They work hard to connect passengers with drivers, helping to get people home safely.

As a BSP, you are a safety duty holder, which means you must meet all industry safety standards for the services you provide. You also have other responsibilities under the laws that regulate our industry.

What is a BSP?

A booking service provider (BSP) is a person or business who:

  • Receives requests for commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) trips and arranges for CPV drivers to provide services, or
  • Owns, operates or controls a system that helps CPV drivers to accept trips.

A BSP can receive, arrange or facilitate requests on the phone, via an app, a website, social media, or any other way. The system you use may be electronic and automate parts of this process. If your business participates in any of these activities, it is a BSP. It does not matter if:

  • You are also a CPV driver and provide some of the requested services yourself
  • The CPV drivers who provide the booked trips are not your employees
  • The hiring fee for the trip gets paid to the driver by someone other than you
  • Your business also receives requests for passengers and trips outside of Victoria
  • Your business receives requests for trips in Victoria but is not located there

BSPs are safety duty holders who are required to be registered with Safe Transport Victoria unless an exemption applies. They also have other responsibilities under Victorian law.


Becoming a BSP

There are many things to consider if you’re thinking of owning or operating a BSP.

Below is a list of what you need to know. We’ve also created a handy checklist for you to use here.

1. Register as a BSP

All BSPs must register with Safe Transport Victoria unless:

  • You do not have more than two CPVs registered in your name, or you only take bookings for one or two vehicles registered to you
  • Taking bookings for CPV services is not a core part of your business.

To register, sign up to sign up to the ST Vic User Portal as a ‘non-individual’. You will need an ABN to register.

Not all BSPs need to register (see more below). Even if you’re not required to register, it is useful to do so as it grants you access to the ST Vic User Portal and offers you further guidance and support to comply with your safety obligations.

Please note that even if you do not need to register your BSP, you are still a safety duty holder.

If a person registers their vehicle as a CPV, they become a ‘permission holder’ who has responsibilities under industry laws. Only registered commercial passenger vehicles can legally provide CPV services in Victoria.

Any person who wants to use their vehicle to provide unbooked (taxi) CPV services or booked (hire car and rideshare) CPV services must register their vehicle with Safe Transport Victoria.

A vehicle owner can be an unbranded sole trader with only one or two vehicles, who accepts bookings for only those vehicles. A vehicle owner can also either:

  • register as a BSP if they have three or more vehicles
  • choose to be part of a BSP that has already registered. In these instances, the vehicle owner does not need to register as a BSP.

Additionally, a vehicle owner may have registered their vehicle with CPV because they provide incidental trips, but not as a core part of their business (for example, patient transfer from a private care facility). These vehicle owners do not have to register as a BSP.

Vehicle owners have their own unique set of duties. Find out more below.

In most instances, you will need to register as a BSP if you:

  • own more than two vehicles and accept or facilitate bookings for these vehicles
    own, operate or control an automated electronic system (for example, an app) which arranges or facilitates trips on behalf of passengers and drivers.

Alternatively, you can register or affiliate with a larger BSP.

If you’re still not sure, contact us on 1800 638 802 or at [email protected]

2. Using the Public Register

This is an online list which enables searches on industry service providers including CPVs, CPV drivers, BSPs and driving instructor vehicles currently registered as CPVs.

The Public Register will help you ensure your BSP allocates CPV trips to accredited drivers and registered vehicles with no safety issues.

Any driver or vehicle you arrange for a trip must be on the Safe Transport Victoria Public Register. If they’re not, they do not have legal permission to provide CPV services. This is an offence under industry laws and could put your business at risk.

Driver accreditation and CPV registrations can be suspended or cancelled for various reasons, such as the expiration of a Victorian driver’s licence or if a vehicle becomes unsafe.

Additionally, disciplinary action may be taken against an accredited driver facing criminal charges or proceedings, leading to their removal from the Public Register.

Make sure any driver or vehicle you use is on the Public Register at the time of the booking. Your electronic booking system may do this automatically or you may choose to do this manually.

