On-demand transport reforms will create a simpler environment for the industry while reducing red tape
Customers win with safe, flexible and innovative services made available
Transition Assistance Package will help the Perth metropolitan taxi industry adapt and modernise their businesses
Customers will be the big winners from reforms to the on-demand transport industry announced today by the State Government.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the changes would provide more choice and a safe and reliable service for customers, while on-demand transport operators would benefit through a simpler environment in which to provide innovative services.
"The Government has listened to customers and consulted with industry and our reforms will enable the industry to meet customer expectations of reliability and affordability while significantly reducing red tape," Mr Nalder said.
"The Government has an important role in the regulation of the on-demand transport industry to ensure safety for drivers, vehicles and passengers and that is the focus of these reforms.
"It's also evident customers want more choice and easier access to on-demand services and the current regulations do not accommodate these important customer needs. We need to ensure the regulatory environment for on-demand transport is brought into the 21st century."
Stage one of the reforms involves a suite of interim initiatives to reduce the regulatory burden, including;
- adjustment to on-demand transport licence fees towards a cost-recovery based model
- the introduction of a new on-demand transport licence category
- the removal of the five owned taxi plate cap to allow the taxi industry to respond to the increasing competition and gives plate owners the flexibility to explore economies of scale in their operations
- a suite of improvements that will see significant red tape reductions
- a Transition Assistance Package for the existing Perth metropolitan taxi industry.
The initiatives will see many benefits for both on-demand transport operators and customers such as the removal of the minimum fare, allowing omnibus operators to accept a wider range of jobs and the option of pre-agreed fares for metropolitan taxi drivers - except rank and hail jobs.
"To support the industry through this major change, the Government is providing adjustment help of $20,000 for each Perth metropolitan owned conventional taxi plate purchased prior to December 18, 2015," the Minister said.
"This payment is part of a generous $27.5 million Transition Assistance Package - allocated for both Stage one and Stage two of the reforms - to help the existing metropolitan taxi industry with the adaptation and modernisation of their businesses.
"The Government holds 448 unallocated taxi plates to help manage supply through the transition process. These plates could be offered to existing industry participants, such as management companies, to support them through the transition to full reform in Stage two, if any monopolistic or predatory behaviour is confirmed."
The Department of Transport will work with the Economic Regulation Authority to develop a framework to identify and manage the transition away from the taxi plate cap.
"Taxi lease plate fees will be significantly reduced with savings of more than $12,000 per year and there will be no increase in fees for country taxi-cars and taxi plate owners," Mr Nalder said.
The Government's $27.5 million Transition Assistance package comprises $20,000 for each Perth metropolitan owned taxi plate purchased prior to December 18, 2015 and $6,000 for each owned peak period and area restricted plate purchased prior to December 18, 2015, a $6 million Perth metropolitan taxi industry Hardship Fund and $1.5 million for adjustment help and business support
Access to the Transition Assistance Package funds will be available once the legislative changes have passed through Parliament
Stage two of the Government's reforms will involve legislative changes, including the drafting of a single On-demand Transport Act
A dedicated Multi-Purpose Taxi Dispatch Service will provide improved management of wheelchair taxis services for customers
Minister's office - 6552 6400