Tasmania is introducing a new bill that will see taxis and rideshare apps equally regulated. Here's what the changes could mean.

  • Tasmania is introducing new reforms designed to create equal regulation between taxis and rideshare companies.
  • Under the changes, rideshare companies will have to be accredited and pay annual fees.
  • The reforms also include the development of a Code of Conduct for the taxi industry.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Tasmania is introducing new changes to equally regulate taxi drivers and ride-sharing services.

The “On-demand passenger transport services industry (miscellaneous amendments) bill 2020” will be introduced to parliament this week, designed to create more “modernised” and “equitable” regulations between taxis, rideshare companies and hire vehicles.

Under these new changes, rideshare companies will have to be accredited, paying annual fees based on the number of vehicles and meet inspections and vehicle requirements in line with taxis.

For customers, it means more choice and paves the way for a voluntary Code of Conduct and Service Quality to be developed for the taxi industry.

While there will be a 5% increase in taxi fares – for the first time in six years – it will be offset by a 5% cut to credit card surcharges.

“This has been an extensive and thorough rewrite of the outdated legal framework,” Tasmania’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson said in a statement. “I am particularly grateful to our local taxi industry representatives for their constructive approach as we have worked through this complex puzzle together.”

Under the reform, the release of new taxi licenses each year by tender will be suspended for another four years. But the Transport Commission will be able to grant licenses where demand hasn’t been met.

It will also mean lower regulatory and compliance costs for most existing operators, the ability for multiple hirers for taxis to be allowed and more consistency between standard and wheelchair accessible fares.

Plus, there were be regulation of vehicles – to make sure they are safe – and drivers, to make sure they can provide commercial passenger services.

The changes will also see a safety model brought in where drivers, booking service providers and licensees will be responsible for compliance related to their role.

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