Ubers and other on-demand operators pay millions in levies
The interim figure gives the government a better idea of how long the levy will be collected, with a Department of Transport spokeswoman saying it was on track to be completed within four years.
The levy was met with fierce opposition from all transport operators but the spokeswoman said the vast majority of on-demand operators were complying.
“The Department of Transport is currently working with the very small number of small booking services (less than 5 per cent) who are yet to submit levy returns for the June quarter,” she said.
Small charter vehicle operator Mark Ward said the levy had forced some operators out of the market.
“It’s definitely a burden and there has been a few people exit the industry in the past three months,” he said.
“That’s really the straw that’s broken the camel’s back.
“It has been difficult to manage in terms of not killing our business and setting expectations with our customers in terms of what’s going on in the marketplace as well.”
Mr Ward said personally he was forced to increase his fare prices to combat the thousands of dollars of estimated lost revenue, and he had lost some customers because of it.
However he said many customers had showed support and loyalty, which was affirmation of the personalised service they provided.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said given the magnitude of the reform, the transition had been relatively smooth.
“Of course, change is always difficult for some but overall the reform is on track,” she said.
“Almost 800 booking services and 18,000 vehicles are now authorised to undertake on-demand transport work across WA. The vast majority of booking services are small operators with between one and five vehicles on their books.
“There are a number of conditions on the temporary levy that make it easier for small charter styles of service, including a maximum levy of $10 on all metropolitan taxi or charter fares, and exemption available to operators who solely provide special event services, such as weddings or school balls.”
Alongside the levy, the government introduced other reforms including a requirement for Uber and Ola drivers to place a sticker in their rear window notifying passengers who the car is operating under.
An Uber spokeswoman said the total levy collected to date highlighted the popularity of on-demand transport in WA.
“Uber commends the government for introducing new regulations which formally recognise ridesharing as a vital part of the transport mix in WA,” she said.
“We will continue working collaboratively with the Government to bring new transport innovations to WA that will make it easier for people to move around their communities well into the future.”
Hamish Hastie is WAtoday’s business reporter.