The Andrews Labor Government will today introduce legislation to regulate rideshare services and make taxi and hire car services safer, more responsive and more accessible for people with disabilities.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined Mark Wilson from London Rides today – one of a number of new service providers who intend to enter the market if the Labor Government’s reforms are passed.
The Bill introduced today 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.
By stripping away complexity and red tape, the reforms will encourage new providers – improving services and, through operators like London Rides, making it easier for people with disabilities to catch a taxi.
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. Ninety-eight per cent of owners have four licences or less.
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.
More information about the reform package is available at economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Our reforms will strip away red tape and encourage new operators to enter the market – boosting competition, improving services and creating thousands of jobs.”
“We’re creating a level playing field for the industry and providing the largest industry support package in Australia.”
“This Bill is the culmination of two years of extensive consultation with the passengers and the industry. The time for talk is over – it’s time to get this done, so we can improve services for passengers.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020