A taxi service is a demand-responsive passenger service in a vehicle of no more than 11 seats (excluding the driver) and supported by electronic communication through a radio network. A taxi service can be hailed by members of the public and may stand for hire on a road.
Taxi fares are determined by the type of area in which the taxi operates - these areas are South East Queensland, regional Queensland and exempted Queensland. Taxi fares are available on the TransLink website.
The department determines maximum fares for Queensland taxis and declares these through a Government Gazette notice. A review of taxi fares is conducted using the department's taxi cost Fare Index.
The last taxi fare review resulted in a 2.07% fare increase effective 22 September 2012. The fares are separated into 3 tiers—south-east Queensland, regional Queensland and exempted Queensland.
Taxi service areas
Taxi service areas are separated into 'metered' and 'exempted' service areas.
Metered taxi service licences require the taxi operator to have a fare meter and provide a 24 hour service using a vehicle of not more than 6 years of age (8 years for a wheelchair accessible vehicle). The fares for metered areas are less than for exempted taxi service areas reflecting the increased viability of taxi services in these areas.
Exempted taxi service licences are issued in areas with small populations which would be unlikely to support a full metered taxi service. Therefore, they are not required to fit a taxi fare meter and may be exempted from the six-year age limit on their vehicle. However, an age limit should be determined when issuing the licence based on the conditions of the area. Fares for exempted areas are higher than for metered taxi service areas. It is therefore preferable that, where viable, taxi service areas be declared as metered taxi service areas. This ensures that the public receives a higher level of service and cheaper fare than if the area remains an exempted taxi service area.
Authorised Queensland taxi driver display card
The department will be rolling out the introduction of the new authorised Queensland taxi driver display card to all taxi service areas in Queensland commencing in 2011. The display of this card will be a requirement on the taxi driver and it will be an offence to drive without displaying this card if the vehicle is available for hire.
While complaints regarding taxi customer service, fares and driver behaviour must, in the first instance, be directed to the relevant taxi booking company or local operator, the Taxi Hotline may provide assistance for complaints that are unresolved or unsatisfactorily resolved.
Taxi safety initiatives
Taxi services have been improved to assist passengers to get home from busy entertainment and night-life precincts. Late night transport is now safer due to:
Taxi service levels
Minimum taxi service levels are prescribed timeframes that are to be met by taxi booking companies when collecting patrons from booked jobs. There are separate minimum service levels for peak and off-peak times. Peak times and off-peak times vary between taxi service contract areas.
Taxi driver standards reform
The department is progressing a taxi industry reform package to ensure that a high level of passenger safety and service is delivered by the taxi industry. An information paper is available to inform interested stakeholders about proposed reforms to the industry.
From 1 November 2009, the requirements for new applicants for taxi driver authorisation have changed. Please download the driver authorisation for taxi services information bulletin for more information on the requirements.
Taxi user guide
The taxi user guide
has been developed by Transport and Main Roads in consultation with the taxi industry. The purpose of the guide is to influence and improve social behaviour by taxi users.
The guide is pocket-sized and easy to understand, detailing the rights and responsibilities of both taxi drivers and taxi users during the course of a journey. It also provides contact details and information on how to manage disputes between passengers and drivers. The guide has a strong focus on both the Queensland taxi industry's commitment to excellent customer service and the government's commitment to a vibrant, safe and sustainable taxi industry.
For further information on the taxi user guide contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads.