Users of car sharing services in Melbourne will not have to pay as much as was once feared after the provincial government of Victoria agreed a new deal.
The Andrews Labor Government’s landmark reforms to Victoria’s taxi and hire car industry, which include the likes of Uber, have passed the Legislative Council, paving the way for cheaper fares, more choice and safer, more responsive services for passengers.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan welcomed the reforms which will regulate ride share services and provide certainty to the taxi industry. She said: “Today is a win for passengers delivering more choice, better service, and improved safety.
“This legislation will regulate ridesharing, cut fares and provide the most generous industry transition and support package for the existing taxi and hire car industry in Australia.”
The Government has accepted amendments that start the per trip levy at $1, with the capacity to increase it if the revenue is not sufficient to cover the costs of the financial assistance being provided to the existing industry.
The per trip levy replaces annual license costs of up to $23,000, cutting costs for operators, increasing competition and encouraging new entrants to the market. The Government is hoping this will drive down fares as a result.
The Labor Government has also agreed to remove the $50 million cap for Fairness Fund, to ensure payments are made for all eligible applications.
This will increase the financial assistance being provided to existing industry to over half a billion dollars, by far the most generous package in Australia.
The new laws require all drivers, including rideshare services to undertake police checks and be accredited. Passengers with a disability or impairment will benefit from a $25 million investment to improve and expand accessible services, along with the appointment of a dedicated Disability Commissioner.