Many people have already used Uber or GoGet rather than hire a taxi to get around. This has upset taxi drivers, understandably, who have to pay for expensive licences and insurances while meeting legal standards. The NSW government has decided to update the legislation for this brave new world of rideshare and is asking the public to have its say.
Point to point is an umbrella term for taxis, hire vehicles and rideshare. The draft Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017 emphasises, among other things, safety requirements, fare flexibility and creates a difference between providing a passenger service and a booking service.
Taxi services only will be able to use taxi ranks and the hail system. They will have to register as a passenger service and a booking service. If any driver takes bookings direct from customers, they must register as a booking service as well as a passenger service. Booking services can be provided from anywhere in NSW but only taxi services can use rank or hail.
Safety standards vary, depending on the service you provide. As well as meeting the usual NSW driver and vehicle standards, point to point vehicles must:
- Manage health and safety risks
- Show correct signs and marking
- Use valid fare calculation and alarm devices
- Be competent with handling wheelchairs etc.
The NSW government already sets maximum fares for taxis caught at a rank or on the street and taxi companies can still set fares that are lower than this. The government will not set maximum fares for booked trips. Even so, booking services must give the customer an estimate of the fare and how it could vary, before they confirm it.
Passenger Service Levy
Taxi services and booking services must pay $1 levy per trip to fund an industry assistance package of $250 million. It is a temporary levy for 5 years to help taxi services adjust to the new point to point environment.
Roads and Maritime Services is the current regulator of point to point services. Once the new regulation commences, a newly hired Point to Point Transport Commissioner will take over the tasks of compliance and enforcement.
If you would like to provide written feedback on the draft regulation, you can do so by 9 May 2017. Please reference specific sections and clauses in the draft regulation. You can find the draft regulation, regulatory impact statement and fact sheets here:
Post your submission to:
Transport for NSW
Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017
Point to Point Implementation
Freight, Strategy and Planning
Transport for NSW
PO Box K659
Haymarket NSW 1240