Taxi, hire car and rideshare customers will benefit from more choice and increased competition for their business with the NSW Parliament passing the Point to Point Transport Bill.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the passing of this legislation ushers in a new era for the transport economy.
“We know this hasn’t been easy, but good reform is never easy,” Mr Constance said.
“Now is the time for this market to grow and compete, it’s already happening and the ultimate beneficiaries are customers.”
In recognition that these reforms liberate a long held protected market, the Bill provides one of the most generous industry adjustment packages in the world for taxi plate owners.
The Bill provides:
· $98 million for $20,000 payments to taxi licensees for up to two licenses, for licenses obtained before July 1 2015;
· $142 million for taxi licensees facing hardship as a result of the changes;
· Up to $10 million for a buy-back scheme for perpetual hire car licencees.
“With the Bill passed, we will move quickly to expedite the application process. We expect applications to be open in mid-July, and will be writing to taxi licensees, asking them to go online and lodge their details so we can verify their eligibility.”
“A Panel comprising of the NSW Taxi Council, and relevant NSW Government agencies has been established to determine how the funds from the $142m should be distributed. The $250m package will be funded by a $1 levy, for up to five years that is expected to start 1 January 2017.”
The levy will be payable on all point to point transport trips by the taxi company or booking company, however it is up to service providers to determine how they account for the levy and whether or how they pass this cost onto customers.
Mr Constance said there’s likely more reform to come with changes being considered to Compulsory Third Party for the industry, along with industrial relations.