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Customer service and passenger experience are an important part of ensuring taxis are the transport of choice and attract repeat and new business.

Working with the Tasmanian taxi industry, a new Taxi Industry Code of Conduct has been developed by the Department of State Growth and you can now have your say on the draft.

The Code of Conduct for the taxi industry outlines the expected behaviours, knowledge and responsibilities for taxi drivers, and will also be used to develop a new training course for new taxi drivers.

It has been developed after extensive research with similar international and national codes of conduct.

Members of the taxi industry are invited to provide feedback on the Draft Code of Conduct, by clicking on “Please provide feedback here” by 5:00 pm on Friday, 4 March 2022.

1Before the hire

The law says you must

  • Have a current driver licence and ancillary certificate to drive a taxi.
  • Meet the National Commercial Medical Assessment Fitness to Drive Standards to drive a public vehicle.
  • Be a suitable person (of good character) to drive a taxi.
  • Be able to safely and competently drive a taxi.
  • Know how to operate the taximeter installed in the taxi.
  • Display your identification card in the taxi.
  • Know and apply the road rules when driving.
  • Be alert when driving - be free of drugs, alcohol and fatigue.
  • Park a taxi in a taxi zone, in the first vacant space and remain seated in the taxi.
  • Allow another taxi to leave the taxi zone.
  • Before driving a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi, you must have successfully completed the course of instruction relating to people with disability.

The Accreditation Standards say you must

  • Undertake a pre-departure inspection of the taxi before starting your shift.
  • Notify the appropriate person if a defect or vehicle fault is identified during the pre-departure inspection.
  • Make and update pre-departure, fault and incident records as required.
  • Practice using the taxi’s operational characteristics before taking any passengers in the taxi.
  • Undertake and participate in training and coaching provided by the taxi service.

The Code of Conduct says you must

  • Know how to use the:
    • EFTPOS machine
    • taximeter
    • communication channels with the radio dispatch service or radio room
    • top light
    • security camera system, and
    • panic alarm.
  • Understand the function of the tariff lights.
  • Respect diversity in other drivers and other operators.
  • Check the taxi is clean and tidy.
  • Look professional, neat and well groomed.
  • Have knowledge of the area you are driving or use navigational tools (like Google Maps) during a hire.
  • Keep up to date about changes to the industry, road networks, road closures and events.
  • Keep up to date about changes to the road rules and drive safely.
  • Keep up to date with the taxi service’s policy and procedures in relation to safety.
  • Not smoke in or around taxis.
  • Only park in a taxi zone when there is an available space.

2During the hire

The law says you must

  • Accept passengers, regardless of a passenger’s race, gender, religion, age or distance to be travelled, provided that the hire is wholly within, or begins or finishes, in the taxi area specified on the taxi licence on the taxi[1].
  • You can refuse a hire if you believe that your personal safety is at risk.
  • If driving a wheelchair accessible taxi accept passengers that are not wheelchair reliant.
  • Accept passengers travelling with transport assistance animals.
  • Give reasonable assistance to help passengers enter the taxi.
  • Ensure that a wheelchair carried in a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi is restrained in the wheelchair restraint assembly installed in the taxi in accordance with AS/NZS 1054.1:2015.
  • Only allow a further hirer to be in the taxi with the consent of the other hirer(s).
  • Start the hire by turning on the taximeter for the correct tariff.
  • Use the correct tariff for the hire.
  • Take the quickest and most appropriate route for the hire.
  • Charge the correct fare and give passengers who pay cash the correct change.
  • Stop the taximeter for any time that the taxi is delayed because of:
    • a lack of fuel in the taxi
    • a mechanical breakdown of the taxi
    • a traffic accident involving the taxi
    • the lawful closure of a bridge
    • the directions of a police officer
    • an event that you could have prevented or avoided, or
    • when reaching the destination or in the case of multi-hires, on the arrival at the last destination.

The Code of Conduct says you must

  • Acknowledge all passengers to your taxi by polite greeting.
  • Dress appropriately, and speak and act professionally with all passengers.
  • Use clear and concise language and show courtesy in your communication.
  • Listen to and be sensitive to passengers with special needs such as helping with seatbelts, closing doors etc.
  • Recognise cultural and gender diversity and make allowances for individual differences:
    • use ethical and respectful behaviour towards passengers and other road users
    • avoid any form of sexual harassment, physical or mental abuse or intimidation towards passengers and road users.
  • Be able to safely place child restraints in the taxi.
  • Ask passengers wear seatbelts.
  • Help passengers load and secure their luggage.
  • Comply with reasonable requests of passengers by turning on or off the radio, heater or fan.
  • Drive the taxi in a safe, smooth and controlled manner and in a way to reduce wear and tear on the taxi.
  • Stop the taxi in a place that passengers can disembark safely.

[1] You can refuse a hire if you believe that your personal safety is at risk

3End of hire

The law says you must

  • Ask for payment which is equal to or less than the sum of the total fare and charges shown on the taximeter.
  • When passengers exit the taxi, you must reset the taximeter.

The Accreditation Standards say you must

  • Identify and record any vehicle defects detected during the hire.
  • Identify, respond to and record any incidents that occurred during the hire.
  • Notify any safety risks identified during the hire.

The Code of Conduct says you must

  • Give reasonable assistance to help passengers exit the taxi.
  • Help passengers by unloading luggage and returning belongings such as taxi smartcard, credit or savings card.
  • Remind passengers not to leave belongings in the taxi.
  • Check the taxi for lost property.
  • Assist with the return of lost property left in the taxi by handing it to the nearest police station or booking service provider.
  • Comply with passenger complaint and feedback mechanisms.

4Feedback

Members of the taxi industry are invited to provide feedback on the Draft Code of Conduct, by clicking on “Please provide feedback here” by 5:00 pm on Friday, 4 March 2022.