In brief: South Australia to legalise Uber-style services

Industry assistance package for permanent taxi licence holders and lease holders

Uber-style ridesharing services will be legal in South Australia from July 1, the state government has announced.

The move follows a number of other states and the ACT that have already or are in the process of allowing the services to operate legally.

The SA government supported the majority of the recommendations made in a review of the taxi and chauffeur industry in the state.

“New digital technologies and emerging alternative business models are presenting exciting opportunities for the on-demand public transport industry in Australia and around the world, providing greater choice and responsiveness for the consumer,” the review argued.

“While innovation has the potential to promote change for the better, there needs to be appropriate regulatory settings to support the broader public good and opening of the market to ensure competition flourishes. There is an opportunity for national harmonisation for regulations associated with on demand travel.

The state’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure said the changes to the regulatory slated to be introduced included:

• The creation of Transport Booking Service entities (TBSs) to replace the current Centralised Booking Service system for taxis and to provide and rideshare booking services for chauffeur vehicles
• Six monthly inspections of vehicles
• Development of an appropriate Compulsory Third Party Insurance Premium (CTP) category for providers
• Simplified hire/chauffeur car categories and vehicle standards
• Reduced credit card surcharges on fares
• Preservation of exclusive rights to rank and hail work for taxis
• No release of taxi licences for at least five years
• The driver training program to become the responsibility of the relevant booking service
• Taxi fares in general will be increased on the running and waiting time components only and a new peak night time (midnight to 6.00 am) tariff for weekends and public holidays
• Less regulation around the type of vehicles to be used by all platforms
• Introduction of a lifting fee for wheelchair accessible taxis to replace metering charges while passengers are assisted in and out of vehicles
• Introduction of industry assistance package to permanent taxi licence holders and lease holders, funded by a levy on all metropolitan journeys.

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