Taxi communications network conditions

The following conditions apply to the operation of a communications network for commercial passenger vehicles such as taxis.

1. Transmission
1.1

The Network Operator must ensure that the Network does not communicate with, control, or coordinate the Vehicle, unless using the Dispatch System, or an alternative dispatch system in compliance with condition 1.2 of this Approval.

1.2

Where the communications system specified in Schedule 1 has an unforeseen failure, the Network Operator may use an alternative communications system, but only if the alternative communications system is available for the entire period of failure and complies with all other conditions of this Approval.  Any alternative communications system used must comply with all legal requirements for communications devices.

1.3 If the Vehicle is a Motor Omnibus of seating capacity less than 26 passengers and is not operating under any applicable exemption, the Network Operator provides to the driver, all bookings relating to the Vehicle, prior to the driver commencing a shift relevant to those bookings.
1.4 Condition 1.3 does not apply in relation to a tour or charter which is of two continuous hours or more in duration.
1.5 If the Vehicle is a Private Hire Car, the Network Operator must ensure the Network makes no Open Transmission to the Vehicle, except in life threatening or other emergency circumstances.
1.6 The Network Operator must take all reasonable steps to ensure the Premises, or the Vehicle, does not contain any type of scanning device, whether or not it is operational.
1.7 The Network Operator must take all reasonable steps to ensure the Vehicle does not contain any type of two-way radio device whether or not operational, other than that contained in Schedule 1 of this Approval, unless in compliance with Condition 1.2 of this Approval.
1.8 The Network Operator must ensure the Network has the facilities to adequately transmit and receive communications via the Dispatch System, throughout the Approved Area/s of Operation.
1.9

Where the Network communicates with, controls or coordinates more than one category, the Network must have and maintain separate booking and dispatch systems for each category.

NOTE: Condition 1.9 requires that where the Network is available to more than one category, the Network must:

  • clearly identify only one category per public point of contact (Network Booking Address) for the purposes of bookings i.e. to satisfy this condition, where the Network operates a phone booking system for more than one category,
  • the Network must establish separate telephone numbers for each category; the Network must establish separate communications frequencies or dispatching systems for each category; and
  • the Vehicle must only have access to the frequency or system approved for that category
1.10

The Network Operator must ensure the Network communicates with, controls or coordinates only one category in relation to a booking i.e. the Network must not transmit or communicate a booking to more than one category.

NOTE: Where a hirer makes a request to the Network for a hiring, and the requested category is not available within 10 minutes to perform the hiring, the Network may inform the hirer of an alternative category, stating fare and hire conditions, and should the hirer agree to the use of the alternative category, the Network may then dispatch to the alternate category.

1.11 The Network Operator must ensure the Network communicates with, controls or coordinates the Vehicle only in compliance with the Vehicle’s commercial vehicle licence.
1.12

The Network Operator must take all reasonable steps to ensure the Network is not available to:

1.12.1 a person operating a vehicle who is not accredited under the Act or who’s accreditation is suspended;

1.12.2 a person driving a commercial passenger vehicle who is not licensed under the Motor Vehicles Act to drive that class of vehicle;

1.12.3 a person who has had their driving privileges suspended or cancelled by the Registrar or Director; or

1.12.4 a person who does not hold an applicable current identity card issued under the Act for that type of commercial passenger vehicle.

1.13 The Network Operator must ensure that the Network communicates with, controls or coordinates the Vehicle only from the Premises.
2. Systems and procedures
2.1

The Network Operator must ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are implemented, maintained, regularly reviewed and updated as necessary to effectively manage the Network’s obligations under this Approval and the Act.

2.2

The Network Operator must ensure that all relevant Network staff and persons participating in the use of the Network are competent to carry out their responsibilities under any implemented network management system.

2.3

The Network Operator must provide on request to any operator or driver of a commercial passenger vehicle, the terms and conditions under which the Network is available.  The Network terms and conditions must be substantially the same for each Network Operator and for each driver, and is to include as a minimum:

  • 2.3.1 a system for dealing with lost passenger property;
  • 2.3.2 a complaints management system;
  • 2.3.3 a standards of service policy;
  • 2.3.4 a driver Uniform Code;
  • 2.3.5 a system for managing network obligations under the Northern Territory Taxi and Minibus Operational Requirements in Relation to On-board Security Systems;
  • 2.3.6 an Operator Sanctions System; and
  • 2.3.7 a Driver Sanctions System.
2.4

The Network Operator is responsible for any failure to implement, maintain, review or update the records, systems and procedures required under this Approval.

