NSW bill affects operators


A NSW bill will affect accredited operators using vehicles with less than 12 seats

NSW bill affects operators
The taskforce in charge of the recommendations estimated around 1000 small buses with eight to 12 seats will come under the new laws.

The Point to Point Transport Bill recently passed by the NSW Government could impact the way some small bus operators run their businesses.

The bill was designed to regulate services such as Uber, and to ease the burden new competition is creating for taxi operators.

It provides $98 million in payments to taxi licensees and $142 million for licensees facing hardship due to the changes in their market.

The bill will be good for customers who want to utilise point to point transport, but it could also allow some bus operators to be more competitive.

BusNSW executive director Darryl Mellish says there is no immediate change in the operation of tourist services, but the changes could take place soon.

 "Subject to the proclamation of legislation in 2016, all services provided in vehicles with less than 12 seats, including the driver, will be classed as booked services and treated like any other booked services, for example those that are currently ridesharing or traditional hire cars," he says.

The taskforce in charge of the recommendations estimated around 1000 small buses with eight to 12 seats will come under the new laws.

"There will be no change for operators providing tourist/charter services in NSW using vehicles with more than 12 seats, including the driver, which will still require accreditation under the Bus Operator Accreditation Scheme.

"Some accredited operators that have vehicles with 12 or fewer seats will come under the new point to point legislation after a 12 month transition even if they are currently accredited under the standard RMS bus operator accreditation scheme that applies now."

Mellish says the reforms will mean pre-booked services have some more freedom with a form of self-regulation, but says there are still effects not yet seen or predicted.

"There are a lot of issues to play out in these reforms that will impact on changes to NDIS, Community Transport and possibly Assisted Student Transport Schemes.

"BusNSW members are well placed to provide additional services when their buses are not providing services under existing contracts or undertaking charter/tourist work."

The bill also covers changes to insurance, fares, safety and meeting special transport needs for point to point service operators.

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