Your taxi and your obligations

Advice for operators

The Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 and the associated regulations place a range of obligations on taxi operators. These obligations aim to ensure that vehicles are safe and well maintained, that drivers are engaged under acceptable conditions, and that customers can make informed decisions about the taxi services they choose to use.

Operators should also be aware of their obligations under the following:

  • Transport (Buses, Taxi-Cabs and Other Commercial Passenger Vehicles) (Taxi-Cab Industry Accreditation and Other Matters) Regulations 2017
  • Determination of Specifications (the Specifications) for wheelchair accessible taxi-cabs only
  • Operating conditions attached to taxi licences (Conditions)
  • the Driver Agreement, including the Implied Conditions.

The Taxi Services Commission monitors operator compliance with these obligations.

Information on this page

Vehicle maintenance

Operators must ensure that their vehicle/s are properly registered, and are well maintained and presented to ensure they can continue to operate as commercial passenger vehicles.

Licensed Vehicle Tester inspections

Operators are responsible for ensuring each taxi is inspected by a Licensed Vehicle Tester (LVT):

a) prior to being registered as a taxi, and

b) once every year, while registered as a taxi.

LVTs assess a taxi's compliance with the roadworthiness requirements and the regulations.

Taxi security cameras

Operators must ensure that each taxi in the Melbourne Metropolitan Zone or Urban and Large Regional Zone is fitted with a Taxi SerC-approved taxi security camera, and that the taxi is not operated unless the camera is fully operational.

Driver protection screens

Taxi operators in the Melbourne Metropolitan Zone or Urban and Large Regional Zone must ensure that, if requested by the driver/s, a driver protection screen is purchased and made available to drivers (if a screen for that vehicle make/model is commercially available).

MPTP processing

Operators must ensure that each taxi is fitted with a terminal approved for the purposes of electronically processing Multi Purpose Taxi Program transactions.

Customer information

Operators must ensure that:

a) each taxi is fitted with the customer information labels required by the Taxi Services Commission, and

b) each taxi is fitted with a holder or bracket for the display of a driver's photo ID (either as a photograph or digitised image).

Branding and advertising

Commercial advertising is permitted and typically displayed on advertising panels (or display units) on the boot lid, the rear window or on the roof of the vehicle. Advertising should not obstruct decals required under regulation – see taxi identification decals.

A taxi must display on its exterior either the name, telephone number and trade mark or trade name of:

a) the operator, or

b) a taxi-cab network service provider with whom the operator has an arrangement for the provision of taxi-cab network services.

Keeping and submitting records

All operators are required to keep the records specified in Schedule 2 of the Transport (Buses, Taxi-Cabs and Other Commercial Passenger Vehicles) (Taxi-Cab Industry Accreditation and Other Matters) Regulations 2017 and the Implied Conditions.

Records that operators must keep under Schedule 2 include (but are not limited to): times the vehicle was operated, the drivers that were engaged, the revenue earned and costs incurred, any faults or damage identified in or to the vehicle, maintenance work carried out on the vehicle, any complaints received, any action/s taken in response to complaints, and outcomes of the complaints.

The Taxi Services Commission may require that any of the records specified in the Schedule are provided to the Commission upon request.

For examples of the type of records to keep, refer to Operator requirements to keep records.

Engaging drivers

An operator must not permit a driver to drive the operator's taxi unless the driver holds a current driver accreditation, and is sufficiently fit and healthy to drive the taxi.

The agreement between an operator and a driver concerning the use of the taxi is referred to as the Driver Agreement. The operator and the driver are encouraged to include all the relevant details of the deal they have made in writing in their Driver Agreement.

Regardless of the arrangements that operators and drivers make themselves, there are certain conditions which are automatically included in any Driver Agreement by law. These conditions are called the Implied Conditions. It is important for all operators to be familiar with the Implied Conditions of the Driver Agreement.

Operational costs

The operator is responsible for paying all costs incurred in running and maintaining the vehicle, including the costs of fuel, oil, tyres, parts and repairs, taxi fit-out and equipment.

These costs cannot be 'passed on' to a driver.

Insurance

The operator must ensure that each of their taxis is insured for any third party property damage caused by, or arising out of the use of, the taxi.

The cost of this insurance, including excess payments, cannot be 'passed on' to a driver.

Fare setting

Taxis in the Melbourne Metropolitan Zone or Urban and Large Regional Zone

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) determines maximum fare rates that may be charged to passengers who take taxis in the Melbourne Metropolitan Zone or Urban and Large Regional Zone.

Taxi operators in the Melbourne Metropolitan Zone or Urban and Large Regional Zone may have the fare calculation devices (formerly taximeters) in their vehicles programmed to calculate fares at any rate up to this regulated maximum. Operators are permitted to advertise the rates they offer.

Taxis in the Regional or Country Zone

Taxi operators in the Country Zone or Regional Zone may independently set the hiring rates charged in their taxis, but must advise the Taxi Services Commission of these rates through the Price Notification System.

If an operator has not advised the Commission of their alternative rates, the fares charged must not exceed the regulated maximum rates that applied in country taxis prior to 30 June 2014.

Operators are permitted to advertise the rates they offer.

Regardless of the fare rates set by an operator, subsidies paid through the Multi Purpose Taxi Program must be calculated to reimburse 50 per cent of the cost of a trip according to the hiring rates determined by the ESC for regional and country taxis effective from 19 May 2014.

Further support

The Taxi Services Commission is able to provide advice on how to best ensure that you are complying with your regulatory obligations. To discuss the regulatory obligations that apply to you as an operator, please contact the TSC.