What is a booking service?
What is a booking service?
An On-demand Booking Service (ODBS) is:
- A provider who takes or communicates passenger requests for an on-demand trip and connects the customer with a vehicle and driver; or
- A driver who makes arrangements directly with the passenger for an on-demand trip.
Some examples of booking services include:
- ride-sourcing companies that take bookings via an app;
- taxi dispatch services;
- taxis doing rank or hail work or private bookings;
- individuals or companies that take bookings for premium charter vehicles;
- individuals or companies that takes bookings for bus charters;
- limousine operators taking bookings for school balls or other occasions; and
- tourism operators that offer bespoke tours (including regional areas) where the customer determines the itinerary and times.
What are association arrangements?
As a provider of on-demand services, you must ensure that all the on-demand trips you take bookings for, including rank or hail, are covered by an authorised ODBS. If you are not authorised as an ODBS in your own right, you will need to have an association arrangement.
If you only take work from a dispatcher or app that you have affiliated or partnered with, and the dispatcher or app network is authorised as an ODBS, you will not need to have an association arrangement with them.
If you only take work from a charter company as an employee of that company or as a freelance driver for that company, and that company is authorised as an ODBS, you will not need to have an association arrangement with them.
If, in addition to the dispatched or directed work, you also accept jobs through taxi rank or hail or you make arrangements directly with clients, then you must enter into an association arrangement with an authorised ODBS to ensure these jobs are covered. If you do not have an association arrangement for your private work, you must be authorised as an ODBS yourself.
If you only do rank or hail or other private work, then you must be authorised as an ODBS yourself or have an association arrangement with an authorised ODBS who will take responsibility for all the work you do.
An association arrangement is a written agreement between two parties who both undertake the business of an ODBS.
The association arrangement must state which is the principal booking service and which is the associated booking service.
The principal booking service takes primary responsibility for:
- being an authorised ODBS;
- keeping all required records;
- managing complaints
- complying with safety duties and safety standards; and
- meeting the obligations of the On-demand Passenger Transport Levy, if applicable.
It is important to discuss arrangements for any private work that you do with your dispatcher or network to see if an association arrangement with them is appropriate. As a driver, if your dispatcher or app network does not agree to enter into an association arrangement, it is your responsibility to get an ODBS authorisation of your own.
|Association arrangement fact sheet||Kb|
What is passing on a booking?
If you operate an authorised ODBS (or have an association arrangement with an authorised ODBS) and pass a booking on to another authorised ODBS (i.e. the passenger and job details are fully communicated to the other provider who then takes full responsibility for liaising with the passenger), you do not need to count them in your fee band.
However, if you dispatch a job to another on-demand passenger transport service provider, but retain the booking and communication with the passenger (i.e. you remain "the face" of the booking), then you must count this vehicle in your fee band when applying for authorisation.
It is important to understand the difference between these processes to ensure you choose the most appropriate fee band for your business when applying for ODBS authorisation. You must consider the maximum number of vehicles you are likely to dispatch work to over the year.
What is not a booking service?
In addition to on-demand passenger transport, there are other types of passenger transport:
- Tourism passenger transport is the transport of tourists for hire and reward to a destination listed on advertised publicly available tour itinerary.
- Regular passenger transport is the transport of passengers for hire and reward that is conducted according to regular routes and timetables.
Businesses which solely provide tourism or regular passenger transport services are not classified as on-demand booking services and therefore do not need to apply for an on-demand booking service authorisation.
Vehicles and drivers for these businesses will still need to hold the relevant authorisations. From mid-2019, tourism and regular passenger transport services will be required to develop and keep a Safety Management System to meet their safety duties under the Act.
There are also types of transport that are not passenger transport but for which drivers may require authorisations, these include courtesy and community transport.
- Community transport is the transport of passengers undertaken by a not-for-profit service whose purpose is to improve the community they service. For example, a bus transporting residents of a nursing home.
- Courtesy transport is transport provided to a customer, where the transport is additional to the primary service provided. No profit is taken from the courtesy transport by the provider. For example, a courtesy car for a car repair service.
There are also types of businesses that offer services that are relevant to a booking service which are not required to be authorised as an ODBS. These include:
- Hire a skipper services;
- Travel agents;
- Communications and technology services such as call centres who are contracted to take bookings on behalf of the ODBS; and
- Businesses that offer administrative or ancillary services to an ODBS such as preparation of the Safety Management System.
|Tour and charter fact sheet||Kb|
Setting up your own on-demand transport business
If you are considering setting up an on-demand transport business there are a few things to consider to make sure you’re ready.
- You will need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to apply for an ODBS authorisation.
- You will need a business name or logo to meet vehicle signage and sticker requirements.
- Sign up for a DoTDirect account that properly reflects your business structure.
- If you’re a sole operator, you can use your individual DoTDirect account. However, if you want other people to have access to your business dealings in DoTDirect (such as a business partner) then you should apply for an organisation account.
- Research what equipment your vehicle will require, where to get it made and how much it will cost. This may include equipment such as:
- roof light;
- roof sign;
- mountings or a phone cradle; and
- ODBS signage and stickers.
- If you’re driving a taxi, your vehicle must have a camera surveillance unit that meets the Camera Surveillance Unit (CSU) Standards 2019 and Taxi plates.
- Consider how you will fulfil your safety, record keeping and complaints handling obligations, and what tools or resources you will need.
- If you operate in the Perth, Mandurah or Murray areas, your trips may be subject to the Levy so you will need to keep additional Levy records and submit Levy returns quarterly.
To set up an on-demand transport business, you will need:
- An On-demand Booking Service authorisation for your booking service;
- Passenger Transport Vehicle authorisation/s with the appropriate category or categories for the vehicle/s you intend to dispatch bookings to; and
- Driver authorisation/s (F or T extension) for the drivers who will be driving the vehicles you intend to dispatch bookings to.
Read the On-demand Booking Services: Setting up your own on-demand transport business fact sheet for more information.
|On-demand Booking Services: Setting up your own on-demand transport business fact sheet||Kb|
Authorised on-demand booking services
Under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018, all On-demand Booking Services (ODBS) must be authorised. It is important to only take trips through an authorised ODBS to ensure your safety.
To search for an authorised ODBS, enter the business name or authorisation number.
Trips must be booked directly with the authorised ODBS.
Please note that this search service is provided as a guide to the authorisation status of a relevant booking service at the time of the check. It is, however, not conclusive proof that a booking service holds an authorisation. If you are concerned about the status of an authorisation after using this service, you can contact On-demand Transport.
|List of authorised on-demand booking service providers|