Changes to the taxi industry from 29 August 2016
Queensland is legalising ride booking services. The reforms will ensure the taxi, limousine and booked hire industry will remain sustainable.
There will not be any changes to the existing TSS framework for stage one of the reforms. The TSS will continue to provide members with the same services for standard TSS and Wheelchair Accessible Taxis (WAT) journeys in taxis only. TSS will not apply to other booked hire services.
Taxi drivers will need to use the taxi meter for all TSS and WAT journeys, whether they are booked or hailed.
Passengers should advice the operator that they are booking a TSS or WAT journey, and advice the taxi driver before the journey starts.
Benefits of the scheme
- A subsidy of half the total taxi fare, up to a maximum of $25, paid by the Queensland Government
- Total taxi fare equal to or less than $50: You pay half of the fare to the taxi driver (the government pays the other half). For example if the total fare is $9, you pay $4.50.
- Total taxi fare more than $50: The government pays $25 (maximum subsidy), and you pay balance. For example if the total fare is $60, you pay $35 (and the government pays $25).
- Access to subsidised taxi travel in other Australian states and territories, paid by the Queensland Government
- You're entitled to 20 interstate travel vouchers each year to use throughout Australia.
If eligible, you'll be issued with a Taxi Subsidy Scheme smartcard that displays your photograph.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants who receive funding will not be eligible for TSS membership. For more information, visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads' NDIS page.
How does the scheme work
At the start of your trip, you must advise the driver that you are a member of TSS.
The taxi driver will check the photo to ensure it matches the passenger travelling.
At the end of the journey the driver will stop the meter and process your subsidised fare using your smartcard.
The card reader will display the total fare and the amount you're required to pay.
To be eligible for the Taxi Subsidy Scheme, you must fully meet at least one of the eligibility criteria listed below:
- physical disability requiring dependance on a wheelchair for all mobility outside the home
- severe ambulatory problem that cannot functionally be improved and restricts walking to an extremely limited distance
- total loss of vision or severe visual impairment (both eyes)
- severe and uncontrollable epilepsy with seizures involving loss of consciousness
- intellectual impairment or dementia resulting in the need to be accompanied by another person at all times for travel on public transport.
- severe emotional and/or behaviour disorders with a level of disorganisation resulting in the need to be accompanied by another person at all times for travel on public transport.
Once approved, your smartcard will be valid for a maximum of 5 years. You must reapply before your current smartcard expires.
If your disability is of a temporary nature, temporary membership may be granted for a period of 12 months to 2 years after which you must reapply.
Apply for a TSS smartcard
Complete Part A of the Taxi Subsidy Application Form and visit your doctor or specialist to have them complete parts B and C of the application.
Post the completed application and 2 passport-sized photographs to:
Taxi Subsidy Scheme
Department of Transport and Main Roads
PO Box 13347
Brisbane Qld 4003
Please allow 3 to 6 weeks to process your application. If approved, you'll receive your TSS smartcard in the mail.
Replace a lost, stolen or damaged pass
If your TSS smartcard has been lost, stolen or damaged, please contact the Taxi Subsidy Scheme office to request a replacement card.
Conditions of use
- You must have your smartcard with you and must travel in the taxi for the full journey for the subsidy to apply.
- The Taxi Subsidy Scheme smartcard cannot be given to someone else to use.
- Other people may travel in the taxi with the member.
- Members can use their smartcard for any taxi service in cities, towns and country areas throughout Queensland.
- The Taxi Subsidy Scheme smartcard will not work after the expiry date on the card.
- All journeys must be travelled via the shortest route.
- Keep your Taxi Subsidy Scheme smartcard in a safe place, such as your wallet or purse.