If a vehicle is not in the system, email [email protected].

If a driver is not in the system, email [email protected].

3. Record keeping and reporting

As a registered BSP you have record-keeping and reporting responsibilities.

We will request your data each month, so make sure you keep the below records so your data is ready to share with us.

You need to keep and manage:

All BSPs should have systems and processes in place to manage safety hazards and risks.

BSPs must acquire and maintain a database of the hazards or risks relating to the provision of CPV services. This is called a risk register. You must consider all risks and hazards that could happen any time during a trip. Example risks include driver fatigue, unsafe vehicle and dangerous weather. Your risk register is a place where you describe safety risks, and measures to resolve or lessen them. Review and revise it regularly and also when incidents occur.

While the register should be in a format that best suits the Booking Service Provider, at a minimum the regulations state that the register must contain:

  • information about the risk identified with a clear description of the hazards which contribute to the risk
  • an outline of the action taken to minimise or eliminate the risk
  • the person/s responsible for acting in the particular circumstance.

Managing safety risks in your business requires understanding how your business operates. This means understanding what the essential ingredients are that make your business operate smoothly and successfully.

An effective register should also contain:

  • a unique identifier for the risk
  • the date the risk was identified
  • a description of the risk including identification, circumstances and contributing factors (for example, there is a risk that X will occur because of Y. If this occurs, it will result in Z)
  • the likelihood of the risk—for example, recorded as likelihood of 1 to 5 or a likelihood of low, medium or high
  • the impact(s) if the risk occurs (the level of seriousness of the risk)
  • the severity of the risk (likelihood multiplied by impact)
  • actions that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of risk occurring
  • the person responsible for managing the risk
  • contingencies that can be taken if the risk does occur—these are usually structured to reduce harm
  • a progress update on actions taken to reduce the likelihood of risk
  • the status of the entry, example: open, closed, waiting for decision, in progress etc.

Registered BSPs must give customers a way to provide feedback on trips. This means you need to:

  • Have a complaints management system and keep a record of all complaints
  • Tell customers how to make a complaint and when they can expect a response – you may do this on your website or another way
  • Make sure you investigate complaints promptly
  • Take adequate steps to resolve every complaint promptly.

This is the information you must keep regarding each complaint:

  • The date the complaint was received
  • Details of the complaint and the nature of the problem
  • The relationship the person making the complaint has to your business (for example, is the complaint being made by a customer, driver or member of the public)
  • The name and address or other contact details of the person making the complaint
  • All actions taken by your BSP (or someone on your behalf) in response to the complaint
  • The date and time of the actions taken in response
  • The outcome of the complaint.

Complaints can help you better understand safety risks and customer needs.

Here’s a list of the data you need to keep for each booked CPV service that you provide:

  • Trip IDs (currently optional)
  • Date and time of booking request
  • Accreditation number for the driver who provided the service
  • Registration plate number of the vehicle that provided the service
  • Date and time that the trip started
  • Address and/or GPS coordinates for where the trip started (longitude and latitude)
  • Date and time the trip ended
  • Address and/or GPS coordinates for where the trip ended (longitude and latitude)
  • Full amount charged for the trip
  • Distance travelled (currently optional).

You must also record:

  • If the driver processed part of the payment under a Safe Transport Victoria scheme. An example of this is the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) subsidy.
  • If the vehicle used was a wheelchair accessible one.

You must provide reports on this data in the format outlined in the Safe Transport Victoria trip data specification.

Email us at [email protected] if you have questions on how to collect and report on this data.

Please refer to the Act and Regulations for full details.

It’s important to keep your contact and business details current in our system.

You must tell us when any of the following changes:

  • BSP name or business/trading name
  • BSP-registered business name, Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian
  • Business Number (ABN)
  • Changes to the responsible or relevant person
  • Your BSP’s ultimate holding company, if you are a company or trustee
  • If the business is in the process of being sold or has been sold, then any other contact details (phone, email/s and postal address).

You have 10 business days to let us know once you’re aware of these changes. Do this with the BSP ‘change of information’ form.