2.5

Where this Approval allows the Network to communicate with, control or coordinate a vehicle designed for the carriage of wheelchair passengers (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle – WAV), the Network must provide a priority service to a request for a WAV hiring which entails the carriage of a person in a wheelchair.

NOTE: WAV is defined in Section 6 of this Approval.

2.6

Where the Network has dispatched a hiring pursuant to condition 2.5 of this Approval to a driver of a WAV, and the driver refuses the hiring or does not complete the hiring in accordance with the request, the Network must record the refusal or failure to complete the booking in a register.  An entry made in this register must be made as soon as the Network becomes aware of the refusal or failure to complete the requested hiring.

2.7

 Where the Network records in a register, an entry made in accordance with condition 2.6 of this Approval, the Network Operator must ensure a copy of this entry is provided to the Director within 48 hours of the entry being made.

3. Record management
3.1

The Network Operator must maintain a daily record which allows identification of the following:

3.1.1 For each driver participating in the use of the Network:

  • a) the driver’s name;
  • b) the driver’s licence number as issued under the Motor Vehicles Act;
  • c) the driver’s identity card number as issued under the Act;
  • d) the start and finish times of each driver’s shift and each period the driver logs off and onto the Network during each shift; and
  • e) the Vehicle or the Vehicles that the driver has operated during each shift.

3.1.2 For each Vehicle being operated within the Network:

  • a) the registration number of the Vehicle as issued under the Motor Vehicles Act;
  • b) the number of the commercial vehicle licence (CVL) issued to the Vehicle under the Act; and
  • c) the name and address of the accredited operator of the Vehicle.

3.1.3 For each request for hiring made to the Network from a person:

  • a) the name and relevant contact details of each hirer or prospective hirer;
  • b) the time of each received request for carriage and the time of any related calls between  first request and hiring commencement;
  • c) the requested and actual pick up location and destination;
  • d) the type of hiring (whether it was for a WAV or Standard Vehicle);
  • e) the time of hiring commencement and the time of passenger drop off;
  • f) the Vehicle to which job was dispatched, and the Vehicle completing the job (if different).
3.2

The Network Operator must keep and maintain for a period of not less than three years at the Premises, the records, systems and procedures required under this Approval.

3.3 The Network Operator must produce on request, any record, system or procedure required under this Approval to the Director or an Inspector.
3.4 The Network Operator must ensure that the Network complies with any Information Exchange Protocols attached to this Approval.
3.5 The Network Operator must notify the Director, within seven days, of any change to the contact details that are contained in any Information Exchange Protocols attached to this Approval.
3.6

The Network Operator, upon reasonable notice, must permit an Inspector to enter the Premises for the purposes of:

  • 3.6.1 inspecting the premises;
  • 3.6.2 inspecting any record, system or procedure relating to the operation of the Network;
  • 3.6.3 making such examinations and inquiries as the Inspector considers necessary to ascertain whether the provisions of this Approval or the Act have been complied with; and
  • 3.6.4 taking such photographs as the Inspector considers necessary in connection with the administration of this Approval.
3.7 The Network Operator must permit an Inspector, who has entered the Premises in accordance with condition 3.6 of this Approval, to make copies of any record, system or procedure relating to the operation of the Network.
3.8

Where the Director requests in writing the supply of information or data on a regular basis, the Network Operator must ensure the information or data is supplied in accordance with that request.  For this condition, network information or data may include, but is not limited to:

  • 3.8.1 information on systems, policies, protocols or operator/driver agreements required to be kept and maintained by the Network Operator under this Approval;
  • 3.8.2 service delivery data relating to WAV and Standard Vehicle bookings and hirings, including statistical data on customer wait time for the time periods of 0-15 minutes, 16 to 30 minutes, 31 to 60 minutes and greater than 60 minutes;
  • 3.8.3 total number of WAV and Standard Vehicles operating under the Network per hour;
  • 3.8.4 information or data relating to answered or unanswered telephone enquiries for potential bookings; and
  • 3.8.5 any detail relating to a person having a responsibility in the operation of the Network, which may be necessary for the Director to determine the suitability of that person’s involvement in the Network.
4. Standards of service
4.1

