NSW passengers hit with $1 levy for every Uber, Taxify and taxi ride

Posted: 1 February 2018 2:45 pm

Uber driver phone pickup

That rideshare or taxi ride just got that much more expensive.

The NSW government has today launched a temporary Passenger Service Levy on all rideshare, hire care and taxi services in the state. This includes services such as Uber and its recently launched rival, Taxify.

The tax adds an extra $1 per completed ride, excluding GST, which in effect means an extra $1.10 per trip. Whether this fee is passed onto the passenger or will be absorbed by the provider is up to the service. However, all point to point transfers are required to provide a fare estimate up-front, which will include this fee should they choose to pass it onto the customer.

Uber and Taxify have already sent out statements to their customers advising that the passenger will bear the cost of this fee when using its services.

In its email, Uber urges any customers who believe this tax to be unfair to contact the NSW Transport Minister with their concerns.

Taxify has stated that despite this added fee, its fares "are still the lowest on the market". For Sydney-siders, it's currently offering a 25% discount on all rides while for those living in Melbourne, which isn't affected by this levy, it's currently boasting 50% off fares for a limited time.

This levy is temporary and goes to a $250 million taxi compensation package designed by the state government to help taxi and car hire licence holders adjust to the introduction of rideshare services. It is proposed to be in place for up to five years, or until the package has been fully funded, whichever comes first.

NSW Taxi Council CEO, Mr Martin Rogers said, "There are a number of inequities that still exist between taxis and rideshare providers, such as Uber. These inequities are making it almost impossible for taxis to be able to compete. The significant gap in CTP Green Slip costs is a prime example of this with taxis required to pay over $7,500 per car per year versus approximately $500 for rideshare operators."

While this levy is state-wide, it is only imposed on the most populated areas of the state. This includes cities as far east as Moree, Dubbo and Griffith.

Most cities west of these are exempt from the levy, including Balranald, Hay, Condobolin, Nyngan, Coonamble and Burren Junction, with the exception of Broken Hill and Wentworth.

Image: Shutterstock.com

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