Transport rules modernised for new technologiesTransport
The Government will overhaul small passenger services by removing outdated rules and bringing the sector into the 21st century, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss have announced.
This follows a comprehensive review into whether the small passenger services sector is fit for purpose and flexible enough to accommodate new technologies.
“Ensuring an effective small passenger services sector has a range of wider benefits for New Zealand and its economy, including using the transport system more effectively and helping to reduce congestion. With the existing rules for the sector being in place since 1989, a significant review is not before time,” Mr Bridges says.
Currently there are separate categories and rules for taxis, private hire, shuttles, and rideshare operators. Under the changes, these services will be regulated under a single category of small passenger service, meaning one set of rules for all.
“New technologies like smart phones and apps have changed the way the sector can operate. Modernising our rules will ensure they are flexible enough to accommodate new business models,” Mr Bridges says
“The Government has clearly stated our intention to encourage innovation and enable new kinds of services. Freeing up the regulatory environment will allow transport operators to compete on an even footing,” Mr Bridges says.
Some rules that impose costs on operators, but no longer provide any significant benefits, will be removed.
“Removing outdated rules will allow a broader range of transport services to develop throughout New Zealand, giving consumers more choice,” Mr Foss says.
“Retaining the need for drivers to have a Passenger endorsement, which includes a police check, means consumers can feel safe no matter what option or service they choose,” Mr Foss says.
“These changes will future-proof the small passenger services sector by enabling all New Zealanders and businesses in New Zealand — traditional or otherwise — to enjoy the benefits of new technology, while maintaining a strong focus on safety,” Mr Foss says.
The changes will be considered by Parliament as part of the Land Transport Amendment Bill in 2016.
More details about the changes are available at www.transport.govt.nz/land/small-passenger-services-review