What has changed
Pre-reform: setting the scene
The On-demand transport industry reform commenced in WA in December 2015. The Green Paper: On-demand Transport Reform – Discussion paper for future innovation was released for public comment, with a wide range of responses received from industry and the public.
Feedback from the consultation informed the development of significant legislation that focused on safety and flexibility of service for the customer, with the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 passing Parliament in October 2018.
Stage 1: On-demand booking services (February 2019)
- Implementation of the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 (the Act) commenced on 28 February 2019 with applications for on-demand booking service (ODBS) authorisation opening. Anyone taking or facilitating bookings for on-demand trips were required to be authorised, or have an association arrangement, by 1 April 2019.
- New safety obligations for all booking service, driver and vehicle operators came into effect.
- The On-demand Passenger Transport Levy commenced on 1 April 2019.
- The Voluntary Taxi Plate Buyback Payment Scheme application process commenced. In July 2019, eligible plate owners and former owners received their buyback payments. Plate owners were offered a minimum amount for each plate owned, before deductions of any previous financial assistance paid and outstanding fees. The minimum buyback amounts were:
- Perth metropolitan Conventional or Multi-Purpose taxi plate: $100,000.
- Perth metropolitan Area Restricted plates: $40,000.
- Perth metropolitan Peak Period plates: $28,000.
- The Country Taxi Camera Grant was offered to country taxi-car licence holders as a contribution towards the purchase and installation of security cameras. Payments were made in June 2019.
Stage 2: Passenger Transport Vehicles – July 2019
- Passenger Transport Vehicle authorisations commenced on 2 July 2019. Passenger Transport Vehicles authorisations replaced taxi plates, country taxi-car, regular passenger transport omnibus and charter vehicle licences. The PTV authorisation is a single authorisation with four categories of service:
- On-demand rank or hail (OD-RH) (taxi);
- On-demand charter (OD-C);
- Tourism passenger transport (TPT); and
- Regular passenger transport (RPT).
- Restrictions on where and when taxis could operate were lifted with taxis being able to operate statewide. This allows a simpler environment in which to provide innovative services.
- The Regional Taxi Transition Support Package was opened to eligible country taxi-car licence holders to assist them to meet requirements under the new legislation. Payments of up to $10,000 per licence were offered, capped at 10 licences or $100,000. ODBS and PTV authorisation fees are also waived for existing regional operators for three years. Payments were made in October 2019.
- Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) service providers were required to apply for a new five year authorisation from 2 July 2019 for their existing RPT routes and timetabled services.