The Victorian Government is investing $22 million to support the commercial passenger vehicle industry and support jobs to ensure the safety of thousands of passengers and drivers relying on the service throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The $22 million package invests in a range of initiatives to boost the industry and support vulnerable Victorians who rely on the service and drivers who have lost work with the reduction in trips.
More than $6 million will be invested to subsidise the depot fees paid by vehicle owners to booking service providers to make sure wheelchair accessible vehicles are available for those who need them.
$1.7 million will be invested to double the wheelchair lifting fee for the next three months paid by Government for transporting wheelchair users to give providers further incentive to keep wheelchair accessible vehicles operating.
The Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) subsidy will be increased from 50 to 70 per cent per fare during the next three months to make rides more affordable for the people who need them the most.
The Government will provide relief from the $1 Service Levy owed for the 2019-20 June quarter, which will put more money into the pockets of drivers struggling during this period.
In addition to these subsidies, strict cleaning standards based on advice from the Department of Health and Human Services are being implemented for all commercial passenger vehicles.
To ensure the safety of all passengers and drivers, up to $3.5 million worth of grants will be made available to support increased cleaning and sanitation of vehicles across the state and assist the industry with the costs of procuring sanitisation resources.
These changes will support the industry to implement improved vehicle sanitation, noting the requirement for all Victorians to wear face mask as of 11:59pm on Wednesday 22 July.
In addition, $1 million will be invested to establish a regional essential service fund to support booking service providers in regional communities who may be struggling to survive. This will ensure that vulnerable Victorians in regional towns – including the elderly or people living with a disability – do not lose access to commercial passenger vehicle services.
This important investment will support the industry, drivers, and ensure this continues to be a safe option for the thousands of vulnerable Victorians who rely on commercial passenger vehicles each week to meet their essential transport needs.
The Department of Transport and Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria have worked closely with a Government Advisory Panel on these key initiatives to help industry recover from the impacts of Coronavirus and continue to support the running of a safe and efficient transport system.
The Department of Transport and Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, in conjunction with the State Revenue Office, will begin rolling out the support package from early August 2020.
Further information on the industry assistance package will be published on our website once it is available.