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Fair and equitable compensation for taxi plate owners.

Transport NSW : Taxi car licence holders FAQs

The following is an extract from the NSW taxi car license related advice provided by Transport NSW. You can read the full downloadable taxi car licence folders PDF article here.

faq-taxi-bannerWhy have these changes been made?

The Point to Point Transport Taskforce found that the taxi and hire car industry is facing fundamental challenges from changing customer expectations and new technologies. Decades of increasing regulation have increased costs and restricted the industry’s ability to innovate. Taxis and hire cars remain a crucial part of the NSW transport system, but it is unviable to keep things the way they were. These changes were recommended by the Taskforce to bring the legislation for the taxi and hire car industry into the 21st century and to free up the industry so that it can compete more effectively in  providing a great service for customers.

How will the changes affect taxi licence owners?

The legal rights of taxi licence owners will not change. As is the case now, only the driver of a licensed taxi will be able to “stand or ply for hire”. That is, only taxis can accept a customer at a taxi rank or when a customer flags them down in the street. Taxis will continue to be able to take customers with bookings, like other point to point transport providers.

What is changing for hire car licensees?

A hire car licence is no longer needed to provide a hire car service, nor are they issued – meaning that Sydney based hire car operators no longer need to pay the annual fee of $8,235 in Metro Sydney, and approximately $3,000 in regional NSW.

From 18 December 2015 RMS will not be issuing new ‘HC’ plates. If you have existing plates and they are damaged or stolen you can apply for replacement plates.
Geographic boundaries for booked services have been removed meaning hire cars can provide booked services anywhere in NSW. An adjustment assistance package will be available for perpetual
hire car licence owners in recognition of this change.

What is being done to support the taxi and hire car industry?

The reform package the State Government is largely adopting aims to enable the taxi and hire car
industry to compete fairly by:

  • Preserving the taxi industry’s exclusive access to rank-and-hail market, which is about 70 per cent of taxi work in Sydney.
  • Removing up to $30 million a year in red tape and regulatory costs.
  • Providing $250 million in industry adjustment funding to lessen the impact of change.
  • We are working with the Taxi Council to finalise how the industry adjustment package will operate in detail. The Government is also examining ways to make Compulsory Third Party Insurance more flexible.
  • In recognition of the key community role that taxis in particular play, the Government will provide an additional $15.5 million each year for services for people with disabilities to improve accessibility. This includes doubling the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme cap (from $30 to $60 per trip) and increasing the wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) driver incentive payment (from $7.70 to $15 per eligible trip).
  • In addition to the adjustment assistance package, the NSW Government is providing $3 million for the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner to provide a range of business advisory services to the taxi and hire car industry, to help industry participants adjust to the new operating environment and make the most of new opportunities.

When will adjustment assistance be available?

We are working with the Taxi Council to finalise details of how the industry adjustment package will operate. A Transitional Assistance Panel, with representation from the NSW Taxi Council, will be established to determine how the funds should be distributed. Transport for NSW will contact licence holders with further information closer to its establishment.

How can I find out if I am eligible to receive adjustment assistance?

A Transitional Assistance Panel, with representation from the NSW Taxi Council, will be established to determine how the funds should be distributed. Transport for NSW will contact you with further information closer to its establishment.

Can I still sell my licence?

Yes. Taxi licence owners can still sell their licence, but they may not be eligible for the adjustment
assistance announced by the Government.

Can I still lease out my licence?

Yes. Taxi licence owners can still lease their licences to another person who provides the taxi service.

How will this affect Sydney annual taxi licence holders, and short-term taxi licence holders outside Sydney?

In Sydney, the Government has accepted the Taskforce recommendation for a four-year freeze in the release of new “growth” licences for taxis (other than wheelchair accessible taxis). Only replacement licences will be issued.

However, people who have secured taxi licences in previous tenders will still be able to hand them back and bid at a lower price for another licence in regular tenders to be run by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), or seek to lease a licence from someone else.

There will be no immediate change for holders of short-term taxi licences outside of Sydney. Once Parliament passes the reform package in 2016, it is intended to issue a small number of annual
licences for taxis (much like those issued in Sydney) that may be used anywhere in country NSW.

What about wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT)licence holders?

There is no immediate change for holders of short-term WAT licences (that is, WAT licences operating outside the metropolitan areas). For holders of annual WAT licences in Sydney – and short-term WAT licences in other metropolitan areas – licence fees are being reduced from $1,000 a year to zero (in line with the rest of NSW).  The four-year freeze on growth licences in Sydney does not affect WATs.

Can I still apply for a taxi licence outside of Sydney?

Until the reforms are passed by Parliament, anybody can apply to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) for a taxi licence anywhere outside Sydney. For more information, contact RMS on 1800 227 774.

What about licences issued by RMS?Can I get a refund?

Annual taxi licences are issued following tender bidding and are eligible for a maximum of 10 years, renewable annually. A licence holder may choose not to renew their licence at any time.
Under the conditions of the tender, a licensee can surrender a licence but must pay the remaining instalments to RMS. Unfortunately, no concessions or refunds can be granted to licensees.
However, operators who have secured taxi licences in previous tenders will still be able to hand them back and bid at a lower price for another licence in regular tenders to be run by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), or seek to lease a licence from someone else.
There will be no immediate change for holders of short-term taxi licences outside of Sydney. Once Parliament passes the reform package in 2016, it is intended to issue a small number of annual
licences for taxis (much like those issued in Sydney) that may be used anywhere in country NSW. Keep checking back for information about any future tenders.

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Goal

We are representing the interests of all taxi plate owners in response to financial losses in income and asset value forced upon us by the NSW Mike Baird Liberal State Government and other NSW parliamentarians.

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