The Network Operator must establish minimum standards for which the Network must deliver a commercial passenger vehicle service to the public. Such standards are to include, but are not limited to:

  • 4.1.1 Network response times to bookings e.g. telephone wait times;
  • 4.1.2 vehicle response times to Network dispatched hirings i.e. hiring completion times;
  • 4.1.3 number of bookings not completed; and
  • 4.1.4 average customer wait times for WAVs and Standard Vehicles (period of time between when the hiring was first booked to when the hiring commenced).
4.2 The Network Operator must ensure that drivers of the Vehicle are presented to the public in compliance with any Codes of Conduct made under the Act that are applicable to that category.
4.3

The Network Operator must take all reasonable steps to ensure the Vehicle has on it the logo (decal) applicable to, and approved for use by that Network.  The logo (decal) must be fitted in accordance with any applicable minimum in-service maintenance standards that have been approved by the Director.

NOTE: The Director may exempt in writing the Network from the requirements of condition 4.3.

4.4 The Network Operator must take all reasonable steps to ensure the Vehicle complies with any minimum in-service maintenance standards which apply to the category as approved by the Director.
4.5 The Network Operator must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a driver of the Vehicle complies with the Network Uniform Code, if any exist.
4.6

The Network Operator must provide ready and free access for any member of the public to lodge a complaint against the Network, the Vehicle, or any driver operating under the Network.

NOTE: for the purposes of condition 4.6, the Network must provide the public with a convenient and advertised means for lodging a complaint, either via telephone or electronically.  The means for receiving complaints must be available to the public during all hours that the Network communicates with, controls or coordinates commercial passenger vehicles, and may be the same as the Network Booking Address.  Network Booking Address is defined in section 6 of this Approval.

5. Validity
5.1 The Network Operator must not operate the Network unless in accordance with the details specified in Schedule 1 and the conditions specified in Schedule 2 of this Approval.
5.2

Should the Director have reason to believe the Network Operator has failed to operate the Network in accordance with Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of this Approval, the Director shall review the Approval and, without limiting any provisions of the Act, may:

  • 5.2.1 revoke the Approval, or
  • 5.2.2 revoke the Approval and issue an amended Approval.
5.3  The Director may revoke an Approval without notice subject to a review under condition 5.2 of this Approval.
5.4 This Approval is current for the period as determined in Schedule 1 unless sooner revoked by the Director.
5.5 The Director may make any variation necessary to the Approval at any time by revoking the existing Approval and issuing to the Network Operator an amended Approval.
5.6 Where an Approval is revoked, the Director may require the Network Operator to return it to the Director within a reasonable timeframe.
5.7 The Network Operator must maintain the currency of any relevant licence from the Australian Communications and Media Authority and comply with all conditions imposed on that licence, if any exist.
5.8 The Network Operator must display Schedule 1 of the Approval in a prominent place at the Premises, and produce it upon request to any person having reasonable cause to view it.
6. Definitions
Act (the) the Commercial Passenger (Road) Transport Act.
  the registered number of a licence as issued under the Radio communications Act 1992 (Cth) to a communications device, or an appropriate licence issued by a statutory body to another device.
Approval

means an approval granted by the Director in accordance with subsection 71(1) of the Act.

Approved

means approved in writing by the Director.

Approved Area/s of Operation

means a locality in which the Network is approved to communicate with, control or coordinate commercial passenger vehicles.

Note: Factors considered when approving the Approved Area/s of Operation include compliance with 1.8 of this Approval and Network Name.

Examples: Darwin Region; Darwin and Katherine Regions; within Northern Territory borders.