Did you register as an NSP before 2 November 2017?

If you registered as a network service provider (NSP) before 2 November 2017, you are now a registered BSP instead. When this changed, we emailed all NSP contacts to say they were now a BSP (and no longer an NSP).

If you did not get this news, use the ‘change of information’ form to update your BSP contact details. If you are no longer a BSP, you can surrender your registration here.

We understand this amount of administrative work may be challenging for some businesses. So, we’ve added templates and instructions to our website to get you started. You must store this data for three years from the date of each trip.

  • Instructions for how to create a report
  • ST Vic trip data specification
  • ST Vic service data samples
  • Trip data record template
  • GoFex file submission guide
  • Convert to CSV file instructions.

4. Safety duties and responsibilities

You must make sure all CPV services you provide are safe, ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.

Safe Transport Victoria is a responsive regulator and has access to a range of tools to ensure our industry remains safe. From low-level intervention to high-level enforcement, we use the appropriate tool depending on the situation.

In order to offer safe CPV services as a BSP, there are several safety factors to consider:

Safety factor Considerations
Vehicle safety
  • Protection from road incidents
  • Traffic management
Passenger safety
  • Violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Passengers with additional needs
Driver safety
  • Operating a safe vehicle
  • Providing relevant information, instruction and training
  • Supervision
  • Occupational harms
  • Health and wellbeing
Public safety
  • Road or traffic incidents

 

Each BSP must work to eliminate or reduce these risks ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. This can include driver training, appropriate inspection and maintenance checks or administrative procedures to address the risks associated with operating a BSP.

Having good risk management practices that identify and assess risks, and consider appropriate controls, is important in demonstrating that everything ‘reasonably practicable’ has been done to meet safety duties.

There are many ways we can work with you to help you understand what is required of your BSP, such as through:

  • informal conversations and formal interviews
  • requests for information for audit, inspection and investigative purposes
  • targeted and random on-road compliance activities of vehicles
  • audits and reports to duty holders on findings, particularly regarding safety duties.

Safe Transport Victoria is committed to ensuring services delivered by the industry are safe and more accessible for customers.

Notifying us of fatalities, serious injuries or incidents which expose people to risks to their safety allows us to monitor safety and causes of incidents in the commercial passenger vehicle industry.

BSPs are required to report notifiable incidents under the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017. You must notify us within ten business days of becoming aware an incident has occurred. You can do so using the Notifiable Incidents Portal.

It is an offence not to report a notifiable incident. The failure to do so may result in compliance action by Safe Transport Victoria.

Drivers, vehicle owners and equipment suppliers who experience an incident, are encouraged to notify their BSP of the incident, and the BSP can notify us on their behalf.

Incidents that must be reported:

  • the death of any person
  • the serious injury* of any person (this includes but is not limited to incidents that require emergency medical services assistance)
  • attendance by police
  • attendance by a health professional.

*if you’re unsure if it’s a serious injury then it’s best to report the incident.

You will be requested to provide information on:

  • your/the organisation’s details
  • whether you’re reporting on behalf of a driver or vehicle owner
  • incident type
  • time and location of the incident
  • date and time that they became aware of the incident
  • details of any party involved (where known)
  • details of any person in attendance (if known)
  • a description of the incident
  • any actions taken (or planned) to reassess the risk in the future

Notifiable incidents must be reported using the Notifiable Incidents Portal.

5. Fare rules and consumer protection

Every BSP has consumer protection duties. A BSP can set their own price for booked services but should consider the following:

  • GST applies to every trip
  • fare information must be made available to any customer who requests it
  • if a customer asks for a fare estimate while booking a trip, you must either give an approximate price or a fixed one
  • if your BSP includes vehicles which provide unbooked services, fare rules apply.

You must provide a passenger with a receipt at the end of their trip should they request one.

Receipts should include:

  • Your BSP name
  • Registration number of the CPV
  • Driver accreditation number
  • A list of the items that make up the final price (including the fare, tolls and any extra charges)
  • The total amount paid
  • Date of the payment
  • CPV driver’s signature (if the CPV driver provides a written receipt).

