COVID-19: Updates on Department of Transport services

Responsibilities for authorised booking services

Under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018, booking services have defined responsibilities. This page provides information to help booking services understand these responsibilities.

  Safety duties and standards

The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 (the Act) specifies a range of safety duties and standards for passenger transport services.

On-demand booking service (ODBS) providers have a safety duty to ensure the health and safety of their passengers and drivers. A chain of accountability framework, establishes that booking services have an obligation to ensure they meet their safety duties. In addition to their general safety duty, ODBS’ must ensure that all drivers and vehicles they dispatch work to, or have association agreements with, meet the applicable safety standards outlined in the Act and associated regulations. 

You can read more about safety duties on Safety for industry.

It is a requirement that booking services comply with these duties and standards, as well as keep records and provide data to the Department of Transport (DoT) as specified in the regulations.

Safety management systems

A critical part of meeting safety requirements for a booking service is developing and using a Safety Management System, customised to your business. A Safety Management System is a set of policies, procedures and plans that systematically manage health and safety by identifying safety risks and putting in place steps to mitigate them.

Further information, including resources to help you meet your safety requirements, can be found at Safety management for authorised booking services

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

  Booking and Levy record keeping requirements

On-demand booking services (ODBSs) must keep certain records in the prescribed format, and maintain these records for a defined amount of time. ODBSs operating in the leviable area must also keep Levy records.

ODBSs must provide copies of records when requested.

Visit Record keeping and industry data collection for more information on record keeping requirements and prescribed formats.

  ODBS audit requirements and checklist

Officers will attend and perform audits to ensure service providers are meeting their obligations. To help operators prepare for an audit, officers will provide an audit checklist to guide the discussions. Visit Education and Compliance for more information about audits.

A version of the audit checklist will be used in any audits undertaken on booking services by DoT Education and Compliance Officers.

This document provides an overall summary of all auditable activities, to help guide business planning.
The audit checklist covers the following areas:

  • authorisation;
  • safety management system;
  • vehicle and driver safety standards;
  • complaints resolution process;
  • advertising;
  • fares;
  • record keeping; and
  • levy responsibilities.

A range of accompanying checklists (below) include:

  • Driver sampling;
  • Records sampling;
  • Vehicle sampling OD-C (charter);
  • Vehicle sampling OD-RH (taxi); and
  • Vehicle sampling supplementary WAV.

DoT has developed sample resources based on the audit checklist, which booking services can adapt for their own business purposes to assist in meeting their responsibilities – check these out further down the page.

Please note, these resources are provided as a guide only and may or may not be sufficient to address the needs of a specific business. Further resources will be added over time.

ODT_P_AuditChecklistOnDemandBookingServices.pdf icon Audit checklist: On-demand booking services Kb
ODT_P_Driver_Sampling_Checklist.docx icon Driver sampling checklist Kb
ODT_P_Records_Sampling_Checklist.docx icon Records sampling checklist Kb
ODT_P_Vehicle_Sampling_ODC_Checklist.docx icon Vehicle sampling OD-C (charter) checklist Kb
ODT_P_Vehicle_Sampling_ODRH_Checklist.docx icon Vehicle sampling OD-RH (taxi) checklist Kb
ODT_P_Sampling_Checklist_Supplementary_CSU.docx icon Vehicle sampling supplementary CSU checklist Kb
ODT_P_Vehicle_Sampling_Supplementary_WAV_Checklist.docx icon Vehicle sampling supplementary WAV checklist Kb

  Complaints handling

Booking services are required to have appropriate complaints management processes and procedures in place. This includes keeping records of customer complaints and resulting resolutions for two years after the complaint was initially made.

The following links are provided to assist booking services to establish complaints management processes to meet their needs. A large range of example processes, policies and procedures can be found online and from other established businesses.

Opens in a new window Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: Dealing with customer complaints
Opens in a new window WA Small Business Corporation: Handling customer complaints

  Reporting notifiable occurrences (ODBS)

All authorised ODBSs are required to keep a register and report all notifiable occurrences they become aware of to DoT.

Notifiable occurrences are incidents of a serious nature that involve, or have the potential to result in, injury, violence or abuse of a person.

Notifiable occurrences can be reported through the ODBS’s DoTDirect account. Visit OdT industry portals to find out more about notifiable occurrences and how to report them to DoT.

Booking services are required to report notifiable occurrences to DoT as soon as practicable after the booking service becomes aware of the notifiable occurrence. Failure to comply with this requirement may attract fines of up to $9,000 for an individual and up to $30,000 for a body corporate.

Drivers of passenger transport vehicles also have a responsibility to report notifiable occurrences to DoT – see Passenger transport driver responsibilities for further information.

