COVID-19 information for passenger transport industry

Find COVID-19 information for the WA passenger transport industry.

  COVID-19: Health and safety for passenger transport operators

On-demand booking services (ODBSs) have a legislated responsibility to ensure the health and safety of drivers and passengers and may enforce different protocols to do this during this time. ODBSs should update their safety management systems to ensure they have the necessary steps in place to minimise risk to drivers and passengers. 

Health and safety advice for drivers

To help stay safe, you can ask passengers if they have tested positive for COVID-19 before they get in your vehicle, so you can take extra precautions. 

You are encouraged to:

  • stay home if sick and get tested;
  • stay up to date with your vaccinations;
  • physical distance whenever you can;
  • wash or sanitise hands often;
  • provide hand sanitiser to passengers;
  • clean your vehicle regularly; 
  • encourage contactless payment;
  • avoid handling passengers’ luggage;
  • ask passengers to sit in the back; and
  • open windows and set air conditioning to fresh.

For more information, visit the WA Government COVID-19 (coronavirus) website.

External Link WA Government COVID-19 (coronavirus) website

COVID-19 vaccination information

From Friday 10 June 2022, passenger transport drivers (and other people who work in passenger transport vehicles) are no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to access work.

Members of the passenger transport industry are still strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your passengers. Visit WA.gov.au for more information.

External Link WA Government COVID-19 (coronavirus) website

Refusal of service to passengers not vaccinated against COVID-19

Drivers have certain rights that can allow them to refuse service to a passenger if they believe there is a threat to their safety.  

Section 19 of the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 provides that a driver must:

  • ensure their own health and safety; and
  • ensure that their own acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons; and
  • comply, so far as the driver is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the on-demand booking service.

Regulation 138 of the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020 provides that a driver can refuse a passenger if they have reasonable grounds to believe that either the intended passenger or a person accompanying the intended passenger, poses a threat to the driver’s safety.

If you are refusing a passenger because of concerns for your safety, it is recommended that you record the reasons for this belief, and clearly explain these to the passenger being refused.

Drivers should speak to their authorised on-demand booking service to confirm how risks associated with COVID-19 are dealt with in their Safety Management System. 

Opens in a new window Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018
External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020

  Previous COVID-19 relief for the passenger transport industry

A range of COVID-19 relief measures were passed for the passenger transport industry in April 2020, including: 

  • On-demand booking service (ODBS) authorisation and passenger transport vehicle (PTV) authorisation renewal fees were waived for authorisations that were active on 9 April 2020, with renewals due on or before 31 March 2021.
  • A one-off payment of $2,500 was paid in June 2020 to ODBSs that held an active ODBS authorisation and active PTV authorisation on 1 April 2020.
  • The timeframe for regional and metropolitan taxi operators to install an approved type of camera surveillance unit (CSU) was extended to 1 July 2021 (previously the deadline was 2 July 2020).

All motor vehicle registration fee increases have also been frozen until at least 1 July 2021.

 

  End of ban on surge pricing

For the purposes of Regulation 129(2) of the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020, which prohibits surge pricing in an emergency area, the whole state of Western Australia has been declared an exempt area from the State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please read the CEO Department of Transport’s determination on surge pricing prohibition – Determination – exempt area in relation to emergency declaration (available below).

What does this mean for my on-demand booking service?

This means on-demand booking services can now re-commence surge pricing at times of high demand in Western Australia, even with the COVID-19 State of Emergency Declaration still being in effect.

If an emergency of a different nature (such as a flood, bush fire or major security incident) is declared within Western Australia, surge pricing in relation to that emergency will not be permitted.

Why has this decision been made?

On Sunday 15 March 2020, Western Australia was declared an emergency area due to COVID-19 under the Emergency Management Act 2005.

Under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020, surge pricing and queue-jumping fees are not allowed when a State of Emergency has been declared for an area.

The ban on surge pricing during a State of Emergency is intended to ensure that people who are directed to leave, or are voluntarily leaving, an affected area during a serious emergency are not financially penalised by operators demanding high fares.

When Regulation 129(2) was originally enacted, the declaration of a long-term state-wide emergency, such as is in place in connection with COVID-19, was not envisaged. 

External Link Public Health Act
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA)
External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020
Page last updated: Wed Nov 16 2022 11:11:24 AM