NSW government has awarded Spinal Cord Injuries Australia the contract to provide a Centralised Booking Service (CBS) for people needing a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT).
A central booking system for WATs has been tried in many places, many times before, and whilst it is not a new idea, it is certainly a great one. The NSW CBS for WATs will start on 1 March 2021.
Then there's the issue regarding incentives for people purchasing electric vehicles. ACT government offers zero charges on new e-vehicle purchases, free vehicle registration and interest-free loans for purchases. Victoria offers a $100 discount on registration and discounts on stamp duty for vehicles priced over $68,740. Queensland gives a slight discount on stamp duty.
These subsidies do little to bring the entry-level pricing of e-vehicles to a more affordable value.
What some States give with one hand, they take away with the other. South Australia, Victoria and NSW have voiced their plans to introduce a road user charge for electric vehicles. Whilst some international cities are looking at a similar scheme, they are only doing so now because of the volume of electric vehicles they already have on the road.
Even before you include the State road taxes, these subsidies don’t do much to bring the entry-level pricing of EVs to a more affordable level.
With regards to the cleaning of commercial passenger transport vehicles, most States recommend that the frequent touch points in the vehicles be cleaned at least daily. But in Victoria it is MANDATORY for the frequent touch points to be cleaned after every passenger has left the vehicle.
NSW implemented the use of QR code recording for passengers travelling in taxis, hire cars and rideshare vehicles months ago – October 2020 actually. Victoria is still thinking about how it will implement this safeguard, but apparently it will be happening soon, and the other Australian States don't see the need for this COVID-19 tracking assistance.
As far as industry terminology goes, Victoria and Western Australia stand out as the only two States that don't call a taxi "TAXI" and South Australia refers to Wheelchair Accessible Taxis as "ACCESS TAXIS" – see the table below for more variances.
Just as there are no two snowflakes the same, no two Australian States (or Territories) approach the commercial passenger transport industry in the same manner – because that would be too easy, boring and give me nothing to compare!
Mrs Toni Peters
DRIVE A2B Editor
More news in our February 2021 Issue here.
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