The Andrews Labor Government’s reforms level the playing field and have slashed the cost of operating a taxi by up to $25 000 per year. These savings more than offset the $1 per trip levy that will fund the $500 million financial assistance package for former taxi and hire car licence holders.
The cost savings allow companies to reduce fares and pay more to attract the best drivers.
The reforms also include tough new penalties for drivers and operators who do not comply with regulations including refusing trips, not providing fare estimations and breaches in relation to Wheelchair Accessible Taxis. As well as fines, both drivers and networks face losing their accreditation for repeat offences.
The Labor Government’s reforms are already working. There are now 70 per cent more taxis in large regional cities including Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo and over 80 per cent in Melbourne. Four of the biggest ridesharing companies in the world are now operating in Victoria, giving passengers more choice than ever.
The reforms ensure that the levy will not affect members of the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program who are unable to use other forms of transport.
The Government is also implementing a rebate scheme for country areas if the levy has a disproportionate affect in smaller communities.
Un-booked trips, from taxi ranks and being hailed in the street, will have extra conditions including maximum fares and the requirement for CCTV cameras.
The reforms deregulate booked fares which will allow companies to compete and offer fixed fares to destinations like the airport.
All operators, including taxis, hire cars and ridesharing companies, will have to comply with a range of consumer protections to ensure fare certainty for passengers.
The Liberals have committed to increasing the $500 million in financial assistance that is being provided to former taxi licence holders but have kept secret how much they will increase the $1 levy to pay for it.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Our reforms are delivering more choice, shorter wait times, and reduced fares for all passengers.”
“Tough new laws will make drivers and companies accountable to ensure passenger safety and reliable services."
Reviewed 19 August 2020