Travelling in passenger transport
Find out about your rights as a passenger, including what your options are, how to spot an authorised on-demand booking service and tips to stay safe.
It is important that passengers only take on-demand transport trips with authorised providers.
Check the authorisation status of any passenger transport driver or on-demand booking service using DoT’s online look-ups – visit Check your on-demand transport provider is authorised for more information.
The following legislation governs the rights and responsibilities of drivers and passengers.
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018|
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020|
Passenger transport is the transport of passengers by a vehicle for hire or reward - on-demand transport is one type of passenger transport.
On-demand transport includes a service which provides a passenger with flexibility around the route they take and the time they travel. This includes:
- App-based booking service providers.
- Charter buses or vehicles (for example, private airport transfers).
- Contracted buses or vehicles (for example, by mining companies).
- Party buses (for example, hens'/bucks' nights or pub crawls).
- Hired buses (for example, educational excursions).
On-demand transport can be booked well in advance or for immediate departure.
There are other types of passenger transport which are not on-demand:
- Tourism passenger transport is the transport of tourists for hire and reward to a destination listed on advertised publicly available tour itinerary.
- Regular passenger transport is the transport of passengers for hire and reward that is conducted according to regular routes and timetables.
- Community transport is the transport of passengers undertaken by a not-for-profit service whose purpose is to improve the community they service. For example, a local government service transporting seniors to appointments, shopping or events.
- Courtesy transport is transport provided to a customer, where the transport is additional to the primary service provided. No profit is taken by the provider as a result of the courtesy transport service. For example, a courtesy car for a car repair service.
For further information, visit What is On-demand transport?
The table below shows the options available for the various on-demand transport services. It is recommended you check with service providers to see if they are equipped to offer these options.
|Assistance animal friendly^||Yes||Yes|
|Book by phone||Yes||Yes|
|Catch at a taxi rank||Yes||No|
|Driver ID picture||Yes||Yes|
|Hail on the street||Yes||No|
|Pre-agreed contract fares||Yes||Yes|
|Passengers allowed to consume alcohol||No||*Only in specific circumstances|
|Security camera fitted in vehicles statewide||Yes||Some companies|
|Taxi User Subsidy Scheme (TUSS)||Yes||No|
|Use booking app||Yes||Yes|
|Wheelchair access||Some companies||Some companies|
*Passengers (aged 18+) can consume alcohol in licensed charter vehicles if the vehicle is being hired for one hour or more continuously, the vehicle is not equipped to carry more than 14 passengers and any juvenile passengers are accompanied by, and under the supervision of a responsible adult. The driver of the vehicle cannot allow a drunk person to consume alcohol in the vehicle.
^Assistance animal access rights are governed by the following legislation:
|Disability Services Act 1986 (Commonwealth)|
|Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)|
|Disability Services Act 1993 (WA)|
|Dog Act 1976|
|National Disability Services Standards (2014)|
|Privacy Act 1986 (Commonwealth)|
There are some easy things that you can do as a passenger to ensure a safe and easy trip.
- Ensure you are aware of your surroundings at all times.
- When hailing a taxi or booking any type of on-demand trip, request to be picked up from a safe spot – avoid traffic lights, bus lanes or the middle of the street.
- Try to stand on the side of the road that your driver will be approaching from.
- If you are hailing a taxi, you do not have to pick the first taxi in the rank. You are free to choose whichever vehicle, driver or on-demand booking service suits your needs and preferences.
- Make sure the vehicle and driver details match your booking – don’t risk riding with an unauthorised operator.
- Taxi drivers must display appropriate identification. If you cannot see a driver's identification, you should request to see it. The ID includes their photo, first name and passenger transport driver authorisation number – this is usually a card displayed on the dashboard or sun visor.
- If you hire a charter vehicle the drivers ID must be either on display or provided to the hirer at the time of booking.This includes their photo, first name and passenger transport driver authorisation number (e.g. their profile on your booking app or a name tag).
- Take a photo of the vehicle’s number plate or the driver’s identification before the trip starts – if something does go wrong, you will have the information you need to report the incident.
- Always request a receipt for the trip – this will give you the name of the on-demand booking service you have travelled with, and other important details in case you need to report the trip.
- Be aware of traffic as you enter and leave the vehicle.
- All taxis are required to have a camera surveillance unit installed, and on-demand booking services can access these recordings. Some charter vehicles may have a surveillance camera installed – if so, they should have a sticker on the inside to inform you.
- Check the safety features included in your booking app – you may able to share your trip status with a friend or call emergency assistance if required.
|List of authorised on-demand booking service providers|
A driver or booking app may require full payment of the fare upfront or a deposit prior to the journey. Drivers or booking apps can legally refuse passengers who refuse to pay in advance when requested.
