New Regulatory Model
The new regulatory model that will come into effect later this year will be based on four key issues being safety, service standards, levelling the playing field and enforcement. An outline is provided below.
- Safety Key Issues
1.1 Fit and Proper Assessments
- Government continues to undertake fit and proper assessments on all drivers, operators and networks including Ridesharing.
- Commercial Passenger Vehicle (CPV) Identification Cards (CPVID Cards) continue to be issued to all CPV drivers including Ridesharing.
- Ridesharing drivers required to produce a CPVID Card upon demand.
1.2 Limit of Zero for Drug and Alcohol
- Extend the current CPV standards of zero blood alcohol and drug limits to apply to Ridesharing drivers when operating as a commercial passenger transport service.
- CPV networks (which include taxis, minibuses, private hires and Ridesharing), CPV operators and the Taxi Council of the NT will be responsible for ensuring training of drivers.
- Networks/operators/Taxi Council will determine the minimum requirements with consultation with the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics.
1.4 Livery / Vehicle Identification
- CPV and Ridesharing vehicles to display a Commercial Vehicle Licence (CVL) label to enable identification for enforcement purposes.
- Ridesharing vehicles not to be identified by any decals or advertising, which will minimise the ability for rank and hail jobs.
1.5 Vehicle Inspections
- CPV and Ridesharing vehicles to undertake annual safety inspections and the Northern Territory Government to consider options to allow the private sector to carry out first inspections for all CPV categories.
- The MAC Commissioner will determine an appropriate level of contribution for Ridesharing vehicles based on risk.
- The holder of the licence or the driver of a vehicle must obtain the appropriate level of insurance to cover injury for drivers of taxis, minibuses, private hires and Ridesharing.
- Service Standards Key Issues
2.1 Disability Services
- Extend the availability of the current Taxi Subsidy and Lift Incentive Schemes where vehicles are assessed to carry wheelchairs, to all CPV categories being taxis, minibuses, private hires and Ridesharing.
2.2 Restrictive Areas of Operation
- Not restrict areas of operation, and maintain the status quo with one zone that anyone can service.
- Level Playing Field Key Issues
3.1 Licence Fees
- Ridesharing to initially operate under the Special Passenger Vehicle Category.
- Reduce all CPV licence fees reflecting market access and implement a $1 levy on all point-to-point transport services being taxis, minibuses, private hires and Ridesharing. This will come into effect from the commencement of the regulations.
- Undertake a review of taxi fares based on the new approved regulatory model through an updated basket of costs methodology.
- CPV licences fees and levy will be assessed after two years.
3.2 Operational Standards
- Number Plates
- Ridesharing vehicles are issued with a general issue number plate and not a CPV number plate.
- In-Car Security Cameras
- Taxis and minibuses will still be required to have approved in-car security cameras.
- Rank and Hail Jobs
- Taxi, minibus and private hire cars (in specified ranks) are allowed to rank.
- Taxi and minibus industries allowed to be hailed by passengers from the street.
- Ridesharing vehicles are not authorised to undertake rank and hail work.
- Price Setting
- Retain status quo with Government setting fares for taxis only.
- Prohibit surge pricing by Ridesharing providers in a declared emergency event.
3.3 Vehicle Standards
- Vehicles used in all CPV categories and Ridesharing are determined by market forces.
- Safety regulation will be continued such as limiting the age of vehicles to 9 years for all point-to-point transport services being taxis, minibuses, private hires and Ridesharing.
- Multiple Purpose Taxi vehicles (wheelchair accessible vehicles) to maintain current standards.
- All CPV categories that require operator accreditation remain unchanged.
- Exempt Ridesharing from the requirement to hold operator accreditation.
3.5 Network Approvals
- All CPV networks are currently required to be approved by Government.
- Ridesharing companies will be required to meet current network approvals such as criminal history and insolvency checks.
- Ridesharing companies will be required to meet the normal network approval standards which include:
- a complaints management system
- lost property procedures
- sanctions systems
- uniform policy (if one exists)
- records management and data reporting, and
- minimum standards of service such as customer waiting times etc.
3.6 National Productivity Initiatives
- Regulate Ridesharing in the Northern Territory.
- Maintain the restriction on taxi licence numbers in Darwin and Alice Springs and review the cap and all ridesharing arrangements to be undertaken after two years (i.e. in 2019). The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics will also review the impact of the reforms and report back to Government in six months on the delivery of transport services to people living with a disability.
- Enforcement Key Issues
- Review penalties considering type and level to those applicable in other jurisdictions, including Ridesharing.
- Networks enforce minor penalties that relate to customer service issues and network conditions, and Government enforce serious penalties that may result in administrative or prosecution actions.
4.2 Enforcement Officers
- Government reviews enforcement practices and resources with a view to increasing the enforcement presence.
4.3 Data Reporting and Key Performance Indicator Standards (KPIs)
- Data reporting arrangements to commence for all CPV categories including Ridesharing, and KPIs for the taxi industry to remain.
Last updated: 28 January 2020