Western Australia will move to revamp regulations governing taxis as part of a reform package that will make Uber’s ride-sharing service legal in the state.
The move follows the New South Wales announcing yesterday that it would shake up the taxi industry through regulatory changes to make Uber’s UberX service legal in the state.
In a similar fashion to the NSW changes, in WA the ‘rank and hail’ business will remain the preserve of taxis, and a fund will be created to help taxi plate owners transition to the new arrangements.
The WA reforms will be introduced in two tranches: By regulatory changes by the government, and through a yet-to-be-drafted ‘On-demand Transport Act’.
The state will introduce an omnibus licence category that the government said would encourage drivers participating in ride-sharing services and other emerging business models to comply with regulations.
"Changing customer expectations, the emergence of new market entrants and three separate reports into WA's taxi industry have highlighted the need for a significant overhaul of the current rules and regulations for on-demand transport and taxis in this State," WA transport minister Dean Nalder said.
“The proposed reforms will reduce red tape, address cost disparities and unnecessary operating conditions imposed on current metropolitan government-leased taxi plate holders and privately owned taxi plate holders in both metropolitan and regional areas.
“Under these new measures, taxi operators will be freed up to adapt to customer's demand and take on competition. We believe WA’s on-demand or taxi industry will continue to grow, provided drivers and owners adopt innovation and technology to provide a better service and accept greater accountability for the services they provide to the community.”