6. Providing wheelchair accessible services

BSPs have an important role to play in providing transport for people with a disability. Safety of services for vulnerable members of our community is of utmost importance.

It is important to note that there are equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws that apply to fare refusal. It is against the law to discriminate against someone due to their disability, nationality or cultural background.

Your BSP may choose to book trips for passengers who use a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Only drivers with a W-endorsement can provide wheelchair accessible services. These drivers and vehicles must prioritise trips for passengers with wheelchairs, before others.

It is the responsibility of the BSP to ensure only drivers with a W-endorsement operate wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Find out more.

There are several ways Safe Transport Victoria supports BSPs to provide accessible services.

  1. ST Vic pays a lifting fee or a partial lifting fee when a driver loads and unloads an MPTP passenger travelling in a wheelchair or scooter into a vehicle. More information can be found here.
  2. The Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) Subsidy Scheme subsidises the purchase costs of a WAV to make it similar in cost to a conventional vehicle that provides unbooked (taxi) services.
  3. The Performance Based Booking System (PBBS) seeks to reduce wait times for passengers requiring a WAV. It monitors wait times and rewards BSPs when jobs are undertaken within specified timeframes.

Vehicle identification

It is a legal requirement for CPVs to display identification while in service so as to be easily identified. Failure to do so may result in a penalty or fine.

Identification can be in the form of:

  • Taxi number plates (issued via VicRoads)
  • VH, VHA, VHB and VHC number plates (issued via VicRoads)
  • A sign, symbol, notice or label which identifies the vehicle as a CPV. This may include company branding of a registered BSP, or logos that clearly identify the vehicle as a CPV.
    • Please note: This must be placed in an area where it can’t be removed by a person sitting in the driver’s seat. For example, the rear passenger window on the opposite side of the vehicle to the driver’s seat.

Compliance and enforcement

Safe Transport Victoria  can respond to non-compliance in different ways, including the use of enforcement powers by:

  • Issuing penalty infringement notices (for example, fines) for prescribed offences
  • Issuing improvement notices (for example, for a failure to establish and maintain a register of safety risks or a failure to provide adequate training to drivers that results in unsafe work)
  • Initiating court action (for example, prosecutions for serious or repeated safety breaches).

For more on fines visit here.


Fees and charges

Various fees and charges apply to operating a BSP.

The first fee is for registering a BSP. When submitting this, you will also need to submit and pay for a criminal record check for each additional person in relation to the application.

Booking Service Provider Registration Current Fee
Application for BSP registration $46.80
Criminal records check for each additional $46.80

There is a $1.05 per trip levy which applies to every CPV trip that commences in Victoria.

If the trip is booked, the BSP is liable for this levy.

If a trip starts at a rank or a passenger hails the vehicle, the driver must pay the levy, unless they are employed by the vehicle owner, in which case the owner is liable.

You can choose to pass the cost of the levy on to your customers.

This levy is set under the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 (the Act) and is calculated in line with the consumer price index (CPI).

You must pay the levy every three months to the State Revenue Office Victoria, not Safe Transport Victoria. Register with the State Revenue Office by clicking here.


Surrender your BSP registration

To surrender your BSP registration you need to send a written request to Safe Transport Victoria at [email protected].

Make sure to include:

  • The name of your BSP entity
  • Your name as the responsible person
  • Your BSP registration number
  • Your business address
  • The reason for your request (for example, you’re no longer in the CPV industry).

Your request should be processed within 5-10 business days and, unless you have specified another date in your request, your registration will be cancelled straight away.

Once your request is processed, you will receive written confirmation that your registration has been surrendered and the BSP name will no longer appear on the Public Register.

Please note that it is still a requirement for you to keep your records for a period of three years from the date they were created.

We may impose conditions on your BSP registration before it can be surrendered, (for example, notifying relevant parties that you will no longer be registered as a BSP). You will be advised of any imposed conditions in writing and allowed an appropriate timeframe to meet the required conditions.