Price notification

Taxi operators in regional and country zones can set their own fares under the Price Notification System (PNS).

Information on this page

Tips for price notification

The Taxi Services Commission (TSC) has prepared tips to help operators in the regional and country zones to determine and notify their own maximum fares or hiring rates:

More information on price notification can be found in the following design and requirements document and information brochure:

About the system

The system allows operators in country and regional zones to apply their own fares that may be higher, lower or consistent with the standard fares (former government regulated fares for country) as previously determined by the Minister in April 2014.

Taxi operators that choose to participate in the price notification system will need to inform the TSC and passengers of their notified fares. Passengers will need to be informed of these fares via notices visible on the inside and outside of taxis in accordance with regulatory requirements.

All operators' fares are published on the TSC website.

Members of the public can look up fares on the TSC website for operators in different locations around Victoria.

There are numerous benefits to the PNS: 

  • Increased competition - like many aspects of the taxi industry reforms, the price notification system is designed to encourage more competition between operators and help to deliver better services to passengers.
  • Greater flexibility - operators will also be able to set a range of fares based on their specific business and passenger needs. For example, if there is more passenger demand at certain times of the week, operators will be able to apply higher fares at these times. During quieter periods, operators may choose to offer lower rates to encourage more passengers to use their taxi services.

Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP)

Operators who price notify are eligible to claim fare subsidies under the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) and receive the Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) lifting fee (when this is applicable).

The MPTP subsidy will be paid at 50 per cent of the standard fare (as determined in June 2016). If an operator charges above this rate for MPTP members, the operator must ensure:

  • the meter can calculate the formerly regulated country rate, as well as the price notified rate
  • the MPTP subsidy is 50 per cent of the standard fare
  • the MPTP member pays the balance of the fare (which will be more than 50 per cent of the notified fare)
  • the driver can provide a fare receipt to the MPTP member to indicate why the difference may be more than 50 per cent of the fare.

A Network Service Provider (NSP) can also submit notified fares to the TSC on behalf of an operator, if the operator has authorised the NSP to do so.  

FAQs

How do I notify the TSC of my fares?

The TSC has developed an electronic Price Notification System. Operators and NSPs (on behalf of operators) can register for an account and notify their fares. The system will automatically publish new prices notified to the TSC by an operators or NSP after they are verified by the TSC.

How long will it take for the TSC to publish the fares?

Once the fares are submitted using the Price Notification System, the new fares will be published by the TSC within five business days or at later time if this is requested by a operator or NSP. An email confirmation will be sent confirming the notification has been received and then again when the notification is published.

When can I start charging the new fares?

Notified fares cannot be charged until:

  • they have been published by the TSC, which can take up to five business days,
  • the meter has been calibrated to charge the new fares and comply with regulatory requirements, and
  • the notified fares and hiring rates are displayed inside and outside of the taxi.

Can I notify my fares in advance?

As operators you will need to notify passengers and calibrate taximeters, the system will allow fares to be notified for a future date. The TSC may take up to five (5) business days to publish fares, or longer than this if requested by an operator or NSP.  

How will operators know when fares are published?

Once new notified fares or hiring rates are live on the website, the TSC will send the operator an email notification.

Is there a format I need to use when notifying my fares?

The Price Notification System provides guidance on the information required to notify fares to the TSC. The TSC has made available on its website a number of publications which provide further guidance on setting and notifying fares, including legislative and regulatory requirements.

How often can operators change their fares?

There is no limit to how often a operator can change their notified prices. There is also no limit on the number of times prices can be updated through the system. However, operators will need to think carefully about when and how often they update their prices due to the costs associated with every new price notification they make.

The TSC has published guidelines to assist operators in calculating and notifying fares.

Do I have to participate in price notification?

If an operator chooses not to notify their fares, they continue using the standard fares that applied immediately prior to 30 June 2014. Details of these standard fares and the operators charging them will be are published on the TSC website. If operators wish to change these fares or update their details they will need to create an account to use the price notification system.

Are there any other laws that I should consider before notifying my fares?

When choosing to participate in the price notification system operators should be aware of their obligations under relevant consumer and competition laws. It is for example illegal for operators to jointly determine fares with other operators unless they have been authorised by the ACCC to do so. Operators are also obliged not to engage in false advertising of their fares.

What steps do I need to take to start notifying my fares?

Before an operator can participate in the Price Notification System, they must complete the following steps:

  • prices are notified and published on the PNS website
  • passengers are informed of the new fares via appropriate internal and external fare notices
  • taximeter settings have been updated to reflect the new fares, including special requirements for MPTP fares if standard fares are not charged for MPTP passengers.