VICTORIA -Cab fares rise as drivers pass on State Government $1 Commercial Passenger Vehicle Levy

TAXI fares are set to rise by $1.10 per trip after drivers were on Wednesday allowed to pass on a controversial levy to customers.
The Essential Services Commission ruled that taxi drivers were entitled to pass on the cost of the $1 Commercial Passenger Vehicle Levy, plus GST, introduced by the Andrews Government.
The fee on all ride share trips will be used to fund compensation for taxi licence owners disadvantaged by the changes.
A start date has been set for the levy but cabs will be able to add $1.10 to their fares allowance from July 1, when a host of other changes are introduced.
The commission will make another ruling in June on whether to further alter the restrictions surrounding maximum taxi charges.
A spokesman for 13 CABS last night welcomed the move and said the industry was waiting for the ESC’s next decision.
“13 CABS is pleased to see the Essential Services Commission has recognised the importance of ensuring taxi drivers earnings are not diminished by the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Levy,” he said.
Taxi driver earnings have been stagnant since 2014.
“Taxi driver earnings have not increased since 2014 and during the same period the cost of living has increased by 6.36 per cent and the average weekly earnings for other Australians have increased by 6.94 per cent.
“Not only is this unfair on taxi drivers, it undermines the important role taxi drivers play in supporting people who are not able to drive themselves and overlooks the contribution that taxi drivers make to the tourism and entertainment industries.”
A $2 fee on every trip was originally intended to pay back licence holders who paid up to $400,000 per permits, which have plummeted in value due to the arrival of ride-sharing services.

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