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					       Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources
                        Land Transport Safety Division
                          Vehicle Operations Branch
                 Taxi and Luxury Hire Car News – March 2010


                                                        Issue 53 – March 2010


        In this Issue:
        Taxi Fares - Wheelchair-accessible taxis                            Page 1
        Annual administration fees for taxi and luxury hire car licences    Page 2
        Changes to taxi regulations                                         Page 2
        Smoking in taxis                                                    Page 6
        Availability of unsold owner-operator taxi licences                 Page 7

       Taxi Fares
       Wheelchair-accessible taxis
       This article clarifies the fares that can be charged when using a wheelchair-
       accessible taxi (WAT).
       WATs operating under a WAT licence take advantage of a multi-tariff structure,
       being tariffs 1, 2, 3, and 4.
       The tariffs for WATs apply as follows:
       Tariffs 1 and 2
             - These are the fares to be charged when undertaking standard taxi work,
                 carrying up to 4 passengers, NONE of whom are in a wheelchair.
             - These tariffs are the same as tariffs 1 and 2 for standard taxis, and apply
                 to the same operating times.
       Tariffs 3 and 4
             - Tariff 3 is charged when carrying a person or persons in a wheelchair and
                 apply to the same operating times as tariff 1.
             - Tariff 4 is charged when carrying a person or persons in a wheelchair and
                 apply to the same operating times as tariff 2.
             - Tariff 4 may also be charged AT ANY TIME when carrying 5 or more
                 persons whether or not they are in a wheelchair.
       DIER is aware of some operators charging or attempting to charge passengers
       for luggage or other items they have. This is illegal. There is no luggage, freight
       or other charge for passenger’s possessions.
       In addition, a wheelchair-accessible vehicle operating under a perpetual or
       owner-operator taxi licence can charge standard fares only (that is, tariff 1 or
       tariff 2).




D e p a r t m e n t of I nf r a s tr uct ur e ,
E n e r g y a n d Re s our ce s
       1 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
Use of the taximeter generally
Operators are reminded of the requirement to use the taximeter at all times,
except when carrying passengers;
    - For a wedding or funeral; or
    - Under a contract or agreement between the hirer of the taxi and the
        responsible operator of the taxi that is approved by the Transport
        Commission.

Annual administration fees for taxi and luxury hire car licences
Operators are reminded of the due date for these fees, 1 April 2010.
DIER sent letters to all licence owners in early February 2010 concerning the
fees, and a clarification letter to all licence owners in early March 2010
concerning tax invoices and the GST.
To again summarise, the fee is exempt from GST, and no tax invoice is issued by
DIER.
If the fee is not paid by 1 April the licence is placed in a lapsed status.
Responsible operators of licences are reminded that a taxi or luxury hire car
service cannot be provided under a licence that has lapsed. If lessees of
perpetual taxi licences in particular are unsure if the fee has been paid by the
licensee, they should clarify this before 1 April 2010 by contacting the licensee,
or Vehicle Operations on 6233 5376.


Changes to Taxi Regulations
DIER has finalised amendments to the Taxi Industry Regulations 2008, which
were advised to the taxi industry in Newsletter number 51 and also through the
Taxi Industry Reference Group. These regulations took effect on 1 January
2010.
The main changes to the regulations are summarised below.
    Taxi vehicles operating as taxis must always use the meter and must
     always have a roof sign (top light) on the vehicle. A driver must always
     turn the meter on, even if a set fare (which must be no greater than the
     metered fare) is being charged. There is no scope for a vehicle to operate
     as a taxi without using the meter and the roof sign.
    A ‘not-for-hire’ sign must be carried by any vehicle that is used as a taxi or
     a vehicle that might look like it is a taxi, even if the vehicle isn’t operating
     as a taxi (e.g. substitute taxi or a vehicle in the process of being fitted out
     as a taxi, etc).
    A driver must display a ‘not-for-hire’ sign whenever a vehicle that is used
     as a taxi is not operating as a taxi. The driver must also display the sign
     if the vehicle looks like it is a taxi.
    A driver must also display a ‘not-for-hire’ sign if a taxi is not available for
     hire. This includes times when any taxi equipment (camera, meter etc) in
     the vehicle is not working.
    The taxi licence plate must be removed from a vehicle if any of the taxi
     equipment is not working.
    There are new record-keeping requirements for security camera
     downloaders and taximeter adjusters.
    The period for which some downloaded images must be retained has been
     reduced.