Booking any request from a customer or potential customer for the hiring of a commercial passenger vehicle which has been received and accepted by the Network.
Category a commercial passenger vehicle licence type as determined under the Act and includes the categories of taxi, private hire car, limousine, special function vehicle, minibus, courtesy vehicle, motor omnibus, tourist vehicle or special passenger vehicle.
Call Sign as stated in a licence issued under the Radio communications Act 1992 (Cth) to a communications device.
Communications Network means any device, equipment or action capable of communicating with, controlling or coordinating a vehicle.
Commercial Passenger Vehicle has the same meaning as defined in the Act.
CPV Commercial Passenger Vehicle
Commercial Vehicle Licence a licence issued under the Act to an accredited operator to operate a commercial passenger vehicle.  May also be referred to as a CVL.
Director (the) means the Director of Commercial Passenger (Road) Transport as defined in the Act.
Dispatch System

May also be referred to as the Communications System.

the approved method or device used for communicating with, controlling or coordinating a commercial passenger vehicle as specified in Schedule 1.

Hirer means a person who has procured the services of a commercial passenger vehicle either through a booking or otherwise.
Hiring means the carriage of a passenger or goods using a commercial passenger vehicle while it is operating for hire or reward.
Information Exchange Protocol a written agreement between the Director and a communications network which establishes clear guidelines for the exchange of information.
Inspector has the same meaning as defined in the Act.
Motor Omnibus has the same meaning as defined in the Act.
Network (the) the communications network to which this Approval applies
Network Booking Address

the approved entry point to the Network for a potential hirer to make a booking for a hiring e.g. telephone number, web based booking system, smart phone application.

NOTE: Where a Network is approved for more than one category and uses a single web based booking system, the booking system must clearly identify the category being booked.

Network Director/Manager the individual responsible for the day to day operation of the Network.
Network Name

the trading name or names under which the Network Operator operates the Network for each category, and which has been approved by the Director. Only the Network Name or Names may be used to advertise Network services.

NOTE:   A Network Name must substantially represent the location and service being offered.

Example 1: “NT taxi company”, may only be used as a Network Name for the category of taxi.

Example 2: “Darwin Passenger Services”, may be used for any or all categories operating within a Darwin Network.

Network Operator a person, who has been assessed by the Director as meeting fit and proper guidelines for the purposes of operating a network, and who holds a current Approval to operate a communications network under the meaning of the Act.
Open Transmission means any audible sound, signal or communication that is receivable to any person in the vehicle (includes driver).
Operator a person who is accredited and holds a licence issued under the Act.
Premises (the) the principle place or places of business for the Network and includes the locations of any dispatch system, communications system or address where Network records are kept and maintained (but does not include an area used solely for residential purposes).
Private Hire Car has the same meaning as defined in the Act.
Sanctions Systems (Driver) a system which identifies and applies appropriate sanctions to a driver who fails to comply with any applicable code of conduct made under the Act, or any system made under this Approval.
Sanctions Systems (Operator) a system which identifies and applies appropriate sanctions to an operator who fails to comply with the conditions of their accreditation, commercial vehicle licence, or any system made under this Approval.
Standard Vehicle means a vehicle that is not constructed or modified for the carriage of a person seated in a wheelchair.
System

means an implemented quality assurance system consisting of written policy and procedure which is aimed at ensuring compliance with a requirement under the Act or this Approval.

NOTE:   A system should comply with relevant Australian Standards (if any exist), or substantially correspond to International Organisation of Standardization (ISO) 9001 as a minimum.

Taxi  has the same meaning as defined in the Act.
Transmission any electronic, sound or radio signal used for communicating. This includes but is not limited to a vehicle dispatching system, a telephone service and smart phone application (app).
Uniform Code

means a policy relating to the minimum standards of dress for drivers of the Vehicle, for each category specified in Schedule 1, and may include a network uniform which has been approved by the Director under a relevant Code of Conduct.

OTE:   Where a uniform identifies a specific category, the uniform must only be worn by drivers of that category, e.g. a shirt embellished with the word ‘taxi’ cannot be used as a uniform for any other category other than the category of taxi, however, a uniform that displays the words ‘Passenger Services’ may be used by several categories within the Network.

Vehicle (the) a commercial passenger vehicle which is communicated with, controlled or coordinated by the Network.
WAV

 for the purposes of this Approval means a vehicle designed, manufactured and approved to transport a person seated in a wheelchair.

NOTE:   A WAV includes a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, Multi Purpose Taxi, MPT, Wheelchair Accessible Minibus, Wheelchair Accessible Taxi, WAT or a WAM.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017