Queensland Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe
New Penalties For Unauthorised Taxi Rank Use
Victor P Taffa
New penalties now apply for the unauthorised use of taxi ranks.
Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games Stirling Hinchliffe said under the Palaszczuk Government’s personalised transport reforms, licensed taxi operators have retained exclusive access to designated ranks and the ability to be hailed by passengers.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s personalised transport reforms have helped to create a level playing field for existing taxi licences and confirm existing requirements for the use of taxi ranks.” Minister Hinchliffe said.
“Ride-booking drivers don’t have access to taxi ranks, nor are they able to pick up passengers who try to hail them from the side of the road.”
Penalties for vehicles other than taxis using ranks have increased from $48 to $243. On-the-spot penalties of $487 now apply for ride-booking drivers who solicit or tout for fares.
“Ride-booking drivers are only able to accept fares from customers who have pre-arranged a booking with a smartphone app, or through a specialist phone booking agent.” Minister Hinchliffe said.
“With the festive season now in full swing, inspectors from the Department of Transport and Main Roads will be highly visible around taxi ranks and entertainment precincts to ensure ride-booking drivers are doing the right thing.”
New penalties form part of the Taxi and Limousine Industry Assistance Scheme Regulation. The regulation also facilitates the payment of transitional assistance for taxi and limousine licence holders.
Eligible taxi licence holders will now be invited by the Queensland Rural and Regional Adjustment Agency to apply for a one-off payment of $20,000 for a maximum of two licences, while limousine service licence holder will be able to apply for a $10,000 payment.
Minister Hinchliffe also welcomed new innovations from licensed taxi operators for what is traditionally a busy time of the year for the industry.
“We’re seeing some taxi companies now offering flat fare pricing options. It demonstrates the industry is identifying and acting on competitive opportunities presented by the new Personalised Transport regulations for the benefit of customers.” Minister Hinchliffe said.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s new Personalised Transport regulations deliver safe, reliable and affordable personalised transport options for all Queenslanders.”