Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has announced a $12.6 million support package for the taxi industry to provide operators with some financial relief during the COVID-19 shutdown and help taxis remain on the road.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the financial assistance recognises the challenges the taxi industry is facing as a result of this pandemic.
Perrottet said: “With a large decrease in passenger trips being taken the taxi industry is really suffering, like so many others. The NSW Government is committed to doing what we can to keep businesses in business and people in jobs and this includes helping taxis stay on our roads.”
Constance said: “Taxis play an important role in NSW and the industry has continued to provide essential passenger services during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes Wheelchair Accessible Taxis (WATs) that provide services for some of our most vulnerable members of the community.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the funding would help ease the pressure for taxis operating in the bush.
“In some more isolated regional areas, taxi services are considered the public transport system. The NSW Government is committed to providing assistance to eligible registered taxi vehicle owners to ensure services in regional areas can continue,” Mr Toole said.
The support package provides owners of WATs and taxis operating at 1 May 2020 with a $2,900 subsidy per vehicle for six-months costs towards CTP insurance, registration fees and other on-road costs.
This will support around 3,500 taxis to continue to operate across NSW. To apply for the subsidy operators will be able to claim through Service NSW, or at a Service NSW Centre from June 2020.
In addition, those currently holding a renewable annual taxi licence issued by the NSW Government will receive a 50% waiver of their annual licence fee. Eligible taxi licence holders will be contacted by the NSW Point to Point Transport Commissioner’s office.
The support package also provides a $500 waiver of 2018/19 authorisation fees for all authorised service providers, which represents a full annual fee waiver for over 1,800 smaller service providers.