How will ride-booking be legalised on 5 September 2016?
Under the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 it is an offence to provide a taxi service using a motor vehicle that is not a licensed taxi. However, a regulation can be made to exclude particular services from this offence.
On 5 September 2016, the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulation 2005 was amended to exclude taxi services other than rank and hail services from this offence. This allows ride-booking services to operate without a taxi service licence from that date, with a taxi service licence still being required to provide rank and hail services.
However, in order to be excluded from this offence, the driver must not be over the no alcohol limit. This allows the no alcohol limit to be enforced against ride-booking drivers under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.
Ride-booking drivers are considered operators under the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994. Since 5 September 2016, a person who is the only driver that is providing a ride-booking service is exempt from the requirement to hold Operator Accreditation.
Ride-booking services must also comply with strengthened safety requirements under the immediate reforms.
What changes commenced on 5 September 2016?
Changes that commenced on 5 September 2016:
Which of the changes had to be complied with by 1 November 2016?
Participants had until 1 November 2016 to comply with some of the changes that commenced on 5 September 2016:
If I want to provide booked hire services what would I need to do to comply with the regulations?
You will need to hold a BHTX drivers authorisation - the same as that held by taxi drivers.
The cost of the Driver Authorisation has not changed.
What requirements do I need to meet for Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation?
New applicants for Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisations must meet the following requirements:
How much does a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation cost?
Do I need to present my medical assessment when I lodge my Driver Authorisation application?
No. You may choose to submit your application for Driver Authorisation and have your criminal and traffic history assessed before undergoing your medical assessment. This option may reduce expenses for those applicants without a suitable criminal or traffic history. A medical certificate will however, need to be lodged before a Driver Authorisation application can be approved.
I already hold a current General Driver Authorisation, can I provide booked hire services?
Yes. If your General Driver Authorisation was approved prior to 5 September 2016, you can provide booked hire services until it expires or 14 August 2017 (whichever occurs first). From 14 August 2017, drivers must hold a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation to continue providing booked hire services.
When do ride-booking drivers with existing General Driver Authorisations need to get a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation?
Ride-booking drivers that hold a valid General Driver Authorisation issued prior to 5 September 2016 will need to obtain a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation upon renewal or before 14 August 2017 (whichever date comes first)
I lodged my application for General Driver Authorisation before 5 September 2016, but it wasn’t approved until 5 September 2016 (or later). Can I provide booked hire services?
No. Only drivers that held a current General Driver Authorisation prior to 5 September 2016 can provide a ride-booking service until the day their Driver Authorisation expires or 14 August 2017 (whichever occurs first).
If your General Driver Authorisation had been approved on or after 5 September 2016 and you wished to provide a booked hire service, you had to obtain a Taxi Driver Authorisation (if before 1 November 2016) or a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation (if after 1 November 2016).
What will happen to my Taxi or Limousine Driver Authorisation into the future?
The taxi and limousine categories of Driver Authorisation will be phased out over time. After changes to Department of Transport and Main Roads systems have been implemented, holders of these Driver Authorisations will be transitioned to Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation at the time of renewal.
I am adding the Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) to my General Driver Authorisation. Do I receive a fee waiver?
No. A Driver Authorisation fee waiver applies only to drivers who held a Taxi or Limousine Driver Authorisation on 11 August 2016. However, the requirement to undertake further criminal history checks or medical checks will not be required if your General Driver Authorisation is not yet due for renewal.
I have received an Authorised Queensland Taxi Driver Display Card (AQTDDC), do I need to display it?
All successful applicants for Booked Hire / Taxi Driver (BHTX) Authorisations will receive an Authorised Queensland Taxi Driver Display Card (AQTDDC).
Drivers who provide services in a licensed taxi must display the card.
Drivers providing booked hire or limousine services in a vehicle that is not a licensed taxi do not need to display the card.
I currently hold a Scheduled Services (SCHE) Driver Authorisation, can I provide booked hire services?
No. There is no transition period for drivers who hold a Scheduled Services Driver Authorisation and wish to provide a booked hire service.
