The McGowan Labor Government will be delivering a $9 million relief package to support the taxi and On-Demand Transport industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The series of measures – which includes a $4.7 million boost to regional taxis – will provide immediate financial relief to the on-demand transport industry and ease disruption.
It will largely be funded from money generated by the on-demand passenger transport levy over the past year, ensuring the industry is given the best chance of retaining jobs and minimising impacts.
The COVID On-demand Transport industry relief package includes:
- $4.7 million in Regional Taxi Assistance Payments available to around 200 former country taxi licensees who paid a sum to a third party to acquire a taxi-car business and were operating against that licence on July 1, 2019;
- $1.5 million to provide a cash payment of $2,500 to around 600 authorised On-demand Booking Services that also hold an active Passenger Transport Vehicle (PTV) authorisation. These are largely sole traders or small and medium businesses providing taxi, tour and charter, luxury and special event services across Western Australia;
- $1.95 million to waive PTV authorisation renewal fees of $113 per vehicle for the next 12 months. Applies to approximately 17,500 vehicles used for on-demand taxi and charter, tourism and regular passenger transport services;
- $1 million to waive On-demand Booking Service authorisation renewal fees for the next 12 months. Fee costs depend on the number of vehicles the booking service uses. One vehicle costs $250 per annum, while large companies with 500 or more vehicles on their books pay $65,000; and
- The requirement for all metropolitan and regional taxis to have a new or upgraded cameras has been delayed from 2 July 2020 to at least 1 July 2021, which will relieve stress for approximately 300 regional taxis and 1,000 metropolitan taxis.
Final details of the new regional assistance package are being worked through and will be released within the next month. The payments are expected to be made this July.
The new $4.7 million regional assistance package is being delivered on top of the $3.7 million of State Government assistance already provided to regional taxis during reforms.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very difficult time for all sectors of the passenger transport industry – from charter and taxi service providers through to tourism operators across WA.
“This is part of the McGowan Government’s wider economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The On-Demand Transport industry relief package aims to provide immediate assistance so drivers and businesses can continue to provide their vital services to the community.
“The assistance package for taxi operators in our regional areas being offered is fair and reasonable and should alleviate some of the hardship that is being experienced right now, in particular as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
“In these extremely challenging times, I would like to personally thank all of the on-demand transport workers who have quickly and safely transported impacted community members to isolation and medical services – they are a prime example of the community working together to overcome these unprecedented challenges.”