If you need a ride, you can choose one of several small passenger services, including taxis, shuttles, private hire, and app-based passenger services. These services operate under new requirements from 1 October 2017. (Find out more about which services are exempt from these requirements ).
Whether you use a particular service regularly or are trying a new service, here are some tips to help you maintain your safety:
- Booking - Consider booking your ride to ensure a vehicle comes directly to where you are. This also means you create a record of your trip including your name, the driver’s details, and start and finish (destination) points.
- ID card - Small passenger service vehicles do not need to have signage (taxi or shuttle branding), so they may look like any other vehicle on the road. Check that the driver has a passenger (P) endorsement ID card displayed (usually on the dashboard). This means they have passed a ‘fit and proper’ check by the Transport Agency, which includes medical fitness, police vetting, and transport-related offences.
- Licence card (commonly referred to as a label) - Small passenger service vehicles must display a Small Passenger Service Licence. You can check if this transport service licence label is displayed in the windscreen at the front of the vehicle – above the rego label.
- CoF - If you can, check the vehicle is displaying a current Certificate of Fitness (CoF). This indicates the vehicle has been checked as roadworthy for commercial use. A CoF will be displayed on the driver’s side of the windscreen.
- Child locks - Check whether child locks are engaged on the rear doors. Feel free to change them according to your safety preference. You can provide your own child seat, or ask a provider if a vehicle with a child seat is available.
- Your fare - The driver must agree the basis of the fare with you before the ride starts, including through an app (for example by a set rate or an agreed meter rate). They can only charge what is agreed so make sure you agree upfront the amount or the basis of calculating the fare. You are entitled to ask on what basis the fare has been set and where fare information can be found – this may be a fare schedule set by an operator. You can also request a receipt, including a GST receipt.
- The route - A driver must take the best route for you as the hirer of the service. If you are concerned about the route taken you can use a smartphone to check or even track the route taken.
- Special requirements - If you have special requirements, for example reduced vision, you may wish to consider using a service you know or can request assistance from at the time of booking. For more information about help with special requirements, contact your local council, or take a look at the Total Mobility Scheme guide [PDF, 1 MB].
- Cameras or registered passengers - For safety purposes, providers of small passenger services in most urban areas have to either have in-vehicle cameras operating in all of their vehicles, or only provide services to registered passengers and make information about the driver and passenger available to both parties before each trip. Please note operators that provide services only to registered passengers may request different information depending on how they manage bookings. To help manage safety this information, including a record of the route taken during the trip, must be kept by the operator/facilitator (the person running the service) for seven days.
- Please remember - We recommend that you do not get into a vehicle if the vehicle or driver are not the one expected or you do not see any of the indicators that it is a passenger service vehicle (such as an ID card).