The final stage of Western Australia’s most comprehensive reform of taxi and on-demand transport will be in place from July 2020.
Drivers who hold F and T drivers licence extensions, which are currently required to drive fare-paying passengers, will have 12 months from July to transition to a new Passenger Transport Driver (PTD) authorisation.
In line with other industries where safety and suitability of workers is a major focus, such as the building trades, people driving fare-paying passengers will need to apply for authorisation and renew it each year for a fee.
The authorisation fee of $88 will be waived for current F and T extension holders who apply for PTD authorisation in the first four months of the transition period, meaning they will only pay the initial application fee of $28.
Different criteria must be met to be granted a PTD authorisation compared to F and T extensions, with more stringent criminal history and ongoing medical checks increasing the overall safety of the industry. Drivers will need to renew their PTD authorisation annually.
The new criteria include a list of criminal offences that will automatically disqualify someone from becoming authorised as a Passenger Transport Driver, in line with community expectations around safety standards.
A PTD authorisation will allow the holder to drive any type of passenger transport vehicle in accordance with their licence class, rather than being restricted by their F (charter and bus) or T (taxi) extension.
The on-demand transport reform package has already delivered significant improvements including:
- authorisation of on-demand booking services and all types of passenger transport vehicles;
- requirements for booking services to report serious incidents to the Department of Transport, meaning more accountability for drivers and greater safety for passengers;
- mandatory signage requirements for all on-demand vehicles, allowing customers to easily identify the service they are using;
- allowing assistance animals in all passenger transport vehicles, not just taxis;
- removing restrictions on where and when taxis can operate;
- mandating that approved cameras will be installed in all Western Australian taxis by July 1; and
- a $119 million metropolitan taxi plate buy-back scheme.
The on-demand transport levy, which is funding the metropolitan taxi plate buy-back, is on track to be completed within the originally estimated four years.
More information about on-demand transport reform is available on the Department of Transport’s website.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The introduction of Passenger Transport Driver authorisations completes the biggest reform of the on-demand transport industry in Western Australia’s history.
“The transition to a single, annually renewed authorisation for people driving fare-paying passengers removes restrictions, simplifies processes and sets a high safety standard for operators.
“The community rightly expects there will be checks and balances in place to ensure people driving passengers are of fit and proper character and are medically fit – this reform helps ensure that.
“There are currently around 65,000 WA drivers with F and T extensions on their licence and we expect most of these drivers will transition to the new authorisation.
“The Department of Transport will liaise with current F and T extension holders to help them determine whether they require a PTD authorisation moving forward. Some people continue to hold the extension even though they no longer carry fare-paying passengers and may choose not to transition to the new arrangements.
“The Government acknowledges that wholesale changes such as what we’ve implemented can be difficult for industry, but we are confident we are now delivering safer, more flexible and more accountable on-demand transport options for Western Australians and visitors.”
Minister’s office – 6552 5500