What changes are being made to the road rules - and what do they mean for rideshare vehicles and taxis?
The changes to the road rules clarify who is permitted to stop in taxi ranks. Rideshare vehicles and other hire cars are not permitted to stop in taxi ranks.
All commercial passenger vehicles are already allowed to stop in loading zones to drop off and pick up passengers. Changes to the road rules will also allow these vehicles to stop in bike lanes, clearways, bus lanes and transit lanes to drop off or pick up passengers safely.
Why have you changed the road rules to allow CPVs to stop in bike lanes, clearways, bus lanes, and transit lanes?
All commercial passenger vehicles can stop in loading zones to drop off and pick up passengers.
The new regulations also allow these vehicles to drop off or pick up customers in bike lanes, clearways, bus lanes, and transit lanes to allow passengers to safely and efficiently enter or exit a vehicle in the most convenient spot.
This is especially important so vision impaired passengers or people with accessibility issues can get dropped off or picked up exactly where they need to go.
CPVs will not be allowed to park in these spaces – just pick up or drop off customers.
Drivers of taxis and other commercial passenger vehicles will need to obey the parking signs that apply to the space when considering stopping to pick up and drop off passengers.
Are there any changes in relation to driving or stopping in various public transport lanes (e.g. buse lanes, tram lanes etc)?
Taxis are currently only permitted to drive in bus lanes if the traffic sign applying to that lane states that a taxi may use that lane.
Taxis and other commercial passenger vehicles are not permitted to drive in tram lanes, tramways and on tram tracks and are not permitted to stop in those lanes to pick up and drop off passengers.
Why are these new regulations needed?
The new regulations for Victoria’s commercial passenger vehicle industry will better protect passengers and drivers and reduce costs for industry. They will help implement the government’s taxi and hire car reforms which passed Victoria’s Parliament in 2017.
Who will the new regulations benefit?
How will the regulations improve safety?
To improve passenger and driver safety, service providers must record safety risks and report assaults and other incidents to the regulator, and clearly display driver identification in the vehicle or on an app.
Safety cameras will also be required in vehicles carrying out rank and hail work in Melbourne and urban and large regional centres.
How will the regulations better protect consumer rights?
Under the new regulations, passengers will be entitled to a fare estimate, full fare information and details of the service (driver, vehicle and booking service) must be included on their receipt.
In addition, all vehicles carrying out rank and hail work will continue to use a meter to ensure passengers are not overcharged for their trip.
How can drivers feel safe without screens and alert buttons?
Although the regulations do not require protective screens and emergency warning devices, drivers can still choose to use them as a safety measure.
Importantly, vehicles carrying out rank and hail work in Melbourne and urban and large regional centres will continue to need safety cameras to reflect the anonymous nature of the work.
Safety duties under the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act will also require service providers to consider safety measures to ensure the safety of drivers.
How will you ensure passenger complaints are followed up?
All booking service providers will need to have a complaints system that complies with the Australian Standard. This means they will have to make sure that any complaints about the service are followed up and addressed.
Will removing the need for driver uniforms reduce the professionalism of the service?
We are focused on the safety of services - it’s the responsibility of each service provider to set dress code standards for their business.
If you remove the need for vehicle markings, how will passengers tell the difference between a taxi, hire car and rideshare vehicle?
Businesses can also choose to differentiate themselves to stand out from the competition.