Prepaid Taxi Fares

Be fair prepay your taxi

The Northern Territory Government is making prepayment of fares mandatory every Friday and Saturday night between 10pm and 5am if requested by a taxi driver. Introducing prepaid taxi fares will help reduce instances of fare evasion, particularly during the late night and early morning hours and help reduce conflict between drivers and passengers. 

Prepaid fares puts the responsibility back on the passenger to pay before a journey begins as with all other forms of public transport. If the passenger refuses to prepay a fare on the request of the driver, the driver has a right to refuse to transport them.

The only exemptions to this are airport pickups and members of the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.

When do prepaid fares have to be paid?

The taxi driver can ask for prepayment of a fare every Friday and Saturday night between 10 pm and 5 am Territory wide. If the passenger refuses to prepay a fare on the request of the driver, the driver has a right to refuse to transport them.

The only exemptions to this are airport pickups and members of the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.

How do prepaid fares work?

Before the Trip Begins

The taxi driver will estimate how much the fare will cost at the start of the trip using the Estimated Fare Schedule. The schedule is based on distance i.e. 5 km, 10 km and so forth. Refer to the section ‘How to Estimate Fares using an Authorised Fare Schedule’ for more information.

If a prepayment is required, the passenger must pay the driver the corresponding amount from the Fare Estimator.

If a prepayment is paid, a driver is required to provide a receipt for the amount processed.

Vouchers (such as CabCharge) should be made known to the driver at the beginning of the trip; the driver can ask the passenger for an alternative means of payment (such as cash or card) until the voucher can be successfully processed.

Drivers have the right to refuse a passenger or terminate a trip if the passenger does not wish to prepay the fare on request by the driver.

At the End of the Trip

The taximeter displays the fare. If the final taximeter reading is less than the prepaid amount, then the driver must refund the difference.

If the total taxi fare is more than the prepaid amount, then the passenger must pay the balance to the driver.

Note: Final adjustment of the fare is based on the metered amount and any authorised additional charges, not the estimated amount.
Penalties apply to both the driver and passenger if they do not refund or pay the correct amount.

How to Estimate Fares using an Authorised Fare Schedule 

A Schedule of Estimated Prepaid Fares for a Taxi Trip will be available in every taxi across the Northern Territory (refer to the example provided). The Schedules will also be available online on the Department of Transport’s website.

The schedule is based on 5 kilometre distance lots. For example if a Darwin passenger wants to travel approximately 25 kilometres to their destination the prepaid fare will be $53. At the end of the trip the taximeter displays $56; the passenger will be required to pay an additional $3 to the driver.

Estimates may vary from actual fare costs depending on road and traffic conditions and route taken. The estimate is not a negotiated amount and the prepayment does not represent an agreed amount for the trip. All fares are to be paid based on the metered amount and any authorised additional charges.

For more information view the prepaid fare estimators

Receipts

A taxi driver must supply a receipt if any fare amount is paid when requested by a passenger. Penalties apply if the driver refuses to provide a receipt.

Decals

Prepaid taxi fare labels are to be displayed on the bonnet of each vehicle. Please refer to the example provided. Further details on the manufacturing specifications can be found in the Northern Territory Taxi In-Service Maintenance Standards available on the Department of Transport’s website.

taxi decals 

What happens if there is a Problem

If you experience a problem please contact the Compliance Unit of the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Branch on:

Email:               cpv.compliance@nt.gov.au

Phone:              8924 7580

Online:              Website feedback form

Last updated: 28 November 2017