The State Government is proposing the biggest overall reform to Western Australia’s taxi and on-demand transport laws that will bring the industry into the 21st century and end uncertainty.
Long-overdue modernisation of taxi and charter vehicle legislation in WA will create a fairer system, improve passenger safety and promote innovation and competition across the sector.
Historically taxi and charter operators have operated in heavily regulated markets governed by legislation that is costly, outdated and has held back industry from modernising.
The McGowan Government intends to bring all operators under the same simplified rules with a new On-demand Transport Act, set to be introduced to Parliament in early 2018.
Key aims of the Government’s reforms are to:
- Create a fairer and modernised system for all operators;
- Remove restrictions on when, where and how taxis can operate;
- Introducing a strengthened duty of care for passenger safety;
- Create one annual authorisation for all types of on-demand drivers; and
- Promote competition and innovation across the industry, removing regulation and costs.
Included in the proposed reform is a voluntary taxi plate buy-back scheme. The buy-back scheme will be industry funded over four years, through a temporary 10 per cent levy on total fare revenue generated by operators.
Through the reform process, the State Government is reducing costs on operators and boosting competition, meaning any potential increase in fares have been minimised.
The percentage levy on total fare revenue is preferred over a flat fee on individual trips, to reduce the cost of administration and to avoid shorter trips being heavily impacted.
The scheme will deliver a minimum payment for different plates, less the $20,000 transition assistance already paid under the former State government:
- $100,000 for each Conventional or Multi-Purpose taxi plate;
- $40,000 for each Area Restricted plate; and
- $28,000 for each Peak Period plate.