The Essential Services Commission determines the maximum fares for unbooked taxis in the Melbourne metropolitan zone (the metropolitan zone) and the urban and large regional zone (the urban zone). "Unbooked" refers to taxi trips that were not organised in advance for example, hailing a taxi on the street or getting a taxi from a taxi rank.

The commission has reviewed these maximum fares and published a final decision paper on the unbooked taxi fare review 2020 on 8 September 2020.

How does this affect you?

The commission’s decision on maximum fares may have financial impacts for you.

Taxi operators and drivers

The decision limits the amount you can charge taxi users.

Taxi users

The decision sets how much you might pay to use unbooked taxi services.

Key facts from our final decision

The commission considers this approach best meets its legislative objectives and requirements.

Given the current and uncertain future impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the commercial passenger vehicle industry, keeping maximum fares unchanged will provide some level of stability for consumers and unbooked taxi service providers.

The decision will not require unbooked taxi service providers to update meters and stickers during these challenging times.

The maximum fares apply to unbooked trips that begin in the metro or urban and large regional zones, which cover most of metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Frankston, Dandenong and the Mornington Peninsula.

Metering technology may no longer be a barrier to implementing ‘time and distance’ tariffs, and they have certain benefits over ‘time or distance’ tariffs. However, in the context of the current pandemic and possible resource constraints within the commercial passenger vehicle industry, it is appropriate for the use of ‘time and distance’ tariffs to remain optional for now.

The release of this final decision, together with the commission's price determination, is the last step in the review process. The new price determination will come into effect on 1 October 2020.

The Parliament has established the commission's role and it does not include regulating booked commercial passenger vehicle services, including rideshare.

The commission's role under the Essential Services Commission Act 2001 and Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 is to regulate maximum fares for unbooked taxi services that begin in the Melbourne Metropolitan or Urban and Large Regional zones, supplied by or within the commercial passenger vehicle industry.

Fares are currently not regulated in the country and regional zones. See Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria website for details.

How we engaged

The commission engaged on its consultation paper, issued in April 2020, and its draft decision paper, issued in June 2020, to seek stakeholder views on the proposed approach to setting maximum fares.

As well as receiving feedback through this Engage Victoria page, the commission held a virtual public forum on 27 July 2020 and responded to emails directly received from stakeholders.

This feedback and submissions were considered in the development of the draft and final decisions. Details of these submissions can be found in the final decision and on our website.

What we did with your feedback

In response to the consultation paper, most stakeholders supported an approach to setting fares that will not impose unnecessary regulatory burdens on industry participants.

Stakeholders’ feedback on different approaches to setting fares is one of the key factors we consider in keeping maximum fares unchanged.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. We regulate Victoria’s energy, water and transport sectors, and administer the local government Fair Go Rates system.