2 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
More detailed information about the changes is provided below.
Taxi top-lights
These are now referred to as ‘roof signs’. This is to avoid confusion in the
regulations between the dome on the roof of the taxi and the enclosed light
contained within the dome.
The word ‘taxi’ on the roof sign must be visible from a distance of no less than
20 metres in daylight or when the sign is illuminated. Other requirements for
roof signs are unchanged.
Not-for-hire signs
There is no longer a requirement for a not-for-hire sign to be of a certain size,
but the sign must be legible from a distance of at least 20 metres from the
outside of the vehicle.
Not-for-hire signs will have to be carried by any vehicle that is used as a taxi or a
vehicle that might look like it is a taxi. The driver of any vehicle that falls into
one or more of the following groups must carry a not-for-hire sign in the vehicle
at all times:
       taxis;
       substitute taxis; and
       any vehicle that looks like it could be a taxi (e.g. a vehicle that has taxi
        decals or a taxi roof sign), even if it isn’t operating as a taxi at the time.
The driver of any of the vehicles listed above must display the not-for-hire sign
when the vehicle is on a public street in any of the following situations:
     if the vehicle is not operating as a taxi;
     if the vehicle does not have a taxi licence plate displayed;
     if a taximeter, security camera, roof sign or tariff indicator lights are not
       installed;
     if the taximeter, security camera, roof sign or tariff indicator lights are not
       working (e.g. if the vehicle is being driven to a repairer to have the
       camera repaired); or
     if the taxi is not for hire (e.g. if the vehicle is parked on the street while
       the driver attends to other business).
The requirement for the sign to be placed at the top left hand side of the
windscreen has been changed. The sign may now be placed in any safe position
at the left hand side of the windscreen, including on the dashboard.
It is an offence for a driver to accept a hiring if the not-for-hire sign is displayed
in the vehicle.
Taxi licence number plates
A taxi licence plate must be affixed to the vehicle that is providing the taxi
service under the authority of the licence.
The plate should only be affixed to a vehicle if the vehicle is operating as a taxi
at the time. In particular, the plate must not be affixed to a vehicle used as a
taxi (including a WAT) if its taximeter, roof sign, tariff indicator lights or security
camera (where required) is not installed or is not functioning correctly. This
means that if any of this equipment is broken, the taxi licence plate must be
removed from the vehicle immediately. As noted above, if this is the case, the
vehicle must also display a not-for hire sign.
It is an offence for a WAT plate to be attached to a vehicle other than the WAT
specified in the licence. The only exception to this is where the Commission has


3 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
approved the use of a substitute WAT. In that case, the WAT licence plate must
be affixed to the substitute WAT.
Use of taximeters and other taxi equipment
While a vehicle is operating as a taxi, it must be identifiable as a taxi. A taxi
must at all times have an operational top light and tariff indicator lights. The
driver must always use the taximeter and the taxi licence plate must always be
affixed to the taxi. A taxi cannot operate under the authority of a taxi licence
without the meter being turned on, without a roof sign or without a licence
number plate affixed.
What this means is that the driver must always turn the meter on at the start of
a hiring (when the vehicle begins to move) and must always turn it off at the end
(when the vehicle comes to a stop at the passenger’s destination). The driver
must not charge more than the metered fare (plus the credit fee, where credit
arrangements are used) at the end of the hiring.
This does not prevent drivers and passengers from negotiating set fares if they
wish to do so. However, the meter must still be turned on during the journey. If
the agreed fare is higher than the fare shown on the meter, the driver can only
change what is shown on the meter (plus the credit fee, where credit
arrangements are used).
If a customer wishes to travel in an ‘unmarked’ taxi, this is not possible. Such a
service can only be provided by a luxury hire car, or in specific circumstances, by
a limited passenger service vehicle. The Commission no longer has the authority
to approve agreements between operators and hirers for ‘off-meter’ hirings
where the taxi could operate without its roof sign and meter.
The changes to the not-for-hire sign and taximeter provisions have been
introduced to assist in maintaining the distinction between taxis and luxury hire
cars, which is a feature of the new legislation. In particular, the restrictions on
the use of ‘unmarked’ taxis are intended to ensure that taxis are clearly
identifiable while they are working as taxis, and that they all operate under the
same conditions. Changes to the luxury hire car industries regulations have
already made it more difficult for luxury hire cars to operate as taxis, for
example, by prohibiting taximeters in these vehicles.
Summary
For a vehicle to legally operate as a taxi:
    Vehicle must be correctly registered as a taxi and have Class 6 MAIB
       premium
    Vehicle must be under current inspection
    Licence number plate must be displayed
    Not-for-hire sign must be carried
    Roof sign, tariff indicator lights, taximeter and camera (where required)
       must be installed and fully operational
    Taximeter must be used
Vehicle used as taxi and a piece of equipment fails:
    Licence number plate must be removed
    Vehicle must display a not-for-hire sign
    Driver must not accept a hiring
    Vehicle ceases to be a taxi until the equipment is repaired and the licence
       number plate is replaced, and must not operate as a taxi
Vehicle looks like a taxi (has taxi equipment or taxi decals etc) but not operating
as a taxi (e.g. is a substitute taxi or new taxi that hasn’t started operating):

