The Andrews Labor Government’s comprehensive reforms to taxi and hire car services have passed parliament, paving the way for better services, cheaper fares and more choice for Victorian passengers.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan welcomed the passage of the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill, which will replace Victoria’s complex licencing regime with a single registration system that will ensure stronger standards, safer services and create 3,500 local jobs.
The Bill abolishes up-front taxi licence fees of up to $23,000 per year, reducing costs for taxi operators and putting downward pressure on fares.
This will create a level playing field for taxis to compete with rideshare services, and encourage new operators to enter the market, boosting competition, choice and the quality of services.
The Bill also includes more than half-a-billion dollars in financial assistance for the existing taxi industry – by far 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. Ninety-eight per cent of owners have four licences or less.
The package also includes a Fairness Fund to provide targeted assistance for industry participants experiencing significant financial hardship, and $25 million investment to improve and expand accessible services.
Payments from the Fairness Fund have already started and transition assistance payments to eligible taxi and hire car licence holders can begin now that the bill has passed.
While the Liberals and Nationals opposed compensation and fairness every step of the way, the Labor Government welcomes the constructive and good faith engagement from the crossbench on a complex reform.
A second Bill to follow in late 2017 will complete the reforms which, once fully implemented in 2018, will establish a single commercial passenger industry and give Victorians more transport choices, better service and improved safety.
For more information about the reforms visit www.transport.vic.gov.au/ride-share
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“These are the most comprehensive taxi and hire car reforms in the country, and will improve services, boost choice and reduce fares for Victorian passengers.”
“The legislation creates a level playing field for taxi operators, and is backed by the biggest industry assistance package in the country – providing proper support to the taxi industry through these significant changes.”