  Reporting alleged driver conduct

All authorised ODBSs must report to DoT any allegations that a driver of an on-demand passenger transport vehicle was engaged in conduct that would affect the driver’s suitability to drive in the on-demand transport industry.

ODBS providers must make the report within 48 hours after becoming aware of the alleged conduct.

Alleged driver conduct reports can be made through the ODBS’s DoTDirect account. Visit OdT industry portals to find out more about reporting alleged driver conduct to DoT.

  Setting fares

Booking services are required to be transparent in the determination of their fares.

All booked fares which is every fare other than rank or hail, must be agreed in advance with the hirer and provided in writing prior to the trip commencing.

If using a taxi meter, a booking service must provide a fare schedule in an approved form that states the metered fares. The fares must not exceed the maximum outlined in the regulations.

It will be up to individual businesses to decide whether to charge a surcharge based on time or availability, or to charge less than any regulated maximums.

Surge pricing or queue-jumping surcharges are not permitted if there is a declared state of emergency for the area.

Further information about fares can be found at On-demand rank or hail (taxi) fares

  Advertising

Advertising for authorised booking services must include at least one of the following:

  • the booking service provider authorisation number;
  • the booking service provider name; or
  • a trading name or business name used by the booking service.

Additionally, if a booking service is operating under an association arrangement (and not their own authorisation), they must state that this is the case in any advertising material. They must also include the authorisation number, provider name or trading/business names of principal booking service that they are associated with.

It is an offence to advertise an on-demand booking service unless it is authorised. This includes “lifts for cash” on social media. Penalties of up to $30,000 may apply.

See the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020 for further information.

External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020

  Receipts for on-demand trips

All booking services are required to issue receipts that include at least one of the following:

  • the booking service authorisation number; or
  • the name of the booking service (as it appears on the ABN); or
  • a trading or business name used by the booking service.

From 1 July 2020, these requirements extend to associated booking services. When an associated ODBS issues a receipt, the receipt must contain:

  • the name of the associated ODBS; and
  • the business name, or ODBS number, of the principal ODBS. 

It is important that receipt details are kept up to date for all drivers and ODBSs as incorrect receipt details can impact on customer queries or complaints. 

ODBSs should consider their receipting obligations in their driver on/off-boarding processes.

For further information, see Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020.

External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020

  Exception to signage and livery requirements

On-demand charter vehicles being used to provide a passenger transport service are required to display livery or signage identifying the passenger transport service.

In exceptional circumstances where the safety of vulnerable passengers is involved, it may be of benefit for the livery or signage to be removed for the duration of a particular journey. An on-demand booking service (ODBS) that seeks to be excepted from the signage and livery requirements in these circumstances can apply to be an ‘approved provider (family violence exception)’. 

Family violence refers to violence, a threat of violence, by a family member of the person, or any other behaviour that coerces or controls the family member or causes them to be fearful. 

ODBSs must comply with all livery and signage requirements, however, may be excepted for particular journeys where the driver of the vehicle or provider believes on reasonable grounds that: 

  • the service was booked in connection with a family violence situation; and
  • it is necessary or desirable in order to protect the safety of a passenger or the driver that the vehicle is not readily identifiable as an on-demand charter vehicle. 

DoT will only approve an ODBS to obtain an exception where it is satisfied the ODBS has appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure: 

  • the safety of each passenger and the driver is protected; and
  • the vehicle is identifiable to each passenger; and
  • the livery and signage requirement family violence exception being relied upon is communicated to the driver of the vehicle or the provider (as the case may be) as soon as practicable. 

Applicants must complete the Application for Exception Signage and Livery Requirements (ODT130 form) and submit with any supporting documentation. This form is available on request from On-demand Transport.

By email: ondemandtransport@transport.wa.gov.au
In person: On-demand Transport, 20 Brown Street East Perth WA 6004
By phone: 1300 660 147 

  Education and compliance

To assist booking services to understand and meet their safety duties and standards, DoT will be conducting advisory visits and audits. During an advisory visit DoT Education and Compliance Officers will talk through the safety obligations and authorisation conditions detailed in the Act and Regulations, provide support to booking services to understand how to meet their obligations and answer any questions the ODBS may have.

Following the advisory visit, Officers will undertake an audit and provide recommendations to the ODBS to assist them in meeting their obligations.

DoT have released a suite of resources to assist booking services to meet  safety duties and standards, including:

  • a safety management system guide;
  • vehicle and fatigue management plan templates;
  • record keeping guide;
  • complaints handling resources; and
  • an audit checklist.

 

Page last updated: Thu Jul 29 2021 2:18:02 PM