4 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
     Vehicle is NOT a taxi
     Vehicle must not have a taxi licence number plate affixed
     Vehicle must display a not-for-hire sign
     Driver must not accept a hiring
Vehicle has some taxi equipment and/or decals (e.g. is in the process of being
fitted out as a taxi):
     Vehicle is NOT a taxi
     Vehicle must not have a taxi licence number plate affixed
     Vehicle must display a not-for-hire sign
     Driver must not accept a hiring

The following table also outlines these requirements:
            Not-for-    Licence        Taxi      Taximeter Roof sign,      Hiring
            hire sign plate            decals               tariff
                                                            lights,
                                                            camera
Taxi        Must be Must           be May be Must be Must            be    May be
            carried     displayed      displayed used       installed &    hired
            Must be                                         operational    unless
            displayed                                                      not-for-
            when                                                           hire sign
            taxi not                                                       displayed
            available
            for hire
Taxi with Must be Must             be May be Should be Should be           Must not
broken      displayed removed          displayed installed* installed*     be hired
equipment               immediately
Substitute Must be Must not be May be Should be Should be                  Must not
taxi        displayed displayed        displayed installed* installed*     be hired
Vehicle     Must be Must not be May be Should be Should be                 Must not
being       displayed displayed        displayed installed* installed*     be hired
fitted out
as taxi

* Taxi equipment is not required to be installed or operational in vehicles that
are not operating as taxis (e.g. the equipment may be broken, or may not yet
have been fitted), but must be installed and fully operational in all operating
taxis.
Taximeter testing
New record keeping requirements have been introduced for taximeter adjusters.
If a person is required by a Transport Inspector to submit a taximeter for testing,
the meter adjuster must, after testing the meter, provide the person with a copy
of a certificate outlining the results of the test, and provide a copy to the
Transport Commission within seven days.
If a meter adjuster is testing a meter as a result of installing, repairing or
reprogramming it, they must provide the person presenting the vehicle with a
certificate confirming that the meter is correctly programmed and also provide a
copy of the certificate to the Commission within 30 days.
Meter adjusters must keep these records for at least five years.
All taximeters must be submitted to a meter adjuster for testing and sealing
within 14 days after they have been reprogrammed, regardless of how they were

5 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
programmed. If the fares are programmed manually, the meter adjuster will
test the meter as part of reprogramming the meter. If the fares are changed
‘over the air’, the operator must take the taxi to a meter adjuster to have the
meter tested and sealed. New fare labels will only be provided to operators once
their meters have been tested and sealed.
New guidelines for meter adjusters and new test report books are being
developed.
Security cameras
People installing security cameras must keep records of all cameras that they
install and must provide a copy of the record to the Commission within 30 days
after installing a camera.
Security cameras must be tested within 12 months after installation, and every
12 months after that. People testing security cameras must keep a record of
each test they conduct and must provide a copy of the record to the Commission
within 30 days after testing a camera.
Security camera downloaders and repairers may now immediately dispose of test
recordings made during testing of the cameras, provided that these images are
genuine test recordings (made as part of the testing, installation or repairing of
the camera) and do not contain images of members of the public.
If a camera automatically deletes or destroys any images on the camera when it
is reset, as some camera models do, the person resetting the camera must
download all images from the camera prior to resetting it. The person must
retain these images for 14 days, after which they must dispose of the images,
unless the images have been requested by Tasmania Police or a transport
inspector.
Downloaders must retain copies of recordings that have been downloaded and
provided to Tasmania Police or a transport inspector for a period of 14 days,
rather than 60 days as was the case under the previous legislation. After 14
days they must destroy the recordings.
Downloaders are now required to keep records of all downloads undertaken.
Copies of these records must be provided to the Commission on request. These
records must be kept for at least five years.
New guidelines for downloaders and camera installers and new test report books
will be provided shortly.
Smoking in taxis
DIER has received several reports of some drivers continuing to smoke in their
taxis, also reports of taxis smelling of cigarette smoke.

