Wheelchair accessible taxis
On this page:
- Taxi subsidy scheme
- Lift payment
- Refusal to provide a wheelchair service
- Wheelchair accessible taxi funding
Taxi subsidy scheme
The Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) provides an affordable and accessible transport option for people with a disability who experience profound difficulties using other modes of public passenger transport.
The Queensland Government has confirmed that eligible National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants can continue to access the TSS until appropriate transport support arrangements are in place, up to 31 October 2023.
The Queensland Government is focused on ensuring appropriate transport support arrangements are in place for NDIS-eligible TSS members and will continue to work with the Commonwealth to address this matter.
Information for taxi drivers
The TSS continues to provide members with the same services for standard TSS and wheelchair accessible taxis (WATs) journeys, whether they are booked or hailed.
Taxi drivers need to use the taximeter for all TSS and WAT journeys, whether they are booked or hailed, to ensure they are eligible for payment under the scheme.
If a TSS member requires the use of a wheelchair, the taximeter may be activated only once the passenger has safely entered the vehicle.
These trips are also eligible for the Lift Payment.
Restricted Use Slips
Restricted Use Slips are used when there is an issue with a TSS smartcard or the smartcard reader.
Restricted Use Slips must be carried by drivers to use in the following circumstances:
- When there is a problem with the smartcard reader, or the taxi is in a regional taxi area which is exempt from the requirement to have taximeters
- If there is a problem with the smartcard reader, you must use a Restricted Use Slip to process the subsidy.
- If the taxi is exempt from having a meter, you are required to use Restricted Use Slips for all trips.
If you are using Restricted Use Slips, customers are still required to present their Taxi Subsidy Scheme smartcard to you at the beginning of the journey.
At the end of the trip, you will complete the Restricted Use Slip. It is a customer’s responsibility to check the information and, if able, sign the slip. You may then provide a receipt to the customer.
A lift payment of $20 (inclusive of GST) to the taxi company applies for each eligible Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) trip involving transportation of a Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) member who is required to travel in a wheelchair.
Journeys eligible for the Lift Payment
- The passenger must be a TSS member identified as requiring a wheelchair to travel.
- The vehicle must be a WAT.
- The trip must be logged into a taxi company booking system.
- Both quoted and fixed fare trips will be acceptable, as long as they run through the taximeter.
Lift payments are only available for taxi trips (trips using limousines or ride-booking services are not eligible). The taxi industry is the exclusive provider of services to TSS members. The Lift Payment is not available to other personalised transport operators (such as booked hire services).
Rank or hail pick up eligibility
Journeys from a rank or a hail pick up for eligible TSS members are still able to claim the Lift Payment.
For the trip to be eligible and the lift payment to be received, a WAT driver must call their booking company immediately and provide the passenger’s name and TSS membership details to record the job as a booking into the taxi booking company’s system.
A booking fee should not be applied to Lift Payment journeys that start as a result of rank or hail pickup.
Where a journey has been pre-booked, there is no further requirement for a driver to record a booking.
Administering the Lift Payment
A payment of $20 inclusive of GST will apply for each eligible wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) trip involving transportation of a TSS member who is required to travel in a wheelchair. The Lift Payment is paid in addition to the TSS payment that is paid to taxi booking companies.
Administering the Lift Payment is the same process used to administer TSS payments. Lift Payments either go to a taxi booking company for delivery to the operator, or directly to the operator. Operators then share the Lift Payment with the driver as per their individual agreements.
The Lift Payment is not part of the taxi fare so there is no additional cost to the TSS member. The payment may improve service provision to these members of the community and will help ensure personalised transport services remain accessible to people with disabilities.
Lift Payments must be logged through the taxi company booking system to enable the payment to be reconciled and distributed. Subject to automatic confirmation through the TSS system, payment for the Lift Payment trip is expected to be paid at the same time as the TSS payment for the same trip.
There is no cap on the amount of payments that a WAT driver can receive.
Registering for the Lift Payment
Drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis do not need to register to receive a Lift Payment. All drivers of WATs are automatically eligible for the payment when they undertake an eligible trip.
Lift payments in rural areas
WAT drivers that provide services to TSS members identified as requiring a wheelchair to travel will receive the Lift Payment, regardless of whether the vehicle has a meter or EFTPOS system.
Rural WAT drivers can use a manual docket to log the details of the journey and use a manual card imprinter to create an imprint of the passenger’s TSS smart card.
Lift Payment funding
The Queensland Government is funding $5.6 million in Lift Payments to drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis (WAT) to prioritise services to Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) members identified as requiring a wheelchair to travel. The incentive is paid in addition to the TSS payment that is paid to taxi booking companies.
Refusal to provide a wheelchair service
It is an offence under the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulation 2018 for a taxi driver with a wheelchair accessible taxi to refuse to provide a service to a person using a wheelchair, except in specific circumstances.
Accessible taxi requirements
Learn more about accessible taxi requirements including dimensions, seating, storage areas, lifts, ramps and restraint assembly.
Wheelchair accessible taxi funding
The wheelchair accessible taxi funding program allows the industry to continue providing vital accessible transport options for people with reduced mobility. This is being done by assisting with the cost of replacing older and written-off vehicles, commencing 2019-20 through to 2023-24.
Funding is being administered by the Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority (QRIDA). Visit the QRIDA website for more information.
To be eligible for a co-contribution grant, you must be a taxi licence holder or lessee. The funding must be used for the purchase and modification of a new wheelchair accessible taxi, under one of the following criteria:
- Replace a WAT which is 8 years or older at the time of application,
- Replace a WAT which is between 6 and 8 years old which has completed 800,000km or more and requires repairs estimated by a certified maintenance repairer to exceed $10,000 (plus GST) at the time of application;
- Replace a WAT of any age which has been written-off by an approved accredited insurance adviser; or
- Replace a conventional taxi vehicle with a new wheelchair accessible taxi in specified areas; or
- (Until 30 June 2023) Attach a WAT to a licence (conventional or WAT) that has not had a vehicle stated in it for at least three months prior to applying.
Under the fund, taxis which meet the criteria will be eligible for 50% funding (up to a maximum of $45,000) towards replacement costs.
The Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) is administering the program. Full details of how to apply, eligibility criteria and terms and conditions are available from QRIDA at www.qrida.qld.gov.au.
Successful applicants from the previous rounds of funding have been notified.
- Last updated 22 December 2022