Department of State GrowthTransport

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Transport Access Scheme – Taxi Subsidy Program

The Transport Access Scheme’s Taxi Subsidy program, provides eligible people with subsidised taxi travel via a Taxi Smartcard.  The Taxi Smartcard is given to the taxi driver at the end of the taxi journey, to receive:

  • For a non-wheelchair dependent person –  50% discount up to $25.00
  • For a wheelchair dependent person – 60% discount up to $30.00

The person must pay the remainder of the fare. They cannot use the Taxi Smartcard at the same time as another Government subsidy/concession (eg Mobility Allowance or National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding) to receive free or more subsidised taxi travel.

Adjusting from the Transport Access Scheme to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

NDIS is a new way to help people with a life-long disability get the care and support they need to live an ordinary life.  

Under the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) provides funding to people with disability to access the reasonable and necessary support they need to take part in everyday activities. This may include funding to assist with taxi fares for NDIS participants who, because of their disability, are unable to use other transport options.  

Not all members of the Taxi Subsidy program will become NDIS members.  If they do not become NDIS members, they will continue to access their Taxi Smartcard for subsidised taxi travel.

In the future, those members of the Taxi Subsidy program who do become members of the NDIS, will no longer be able to use their Taxi Smartcards.  Any transport support for taxi travel will be within their NDIS plan.  This is because both schemes require members to pay part of the fare and not use another Government subsidy/concession program at the same time.

Why is there Taxi Subsidy Safety Net?

The Tasmanian Government recognises that members may need more time to adjust from using their Taxi Smartcard to using the funding in their NDIS plans.  The Tasmanian Government is working with the NDIA, the Australian Government and other state and territory governments to make sure Taxi Subsidy members get the transport support they need when they become NDIS participants.

The funding available in NDIS plans is very different to receiving a 50 or 60% discount for taxi fare travel up to a maximum amount as in the Taxi Subsidy program.

The Safety Net provides time to seek assistance from the NDIS about how taxi travel is dealt with under an NDIS plans and to adjust to any differences in funding arrangements.

What is the Taxi Subsidy Safety Net?

It is a temporary program which allows members to use a Taxi Smartcard.  This Smartcard entitles the member to:

  • Non-wheelchair dependent members – 50% taxi fare subsidy up to $25.00
  • Wheelchair dependent members – 60% taxi fare subsidy up to $30.00

The member must personally pay for the part of the taxi fare that is not covered by the Safety Net.

It cannot be used with any other Government subsidy or concession program/card (eg the Mobility Allowance, NDIS funding, or Veteran Affairs taxi subsidies) for a single journey.

When does the Taxi Subsidy Safety Net finish?

It finishes on 30 June 2018.  When it finishes the Taxi Smartcard will no longer be able to be used, and the member will not receive subsidised taxi fare travel.

Until 30 June 2018, Taxi Subsidy members aged between 4-11 and 29-34 who become NDIS participants will also be able to continue to use their existing Taxi Subsidy program smartcards.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Taxi Subsidy Safety Net?

A person will be eligible for the Taxi Subsidy Safety Net if the person:

  1. Was a NDIS trial member on or before 30 June 2016
  2. Held a Transport Access Scheme, Taxi Smartcard on or before 30 June 2016
  3. Will use all their transport supports in their NDIS plan by 30 June 2016

What are the terms of using the temporary Safety Net Taxi Smartcard?

The conditions that apply to Taxi Smartcards will also to the temporary Safety Net Taxi Smartcard.  That is -

  • Smartcards may only be used by the member they were issued to. The member must be in the taxi for the entire trip.
  • Smartcards must not be used by friends or family of the member, or by any other person.
  • Members must not use their taxi subsidy more than once per journey.
  • Members must not falsify trip details, or allow them to be falsified by another person.
  • Members are responsible for the safe keeping of their smartcard. Members must not leave these items in the possession of a taxi driver.
  • Smartcards cannot be sold, exchanged, loaned out or given away to any person. They are to be returned upon request to the State Growth.
  • There must be at least 10 minutes between the member ending one trip and starting another trip.
  • The smartcard must not be used to pay the driver a tip or gratuity or to “round up” the taxi fare.
  • The smartcard must not be used for trips where taxi travel is already partly or fully funded by another organisation. This includes Government departments.
  • Members must present their smartcard for validation if requested by the taxi driver. Taxi drivers will refuse to provide subsidised travel if proof of subsidy is not presented.
  • The smartcard must not be used to transport goods without the member being in the taxi.
  • If a smartcard is lost, damaged or stolen the member must notify the Transport Commission as soon as possible. There may be a fee for replacement smartcards.
  • The member must inform State Growth of any change to:
  • their name, address or contact details; or
  • their eligibility for taxi subsidies.
  • Members must comply with requests from the State Growth to provide information to verify that their use of the Taxi Subsidy is legitimate.
  • State Growth may suspend or cancel a member’s Taxi Subsidy in cases where the member has:
  • abused the benefits of the Scheme;
  • allowed or facilitated the abuse of the benefits of the Scheme;
  • defrauded or facilitated fraud of the Scheme; or
  • failed to comply with these Terms and Conditions.