As of February 1, all NSW passengers of taxi, hire car and ride-sharing services such as Uber are expected to be charged an additional $1 + GST per trip ($1.10), under changes to the NSW Government’s new Passenger Service Levy.
The levy will be in place for up to five years to help fund the NSW Government’s industry adjustment assistance package of up to $250 million — a condition the state government agreed to when it legalised ride-sharing two years ago.
The government says the levy is designed to help taxi and hire car licence holders adjust to the industry changes.
It is up to each service provider to decide whether to absorb the levy, or to pass it on to customers.
In most cases it is expected the customer will be the one to fork out the extra cost.
Ride-sharing giant Uber emailed its customers overnight confirming they would be the ones to pay.
“If you think this tax is unfair, make sure your voice is heard and contact the NSW Transport Minister,” it said.
Transport for NSW will publish a new taxi fares order under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles Act) 2016 to enable taxi service providers to also pass on the cost of the levy to passengers.
Competition in the sector has ramped up with the launch of new ride-sharing services such as Didi and Taxify.
Just yesterday, Ola, India’s most popular transportation platform with over 125 million users in the country, announced its plans to launch in Australia in 2018.
“We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem which embraces new technology and innovation.” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola.
“[We] look forward to contributing to a healthy mobility ecosystem in Australia.”