This makes it most unpleasant for users of taxis (or any other public passenger
vehicle). It is also an offence under law, and smoky vehicles reflect poorly on
the industry. Transport Inspectors will continue to monitor taxis randomly and
offenders will be fined. Inspectors have advised of a recent court decision to
impose the maximum fine in respect of a driver found smoking in the taxi.

Hobart International Airport Inspectors are also particularly vigilant for smoking
in taxis.




6 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
Availability of unsold owner-operator taxi licences
In early March 2010, DIER advertised the availability of limited numbers of
owner-operator licences in all taxi areas across Tasmania (EXCEPT Hobart and
Perth) that were unsold following the 2009 tender. Expressions of interest were
sought for purchase of licences at the Reserve Price for the licences in the
respective taxi areas, closing on 4 March.
Licences unsold after the EOI process for respective Taxi Areas are now available
for purchase at the Reserve Price under, until the 2010 licence tender is called,
later in 2010;
Launceston                           5 licences        $35 000
Devonport                            1 licence         $23 000
Burnie                               1 licence         $23 000
Ulverstone                           1 licence         $17 250
George Town                          1 licence         $12 500
West Tamar                           1 licence         $12 500
Meander Valley                       1 licence         $12 500
Circular Head                        1 licence         $11 250
Break O’Day                          1 licence         $10 800
New Norfolk                          1 licence         $10 800
Huon Valley                          1 licence         $7 500
Glamorgan        Spring      Bay 1 licence             $3 750
North
Kentish                              1 licence         $3 750
Penguin                              1 licence         $3 750
Tasman                               1 licence         $3 750
Dorset                               1 licence         $2 250
Glamorgan        Spring      Bay 1 licence             $1 875
South
Bruny Island                         1 licence         $1 000
Central Highlands                    1 licence         $1 000
King Island                          1 licence         $1 000
West Coast                           1 licence         $1 000


Note that there are NO new licences available in the Hobart and Perth Taxi Areas
at present as these licences were all issued at the 2009 tender. There is also no
licence available at present on Flinders Island as an EOI was received.
Legislation covering taxi and luxury hire car operations can be viewed at the link
under:
http://www.thelaw.tas.gov.au/tocview/index.w3p;cond=;doc_id=%2B111%2B2
008%2BAT%40EN%2B20100323100000;histon=;prompt=;rec=;term=

7 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
The contact officer is Barb Dunford on (03) 6233 2865.


Previous Newsletters
These may be viewed on the DIER website, at the following link;

http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/publications/taxi__and__luxury_hire_car_newsl
etter2

This newsletter is sent to all radio networks and taxi fleet managers, who will
make copies available on request. Please make the Newsletter available to
drivers.

NOTE: DIER issues this Newsletter to operators by email ONLY, as it is easier,
cheaper and quicker to do so. If you change your email address, please advise
Phil or Alan as under.


DIER Contacts



Vehicle Operations Branch                         Vehicle Standards and       vehicle
                                                  technical matters;
John Bessell, Manager, 6233 5390
                                                  6233 5214 or 6233 5314
Transport Operator Accreditation
Jeremy Gleeson (Manager) – 6233                   Driver     licence   and   ancillary
5198                                              certificate queries;
Phil Harvey - 6233 5376                           6233 5195
Alan Kearsley - 6233 5396
                                                  Regional Managers – Transport
                                                  Compliance
Branch Fax: (03) 6233 5210
                                                  South – Mark Kramer – 6233 5280
Operators should note that queries
on all general operational and                    North – Pat Quarrell– 6336 2696
housekeeping matters should be                    North-West – Harry Marshall – 6434
directed to Phil.                                 6486
E-mail:
Phil.harvey@dier.tas.gov.au




     CONTACT DETAILS
     Vehicle Operations Branch, DIER, 6233 5376

8 – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 53
CONTACT DETAILS

      9 Operations Branch, DIER, 6233 5376
Vehicle – Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Newsletter No. 50

				
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