Drivers who wished to provide a booked hire service before 1 November had to first obtain a Taxi Driver Authorisation. Since 1 November, drivers now have to obtain a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation.
What will be displayed on my Industry Authority Card?
Applicants for Taxi Driver Authorisations (including new ride-booking drivers) who were approved before 1 November 2016 were issued an Industry Authority Card that showed the code ‘TAXI’.
Applicants for Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisations who are approved after 1 November will be issued an Industry Authority Card that shows the code ‘BHTX’.
Cards with ‘TAXI’, ‘LIMO’ or ‘BHTX’ codes will authorise a driver to provide taxi, limousine and booked hire services.
Can someone holding a provisional drivers licence obtain a Taxi Driver Authorisation?
No. In addition to other driver licence requirements, a person must hold a current Australian open or restricted driver licence to obtain driver authorisation. A provisional or probationary driver licence holder does not meet this requirement.
Will there be a register of current Driver Authorisations for the public to access?
Yes. The currency of Driver Authorisations can be checked on the Passenger Transport Driver Authorisation System (PTDAS). The PTDAS confirms the currency of a Driver Authorisation and does not contain any personal information. Since Monday 5 September 2016, the PTDAS can be accessed by any member of the public at www.support.transport.qld.gov.au/ptdas
When are personalised transport drivers not responsible for ensuring their customers wear seatbelts/are appropriately restrained?
Personalised transport (taxi, limousine and ride-booking) drivers are not responsible for ensuring customers are wearing seatbelts/restrained if they are:
Why aren’t personalised transport service providers required to provide child restraints for customers who need them?
It is not practical to require personalised transport service providers (taxi, limousine and ride-booking) to supply approved child restraints due to the range and number of child restraints that would need to be carried.
What are the ‘itemised receipt’ requirements?
The requirement to provide an itemised receipt will apply to all personalised transport services (taxi, limousine and ride-booking). There will be an ‘out’ provision for the driver if they believe another entity has given or is going to give the customer an itemised receipt (to accommodate practices whereby the receipt is provided electronically). The only changes to the details required to be itemised on the receipt are that the ABN and fleet number will no longer be mandated. Everything else listed will remain the same:
Will the Government be regulating how much I can charge for my services?
No. When providing booked hire services, fare estimates must be provided if requested by the customer prior to the commencement of the journey or the fare must be agreed to up front.
Since 1 November 2016, drivers must provide customers with an itemised receipt of the journey if requested (receipts can be sent by a booking entity on behalf of the driver).
What are the identification signage requirements for ride-booking vehicles?
A booked hire vehicle must not be driven unless a sign is displayed on or near the rear of the vehicle. The sign must:
How do I get the appropriate identification signage for my ride-booking vehicle?
Ride-booking drivers should contact their ride-booking company in the first instance to determine if they have set specific requirements or can provide appropriate identification signage for their vehicle as per the new regulations.
This signage should clearly identify the vehicle as a booked hire vehicle from outside the vehicle and should be displayed prominently on or near the rear of the vehicle.
However, in the absence of any requirements with their ride-booking company, any signage that displays the word ‘booked hire’ will be sufficient for the new requirement and can be supplied by the driver.
I run a booking system to manage bookings for booked-hire services – will I be impacted by any changes?
Yes. In Stage 2 all booking entities, including current taxi booking companies will be required to have government approvals, which will be set-out in legislation. Additionally, safety requirements will be imposed on all booking entities – from individual drivers who take bookings directly to technology-based booking services – to ensure they are accountable for safe and accessible services.
Can I offer a ride-booking service if I own a historic car?
Yes but not if your vehicle is registered as a Special Interest Vehicle (SIV). To operate as a ride-booking service, your vehicle must have an unrestricted vehicle registration and a current Safety Certificate from an approved inspection station.
All new drivers in the personalised transport industry must obtain a Taxi Driver Authorisation which transitioned to the new Booked Hire/Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation category that combines all personalised transport drivers (taxi, limousine and ride-booking) on 1 November 2016.