Reforming commercial passenger services

Victorians are enjoying more choices, shorter wait times, safer services and reduced fares following reforms to the commercial passenger vehicle industry.

On 1 July 2022, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) and Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) came together as a new entity called Safe Transport Victoria.

In recent years the commercial passenger vehicle industry reforms have revolutionised the way we travel.

More choice

There are now more cars and drivers on the road and more choices to travel, wherever you live.

All licensing requirements have been removed and replaced with a simple vehicle registration process, and operating costs have been reduced. This has made it easier for new operators to get into the Victorian market.

There are now over 85,000 registered commercial passenger vehicles in Victoria and over 115,000 accredited drivers.

New rideshare and taxi booking services continue to enter the market, reducing wait times for conventional commercial passenger vehicle services to seven minutes on average.

More innovative services are starting up all the time, with a wider range of services now available.

Improved safety and accountability

You can now feel safer knowing every taxi and hire car (including rideshare) driver has passed a police, medical and driving history check, and is subject to ongoing criminal data matching.

All companies are now responsible for safety and service delivery and need to be accredited by Safe Transport Victoria (STV). They need to have effective processes in place for dealing with safety issues, customer complaints and service quality concerns. They also need to protect the privacy of passengers and drivers when bookings are taken.

Whether you hail a cab from the street or book on an app, the vehicle must meet the same base safety requirements expected of all passenger vehicles on our roads. Vehicles engaging in rank and hail work need to meet additional requirements such as installing cameras to reflect the anonymous nature of rank and hail work.

CPVV continues to work with the industry to make sure services are safe and easy to access for all.

More services for people with disability

There are more choices for people who rely on wheelchair-accessible vehicles, with over 300 extra vehicles now available since reforms began in September 2017.

Wait times for wheelchair-accessible vehicles have also reduced from an average of 26.9 minutes prior to the reforms to around 10 minutes.

The wheelchair lifting fee - an incentive paid to taxi operators and drivers - has already increased from $21.80 to now $26.80 per trip.

STV is also working with the industry to expand the number of Multi-Purpose Taxi Program service providers to further increase choice and availability for MPTP members.

Members can now enjoy the ability to choose the transport options that best suit their needs, in the same way these choices were expanded for all CPV users when the reforms were first introduced.

Better consumer protection

More consumer protection is now in place to help passengers make informed travel choices.

You can now shop around and get an estimated fare up-front from any driver before your trip.

All vehicles carrying out unbooked rank and hail work must continue to use a meter to accurately and transparently calculate the total cost of the trip. They also need to display fare information on the inside and outside of the car.

Driver behaviour will be regulated – from obligations not to smoke to taking the passengers directions of the most direct or preferred route.

All commercial passenger vehicles must be identifiable when they are in service and industry must notify the regulator of safety incidents and prepare and maintain a register of safety risks.

Industry transition assistance

The reforms have greatly reduced costs to new entrants while delivering the most generous industry transition support scheme in Australia.

A $500 million assistance package has now been paid to those most impacted by industry transition.

The support package includes:

  • Transition assistance payments
  • Fairness Fund
  • Rebates to annual and peak service licence holders.

Industry levy

A $1.05 per trip industry levy (the commercial passenger vehicle service levy) applies to all commercial passenger vehicle trips.

The levy funds Australia’s most generous transition package for former taxi and hire car licence owners and replaces annual taxi and hire car licence fees of up to $23,000, which has significantly reduced the cost of operating a commercial passenger vehicle service and paved the way for cheaper fares for passengers.

The Victorian Government has also slashed taxi TAC premiums by up to $2000 a year to provide a level playing field with other commercial passenger vehicles.

The levy is calculated on the total number of trips, and businesses will be able to spread the cost across long and short-distance trip prices.

Legislative change

Victoria’s commercial passenger vehicle industry reforms were delivered through two sets of legislative changes. The Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill 2017 passed the Victorian Parliament on 10 August 2017. The Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Amendment (Further Reforms) Bill 2017 passed the Victorian Parliament on 12 December 2017.

The reforms were progressively implemented throughout 2017 and 2018.