • Cams Wharf
  • Fern Bay
  • Minmi
  • Toronto
  • Williamtown
  • Medowie
  • Campvale
  • Ferodale
  • Raymond Terrace
  • Fassifern
  • Hexham
  • Maitland
  • Beresfield
  • Fullerton Cove
  • Tomago
  • Camden
  • Picton
  • Thirlmere
  • Tahmoor
  • Bargo

Your taxi fare is made up of different charges.

Here are the maximum amounts that rank and hail taxi companies can charge when travelling in an urban area.

  • Hire charge: $3.60
  • Peak time hire charge: $2.50 ( in addition to the hire charge, 10pm – 6am on Friday's, Saturday's, and evening prior to Public Holidays), 
  • Distance rate: $2.19 per kilometre
  • Night distance rate: $2.63 per kilometre (trips between 10pm – 6am)
  • Waiting time: $56.68 per hour (94.4c per minute) while vehicle speed is less than 26 km/h
  • Cleaning fee: if you dirty the taxi, you may be charged up to $120 

These fares and charges apply to rank and hail trips outside of Sydney and urban areas.

However some towns near the Victorian border are exempt from NSW maximum fares and charges. These include:

  • Moama
  • Barham
  • Tocumwal
  • Mulwala
  • Barooga
  • Deniliquin

Your taxi fare is made up of different charges.

Here are the maximum amounts that rank and hail taxi's can charge when travelling in country areas.

  • Hire charge: $4.10
  • Distance rate: $2.26 per kilometre for the first 12km, then $3.13 per kilometre thereafter
  • Night distance rate: $2.63 per kilometre (from 10pm – 6am)
  • Holiday distance rate: $2.71 per kilometre for the first 12km, then $3.75 per kilometre thereafter (6am to 10pm on Sundays and Public Holidays)
  • Waiting time: $57.65 per hour (96c per minute) while vehicle speed is less than 26 km/h
  • Cleaning fee: if you dirty the taxi, you may be charged up to $120 

NSW Taxis have a licensed area of operation.

If you want to travel beyond a taxi’s licensed area of operation, you may be charged more than the regulated fare.

The amount must be negotiated and agreed by the driver and the passenger before you start the trip.

The temporary $1 Passenger Service Levy currently applies to all point to point transport trips in NSW, including taxi trips. A total of $1.10 will be added to your fare ($1 plus 10 cents GST) if the service provider elects to pass on the cost of the levy to their passengers. Find out more.

Toll roads in Sydney

If your taxi ride travels via one of the following roads, the toll is added to your taxi fare.

Recent changes to the rules means that you will now only be charged the toll during your trip and not the cost of the toll for the driver to return across the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Sydney Harbour Tunnel to their destination.

The Roads and Maritime Services website lists the current toll charges added to taxis fares for the following toll roads.

Toll Road Type of toll
Sydney Harbour Tunnel Varies depending on the time of day
Sydney Harbour Bridge Varies depending on the time of day
M2 Fixed
M5 Fixed
M7 Distance-based
Eastern Distributer Fixed - Northbound
Cross City Tunnel Fixed
Lane Cove Tunnel Fixed
Sydney Airport taxi rank Fixed

For more information about the types of tolls, tags and passes visit the Sydney Motorways website.

Sharing a taxi with a stranger

If you agree to share a taxi with a stranger, this is called a multiple hire.

When you share a taxi with a stranger, you will each be charged 75% of the maximum fare to your destination.

Multiple hiring must be agreed to by the driver and all hirers. The driver cannot tout or solicit for the second fare.

Multiple hiring of a taxi is intended for busy periods, to get more people – who happen to be travelling in the same direction – to their destination.

Multiple hiring occurs when two or more hirers use the same taxi at the same time. A hirer can be one person or a group travelling together.

When a group of friends, family or workmates travels together to one destination, it is considered a single shared ride, not a multiple hire.

Example

A couple take a taxi from Sydney Airport to Circular Quay. At the same time a second hirer wants to go to Central Station. They agree to multiple-hire the taxi as they are heading in the same direction.

When the taxi arrives at Central and the meter is $24. The second hirer is charged $18 (75% of $24 is $18).

The driver continues on to Circular Quay, when the taxi arrives the meter is $36. The couple pay $27 (75% of $36 is $27).

Multiple hiring means the driver gets paid more for the trip but each hirer pays less, and can get to their destination more quickly without having to wait for another taxi to arrive.

Fares for maxi-taxis

Maxi-taxis can carry up to 11 passengers depending on the vehicle.

An amount of up to 150% of the regular taxi fare may be charged where the maxi-cab is hired at a rank or hailed on a street and there are 5 or more passengers.