Government wants upper house support for taxi and Uber changes. photo: Attila Csazar

Taxi plate buy-back part of transport shake-up

Thursday, 2 November, 2017 - 10:45

Perth taxi and Uber users may see a 10 per cent fare hike for the next four years to fund taxi plate buy-backs as the state government revamps on-demand transport.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti today announced a new On-demand Transport Act, to be introduced to parliament early next year, under which all on-demand transport will operate under the same rules and taxi plate owners will receive up to $100,000 in a plate buy-back scheme.

Ms Saffioti said the proposed reforms would promote innovation, safety and competition and be fairer for all operators.

The voluntary buy-back scheme for owners of taxi plates will be funded by a 10 per cent levy over four years on total fare revenue generated by operators.

Ms Saffioti said the government did not believe a 10 per cent fare increase would be justified. She has written to Uber requesting the US giant reduce its 25 per cent service fee charged to drivers to prevent the levy from being fully passed onto the public.

The new legislation will remove restrictions on when, where and how taxis can operate and strengthen the duty of care for passenger safety.

“It is incumbent on the upper house to support these reforms so Western Australia’s on-demand transport industry can prosper into the future,” she said.