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Taxi Subsidy Scheme and Lift Payment

The Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) subsidises taxi travel—half of the total fare, up to a maximum of $25 per trip—for people with severe disabilities.

TSS pays half the value of a member's taxi fare, up to a maximum fare of $50. There is no limit on the number of taxi journeys a member may take to attract the subsidy. The subsidy is paid to taxi drivers—members have no additional costs.

TSS membership lasts for a maximum of 5 years. To extend your membership, you must reapply before the expiry date.

If you have a temporary disability, 6 to 12 month memberships are available.

Eligibility

To be eligible you must be a permanent resident of Queensland and fully meet at least 1 of the 6 eligibility criteria listed below:

  1. Physical disability requiring dependence on a wheelchair for all mobility outside the home.
  2. Severe ambulatory problem that cannot functionally be improved and restricts walking to an extremely limited distance.
  3. Total loss of vision or severe visual impairment (both eyes).
  4. Severe and uncontrollable epilepsy with seizures involving loss of consciousness.
  5. Intellectual impairment or dementia resulting in the need to be accompanied by another person at all times for travel on public transport.
  6. Severe emotional and/or behaviour disorders with a level of disorganisation resulting in the need to be accompanied by another person at all times for travel on public transport.

How to apply

  1. Complete part A of the Taxi subsidy application form (PDF, 268KB). Please call 1300 134 755 if you're unable to use this form.
  2. Provide 2 passport size photos.
  3. Visit your doctor or specialist and have them complete parts B and C of the application form.
  4. Mail the completed application with the photographs to:

    Taxi Subsidy Unit
    Department of Transport and Main Roads
    PO Box 13347
    BRISBANE QLD 4003

Lift Payment

A Lift Payment of $20 (inclusive of GST) applies for each eligible Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) trip involving transportation of a TSS member who is required to travel in a wheelchair. The Lift Payment is not part of the taxi fare so there is no additional cost to a TSS member.

Journeys eligible for the Lift Payment must meet each of the following requirements:

  • the passenger must be a TSS member identified as requiring a wheelchair to travel
  • the vehicle must be a designated WAT
  • the trip must be logged into a taxi company booking system
  • quoted and fixed fares are acceptable as long as they run through the taximeter.

The process used to administer the Lift Payment is the same process used to administer TSS payments, i.e. Lift Payments either go to a taxi booking company for delivery to the operator, or directly to the operator. Operators then share the Lift Payment with the driver as per their individual agreements.

Lift Payments are designed to improve service provision to nominated members of the community and will help ensure personalised transport services remain accessible to people with disabilities.

Passengers should note that Lift Payments can only be received by designated vehicles in the taxi industry. Lift Payments are not available to other personalised transport such as booked hire services (e.g. Uber and Ola).

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

A vehicle must meet special requirements to be licensed as a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Service (WAT) in Queensland.

The operator and driver must give preference to the carriage of people confined to a wheelchair. At any other time the vehicle can be used to provide a taxi service for the carriage of any public passenger.

Additional funding to support taxis with wheelchair lift services

The Queensland Government funded $5.6 million in Lift Payments to drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis to prioritise services to Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) members identified as requiring a wheelchair to travel.

The incentive is paid in addition to the TSS payment that is paid to taxi booking companies. Lift Payments will either go to booking companies for distribution or directly to operators.

Booking

To enable taxi booking companies to reconcile and correctly distribute Lift Payments a booking must be recorded for each journey on their relevant booking system.

When your journey commences from a rank or hailed pick-up, the taxi company is still eligible for the Lift Payment. To receive this payment, the driver must call their booking company immediately and provide your name (as passenger) and your TSS membership details to ensure the job is ‘booked’ into their booking system.

A booking fee should not be applied to Lift Payment journeys commencing from a rank or hailed pick-up.

Fare administration

The $20 Lift Payment is not added onto a TSS member’s fare.

The incentive is paid separately through the same process used for TSS payments, i.e. either paid directly to the booking company responsible for distributing the payments to operators or, in exempt areas, to operators or owners directly. It is expected that operators will share Lift Payments with their drivers as per their current bailment agreement.

To attract the TSS subsidy payment, a fare must be determined by the taximeter.

Accessibility information

TSS members can be accompanied by an assistance animal if required.

More information

To find out more about the Taxi Subsidy Scheme and Lift Payment, call the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 1300 134 755.

For help with NDIS transport funding, view the NDIS website or call 1800 800 110. You can also speak with the TSS team on 1300 134 755.

Find information about travelling safely in Queensland with a wheelchair or mobility scooter.