What is a booking service?

An On-demand Booking Service (ODBS) is a provider who takes or communicates passenger requests for an on-demand trip and connects the customer with a vehicle and driver; or a driver who makes arrangements directly with the passenger for an on-demand trip.

  What is a booking service?

An On-demand Booking Service (ODBS) is:

  • A provider who takes or communicates passenger requests for an on-demand trip and connects the customer with a vehicle and driver; or
  • A driver who makes arrangements directly with the passenger for an on-demand trip.

Some examples of booking services include:

  • ride-sourcing companies that take bookings via an app;
  • taxi dispatch services;
  • taxis doing rank or hail work or private bookings;
  • individuals or companies that take bookings for premium charter vehicles;
  • individuals or companies that takes bookings for bus charters;
  • limousine operators taking bookings for school balls or other occasions; and
  • tourism operators that offer bespoke tours (including regional areas) where the customer determines the itinerary and times.

  What are association arrangements?

If you are taking or facilitating bookings for on-demand transport services, you are considered to be operating as an on-demand booking service (ODBS). As an ODBS, you must either:

  • hold your own ODBS authorisation; or
  • have an association arrangement in place with an authorised ODBS.

An association arrangement is a written agreement between two on-demand booking services (ODBSs) – the principal ODBS and the associated ODBS – where the principal ODBS agrees to take responsibility for certain things on behalf of the associated ODBS, related to the running of an ODBS.

Visit the Association arrangements webpage for more information.

  What is passing on a booking?

If you operate an authorised ODBS (or have an association arrangement with an authorised ODBS) and pass a booking on to another authorised ODBS (i.e. the passenger and job details are fully communicated to the other provider who then takes full responsibility for liaising with the passenger), you do not need to count them in your fee band.

However, if you dispatch a job to another on-demand passenger transport service provider, but retain the booking and communication with the passenger (i.e. you remain "the face" of the booking), then you must count this vehicle in your fee band when applying for authorisation.

It is important to understand the difference between these processes to ensure you choose the most appropriate fee band for your business when applying for ODBS authorisation. You must consider the maximum number of vehicles you are likely to dispatch work to over the year.

  What is not a booking service?

In addition to on-demand passenger transport, there are other types of passenger transport:

  • 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.

Businesses which solely provide tourism or regular passenger transport services are not classified as on-demand booking services and therefore do not need to apply for an on-demand booking service authorisation.

Vehicles and drivers for these businesses will still need to hold the relevant authorisations. From mid-2019, tourism and regular passenger transport services will be required to develop and keep a Safety Management System to meet their safety duties under the Act.

There are also types of transport that are not passenger transport but for which drivers may require authorisations, these include courtesy and community transport.

  • 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 bus transporting residents of a nursing home.
  • Courtesy transport is transport provided to a customer, where the transport is additional to the primary service provided. No profit is taken from the courtesy transport by the provider. For example, a courtesy car for a car repair service.

There are also types of businesses that offer services that are relevant to a booking service which are not required to be authorised as an ODBS. These include:

  • Hire a skipper services;
  • Travel agents;
  • Communications and technology services such as call centres who are contracted to take bookings on behalf of the ODBS; and
  • Businesses that offer administrative or ancillary services to an ODBS such as preparation of the Safety Management System.

  Setting up your own on-demand transport business

If you are considering setting up an on-demand transport business there are a few things to consider to make sure you’re ready.

Getting started

  • You will need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to apply for an ODBS authorisation.
  • You will need a business name or logo to meet vehicle signage and sticker requirements.
  • Sign up for a DoTDirect account that properly reflects your business structure.
  • If you’re a sole operator, you can use your individual DoTDirect account. However, if you want other people to have access to your business dealings in DoTDirect (such as a business partner) then you should apply for an organisation account.
  • Research what equipment your vehicle will require, where to get it made and how much it will cost. This may include equipment such as:
    • roof light;
    • roof sign;
    • mountings or a phone cradle; and
    • ODBS signage and stickers.
  • If you’re driving a taxi, your vehicle must have a camera surveillance unit that meets the Camera Surveillance Unit (CSU) Standards 2020 and Taxi plates.
  • Consider how you will fulfil your safety, record keeping and complaints handling obligations, and what tools or resources you will need.
  • If you operate in the Perth, Mandurah or Murray areas, your trips may be subject to the Levy so you will need to keep additional Levy records and submit Levy returns quarterly.

Required authorisations

To set up an on-demand transport business, you will need:

Read the On-demand Booking Services: Setting up your own on-demand transport business fact sheet for more information.

  Authorised on-demand booking services

Under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018, all on-demand booking services (ODBS) must be authorised. Passengers are encouraged to only take trips through authorised providers for their safety.

It is important that your ODBS name, logo and/or authorisation number are clearly marked outside or inside your vehicles so passengers can easily identify your service.

Use the List of authorisation on-demand booking services below to check the authorisation status of an ODBS – just enter the business name or authorisation number.

My ODBS is not showing in the search

If you cannot find your ODBS on this list, it may not be properly authorised. Please contact the Department of Transport on 13 11 56 or via email at ondemandtransport@transport.wa.gov.au for assistance.

Note: this search service is provided as a guide to the authorisation status of a ODBS at the time of the check.  It is, however, not conclusive proof that an ODBS holds an authorisation.  If you are concerned about the status of an authorisation after using this search, you can contact On-demand Transport.

Opens in a new window List of authorised on-demand booking service providers
Page last updated: Tue May 17 2022 2:06:36 PM