On 30 September 2015 Andrew Barr MLA, Chief Minister, and Shane Rattenbury MLA, the Minister Assisting on Transport Reform, announced reforms to the taxi and on-demand transport industry. The announcement follows a review that investigated how emerging technologies and new business models can contribute to a better on-demand transport system.
Read the media release
The ACT is the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise and regulate ridesharing services, such as uberX, and the first capital city in the world to regulate ridesharing before the service has begun.
The reforms will ensure that Canberrans have access to safe, flexible and affordable taxi, hire car and ridesharing services while also reducing significant costs and regulatory burden on the existing taxi and hire car industries to ensure they remain competitive and sustainable for drivers, owners and passengers.
The reforms will be delivered in two stages:
Stage 1 is an interim phase that allows authorised ridesharing and other innovative booking services to operate subject to safeguards such as criminal history and driver history checks of drivers. There will also be an immediate reduction in fees for taxis and hire cars. This stage began on 30 October 2015.
Stage 2 involves the introduction of new laws into the Legislative Assembly to introduce the full suite of reforms, including driver accreditation requirements for rideshare and reduced regulation for taxis and hire cars. The new laws were passed in November 2015 and are subject to commencement at a later date.
From 1 April 2016, new CTP premiums will apply for rideshare vehicles.
Access the fact sheet that explains the changes for all Canberrans and passengers [Fact Sheet Passengers PDF]
Access the fact sheet that explains the changes for taxi and hire car drivers [Fact Sheet Drivers PDF]
Access the fact sheet that explains the changes for the taxi and hire car industry [Fact Sheet Industry PDF]
Access the fact sheet that explains rideshare driving in the ACT [Fact Sheet Rideshare PDF]
To ensure that public safety is not compromised ridesharing vehicles and drivers will undergo accreditation and registration as already occurs with other forms of on-demand transport services such as taxis and hire cars.
This includes criminal and driving history checks, vehicles inspections and appropriate insurance arrangements.
Recognising the valuable improvements in services for people with disabilities since the 2010 Taxi Industry Review reforms, the Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) service will remain unchanged by the reforms.
People with a disability will continue to have access to the current arrangements, including the WAT centralised booking service and the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.
The Government will reduce annual costs faced by taxi and hire car drivers and owners. This includes the reduction of taxi license fees by 50 per cent on entry of rideshare and 75 percent a year after the legislative reforms start.
Less red tape
The Government will reduce existing regulatory requirements and remove unnecessary regulatory burden and red tape around business standards.
For public confidence and convenience taxis will retain sole access to the rank and hail market.
Rideshare companies will be able to operate alongside current taxi networks and other booking apps as Transport Booking Services (TBSs). This innovative structure will see all business models regulated similarly and allow drivers (from taxis, hire cars and rideshare) the potential to accept bookings from more than one TBS.
Economic modelling undertaken by the Centre for Economics indicates that ridesharing offers a financial benefit for the ACT community of $3.5 million after five years.