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

  Record keeping

On-demand booking services must keep certain records, including drivers and vehicles, general trip and booking records, as well as specific levy records if the ODBS is liable for the levy.

This section covers general trip and booking records, including records related to individual on-demand jobs (including contract fares), as well as records of the names and details of drivers and vehicles.

There is some overlap in these records so it is recommended that relevant ODBSs consider this in their record keeping processes. Read Levy requirements for booking services for more information about levy record keeping.

What records need to be kept?

Booking services must keep records of the drivers and vehicles they dispatch work to, in addition to the following trip and booking records:

  • the day and time the booking was taken;
  • the day and time the journey took place;
  • the locations where the journey began and ended;
  • the name and details of the driver, including their PTD authorisation number, or their driver’s licence number if they do not have a PTD authorisation yet (prior to 30 June 2021);
  • the vehicle registration details;
  • if the vehicle used is electric;
  • customer information, such as contact details or the account charged;
  • the number of passengers seated in a wheelchair;
  • if a child restraint, booster seat or child safety harness was provided or fitted for the trip;
  • if a cleaning fee was charged to the customer;
  • if a booking was referred to another provider, the name of that provider and the day and time of the referral; and
  • the amount of the fare paid and the components of that fare.

For full details of what information must be included in these records and how long they must be kept for please refer to the Act or Regulations.

Records to be kept for each booking include:

  • the day and time the booking was taken;
  • the day and time the journey took place;
  • the locations where the journey began and ended;
  • the name and details of the driver, including their PTD authorisation number, or their driver’s licence number if they do not have a PTD authorisation yet (prior to 30 June 2021);
  • the vehicle licence number of the vehicle used;
  • customer information, such as contact details or the account charged;
  • the number of passengers seated in a wheelchair;
  • if a booking was referred to another provider, the name of that provider and the day and time of the referral; and
  • the amount of the fare paid and the components of that fare.

These records do not need to be submitted to DoT on a regular basis, however they must be maintained as part of your authorisation. DoT can request them at any time and they must be provided during an audit. DoT Education and Compliance Officers can attend and perform audits to ensure booking services are meeting their authorisation obligations.

How must records be kept?

Under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020, records must be:

  • written in English;
  • legible, clear and accurate;
  • in document form or a form that can easily be converted into document form (i.e. able to be displayed in a physical printed form); and
  • collated or able to be collated so that all records can be viewed together if requested.

A Levy records template is provided (below) – this can be used to capture your Levy records but may not cover all your record keeping obligations. This is accompanied by a Levy template completion user guide, to assist with completing this spreadsheet.

ODT_P_Levy_Template_Completion_User_guide.pdf icon Levy template completion user guide Kb
ODT_P_Levy_Records_Template.xlsb icon Levy records template (desktop only access) Kb

  On-demand Passenger Transport Levy records

Booking services are legally required to keep records of all leviable trips, including:

  • date of trip;
  • start and finish times of trips;
  • trip locations;
  • fare components and amounts;
  • names of drivers; and 
  • vehicle registration details. 

All booking services who have registered for the Levy will be required to undergo a Levy audit at least once during the duration of the Levy. When booking services are audited, they are required to submit their relevant Levy records to DoT for review. These records must be submitted electronically in an Excel template provided by DoT (the Levy template).

The Levy records template and the Levy template completion user guide can be found below. Booking services are encouraged to use this template to keep their Levy records on an ongoing basis – this will help ensure compliance with Levy record keeping requirements and eliminate any additional work for Levy audits. 

Please note: as this template is designed to capture Levy records, booking services will need their own processes to keep other relevant records.

The following information must be provided to the Department as part of the levy returns that are required on a monthly or quarterly basis:

Individual trips with a levy fare less than $100

  • Number of trips
  • Total value of levy fares for trips

Individual trips with a levy fare more than $100

  • Number of trips

Visit Levy requirements for booking services for more information.

ODT_P_Levy_Records_Template.xlsb icon Levy records template (desktop only access) Kb
ODT_P_Levy_Template_Completion_User_guide.pdf icon Levy template completion user guide 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: Tue Sep 29 2020 4:04:24 PM