On-demand transport reform
Find out about what changed during the largest reform to the on-demand transport industry in WA’s history, creating a simpler environment for industry while reducing red tape.
Pre-reform: setting the scene
The On-demand transport industry reform commenced in WA in December 2015. The Green Paper: On-demand Transport Reform – Discussion paper for future innovation was released for public comment, with a wide range of responses received from industry and the public.
Feedback from the consultation informed the development of significant legislation that focused on safety and flexibility of service for the customer, with the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 passing Parliament in October 2018.
Stage 1: On-demand booking services – February 2019
- Implementation of the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 (the Act) commenced on 28 February 2019 with applications for on-demand booking service (ODBS) authorisation opening. Anyone taking or facilitating bookings for on-demand trips were required to be authorised, or have an association arrangement, by 1 April 2019.
- New safety obligations for all booking service, driver and vehicle operators came into effect.
- The On-demand Passenger Transport Levy commenced on 1 April 2019.
- The Voluntary Taxi Plate Buyback Payment Scheme application process commenced. In July 2019, eligible plate owners and former owners received their buyback payments. Plate owners were offered a minimum amount for each plate owned, before deductions of any previous financial assistance paid and outstanding fees. The minimum buyback amounts were:
- Perth metropolitan Conventional or Multi-Purpose taxi plate: $100,000.
- Perth metropolitan Area Restricted plates: $40,000.
- Perth metropolitan Peak Period plates: $28,000.
- The Country Taxi Camera Grant was offered to country taxi-car licence holders as a contribution towards the purchase and installation of security cameras. Payments of $500 per licence were made in June 2019.
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018|
Stage 2: Passenger Transport Vehicles – July 2019
- Passenger transport vehicle authorisations commenced on 2 July 2019. Passenger transport vehicle authorisations replaced taxi plates, country taxi-car, regular passenger transport omnibus and charter vehicle licences. The PTV authorisation is a single authorisation with four categories of service:
- On-demand rank or hail (OD-RH) (taxi);
- On-demand charter (OD-C);
- Tourism passenger transport (TPT); and
- Regular passenger transport (RPT).
- Restrictions on where and when taxis could operate were lifted with taxis being able to operate statewide. This allows a simpler environment in which to provide innovative services.
- The Regional Taxi Transition Support Package was opened to eligible country taxi-car licence holders to assist them to meet requirements under the new legislation. Payments of up to $10,000 per licence were offered, capped at 10 licences or $100,000. ODBS and PTV authorisation fees are also waived for existing regional operators for three years. Payments were made in October 2019.
- Regular passenger transport (RPT) service providers were required to apply for a new five year authorisation from 2 July 2019 for their existing RPT routes and timetabled services.
Stage 3: Passenger transport drivers – July 2020
- The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020 commenced on 1 July 2020. These superseded the 2019 Regulations, providing for the introduction of PTD authorisations and tightening of regulations including passenger transport vehicle equipment, association arrangements and record keeping requirements.
- On 1 July 2020, passenger transport driver (PTD) authorisations were introduced. These replaced F and T driver’s licence extensions that permitted someone to drive for hire or reward. PTD authorisations must be renewed every year – F and T extensions were issued with no expiry date and remained valid indefinitely, provided that the holder continued to meet fit and proper requirements. There was a 12 month transition period for existing F and T extension holders to obtain a PTD authorisation.
- A second assistance package for previous country taxi-car (CT) licence holders was also administered in July 2020. The Regional Taxi Assistance Package calculated payments for regional operators based on CT licence purchase value and estimated monopoly profits. A payment for each eligible CT licence was made, with a cap of five payments to any one individual, partnership, trust, corporation or registered cooperative that held multiple CT licences.
- On 18 June 2021, the Regulations were amended to further support the passenger transport industry. The changes allowed F and T extension holders who had applied for a PTD authorisation by 11.59pm, Wednesday 30 June 2021, to continue driving for hire or reward until their application was finalised, or Monday 31 January 2022 (whichever is first). F and T extension holders who did not meet this deadline had their F or T extension ceased.
- Regulations were also amended to:
- clarify that drivers providing community transport services as unpaid volunteers do not need a PTD authorisation (community transport drivers who receive payment/other reward may still require authorisation);
- increase the maximum metered fares for rank or hail (taxi) services by around 6.5 per cent from 1 July 2021; and
- update the prescribed amount for hire or reward to 72 cents per kilometre (previously 68 cents per kilometre), to align with the Australian Taxation Office’s claimable amount per kilometre for vehicle use for 2020-2021.
Learn about passenger transport driver authorisations
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020|
Reform close out: 2022
- The WA Government ended the On-demand Passenger Transport Levy (the Levy) on Wednesday 1 June 2022. The Levy, which began on 1 April 2019, was established to recover the costs of the $120 million Taxi Plate Buyback Scheme. A further $9 million was added to this amount in April 2020 as part of COVID-19 relief measures.