Businesses can choose which payment types they accept. ODBSs have a responsibility to advertise their accepted payment methods. Before you start your trip, check that your ODBS accepts your preferred payment method (for example, cash, credit card or Cabcharge). Please note: operators are not obligated to accept Cabcharge payments.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) outlines your rights regarding payment options.
Obtaining your receipt
All on-demand booking services (ODBSs) are required to provide you with a receipt that includes at least one of the following:
- their ODBS authorisation number;
- the name of the ODBS (as it appears on the ABN); or
- a trading or business name used by the ODBS.
The ACCC outlines your rights regarding obtaining receipts and other types of proof of service.
|Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: Payment methods|
|Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: Receipts|
Drivers have certain rights, which can result in a service being refused to passengers.
Drivers of on-demand rank or hail (taxi) vehicles must accept any passenger, unless:
- the driver has reasonable grounds to believe that the passenger/s or location at which the journey is to begin or end poses a threat to the driver’s safety;
- the driver has reasonable grounds to believe the passenger will damage or soil the vehicle;
- the passenger is abusive or aggressive;
- the passenger is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to such an extent that he or she is likely to soil the vehicle, become abusive or aggressive;
- the driver has reasonable grounds to believe the passenger will evade or attempt to evade the payment of a fare;
- the driver requires the passenger to pay a deposit, and the passenger does not pay it; or
- the total number of passengers aged 12 years or over exceed the number of available seatbelts in the vehicle.
A driver can also refuse to carry a passenger if they believe it would result in some other likely safety hazard or offence. For example:
- the passenger refuses to wear a seatbelt when a seat belt is required;
- the passenger smokes inside the vehicle; or
- the passenger is accompanied by luggage or items which cannot safely be stowed in or on the vehicle.
Refusing a service to a passenger outside of these circumstances may result in penalties of up to $3,000.
Passengers cannot be refused service for:
- the length of their trip (too long or too short);
- the start or end location of their trip (unless this poses a threat to driver safety);
- use of Taxi User Subsidy Scheme Vouchers;
- requiring transport in a wheelchair, or to carry a wheelchair; or
- being accompanied by an assistance animal.
Individual ODBSs may have their own rules or policies around refusing passengers.
Soiled or damaged vehicle
In the event the vehicle is soiled or damaged by a passenger, the driver has the right to issue fees for cleaning and/or damages. Individual booking services may have their own policies around cleaning fees.
If you believe you have been overcharged or have experienced poor customer service during your trip, you should make a complaint directly to the relevant on-demand booking service.
This may include issues relating to:
- service delivery;
- failure to pick up passengers;
- failure to accept or use TUSS vouchers correctly;
- driving ability, including not following road rules and traffic laws;
- inappropriate driver conversation or behaviour;
- driver attitude or hygiene;
- over charges or fare discrepancies;
- condition of the vehicle; or
- lost property.
If you are unsatisfied with the response you receive from the booking service, you may wish to investigate your options with the Consumer Protection branch at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
On-demand booking services are required to accept and work towards resolving your complaint within a reasonable timeframe. If the on-demand booking service has not responded to your complaint in a timely manner (usually 10 working days), then you can lodge a separate complaint with the Department of Transport regarding the lack of response. You will need to provide information about when and how your complaint was lodged with the on-demand booking service.
If you are unable to identify the on-demand booking service, you can email the details of the incident to the Department of Transport. DoT will strive to identify the on-demand booking service and provide you with their details so you can lodge a complaint.
Criminal and traffic offences
Criminal offences such as physical or sexual assault and traffic related offences must be reported to WA Police. If required, the Department of Transport will assist with any police investigation.
Reporting other offences
On-demand Transport receives and manages reports about the passenger transport industry (including taxi, rideshare and charter companies), where the reported issue relates to possible offences under sections of the following legislation:
- Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018; and
- Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020.
To make a report related to the above legislation, email On-demand Transport.
For further information, contact On-demand Transport.
|Department of Commerce: Consumer Protection Division|
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018|
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020|
We all need to work together to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our community. Please consider the following points when taking a trip:
- Is this trip for essential, urgent travel? For example getting groceries or visiting the doctor. If not, reconsider whether you should take the trip.
- Do not use passenger transport if you are feeling unwell.
- Practice social distancing – sit in the back seat if possible and avoid direct contact with drivers.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after taking a trip.
- If you need to sneeze or cough, use your bent elbow or a tissue to avoid spreading droplets. If you use a tissue, place it in the bin as soon as possible.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
For further tips on staying safe, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
|Australian Government Department of Health: How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19)|