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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 June 2009) . . Page.. 2399 ..

Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS)

The Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services administers the TSS.

• The TSS subsidises the taxi transport costs of individuals who are unable to use other means of public transport due to a severe disability. Currently, there are over 3,200 members, of which approximately 85% of clients are aged over 60.

There are two levels of subsidy:

50% subsidy for eligible individuals accessing the TSS with a maximum subsidy of $17.00 per trip; and

75% subsidy for individuals accessing the TSS who use a wheelchair with a maximum subsidy of $26.00 per trip. A lift fee, paid to the driver is provided in addition to the subsidy.

• The 50% subsidy is available to people who can travel in a standard taxi and the 75% subsidy is available to individuals who are permanently dependant on using a wheelchair for all mobility and must travel in a wheelchair accessible taxi.

• The Lift Fee is equivalent to 25% of the waiting time rate. On 1 July 2008, a new taxi fare determination was introduced and the waiting time rate was raised to $47.50 per hour, as a result the Lift Fee was increased from $11.25 to $11.88 (rounded up to $11.90).

• Members of the TSS generally receive up to 126 vouchers per year. Additional vouchers are available on request to members who have travel requirements over the above this level, due to employment, education, community programs, medical therapy and vocational training reasons.

• The Government also provides ‘Lift Fee Only’ vouchers for passengers who use a wheelchair, but can travel in a standard taxi.

• Other States and Territories operate a taxi concession scheme similar to the TSS. The following is a brief outline of the comparative rates across the other jurisdictions.

Level of Subsidy

• Victoria and WA each provide two levels of subsidy – 50% for people who can travel in an ordinary taxi and 75% for people in wheelchairs who require a wheelchair accessible taxi. All other jurisdictions provide a 50% subsidy only.

• The maximum subsidy across other jurisdictions ranges from $25.00 in WA (both 50% and 75% members) to $60.00 in Victoria. NSW pays up to $30.00 with a “lift fee” of $8.47.

• It should be noted, however, that the maximum subsidy needs to be considered within the context of annual caps. While the benefit per trip may

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