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21 Jan 2021

Multi Purpose Taxi Program fraud is a crime

If you commit Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) fraud, you could end up with a criminal record.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) manages the MPTP, which provides subsidised travel for people with disability or accessibility needs.

The warning follows the prosecution at Geelong Magistrates’ Court of a commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver who falsely claimed more than $1600 in lifting fees by fraudulently using MPTP members’ cards. CPV drivers receive a lifting fee when they transport MPTP members who use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Tammy O’Connor, CPVV’s Director, Legal, Governance and Regulatory Services, said any driver who abused the system could expect significant consequences.

“This is a serious crime that takes taxpayers’ funds away from a service that is a lifeline for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people,” she said.

“We have a range of processes in place to identify fraudulent MPTP transactions and if you are not sticking to the rules, you will get caught.

“No matter what the level of fraud, criminal action may be taken. You could lose your right to work in the CPV industry and may have to live with a criminal record.”

The driver sentenced at Geelong Magistrates’ Court admitted 78 charges of claiming funds by deception.

He was sentenced to an 18-month good behaviour bond and ordered to repay CPVV the $1607.20 that was fraudulently obtained. He will also pay costs of $236.95 plus $500 to the magistrates’ court.

His driver accreditation had already been suspended for more than a year by the time the case reached court. The driver remains suspended while CPVV’s disciplinary process takes place.

Drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.

15 Jan 2021

Uber is now offering subsidised MPTP trips across Victoria

Victorians with disability and accessibility needs now have more subsidised transport options, with rideshare service Uber being approved to offer subsidised trips through the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).

The arrangement, an Australian first, is part of the Victorian Government and CPVV’s commitment to expand the MPTP to include rideshare, as well as taxis.

It comes after a successful trial launched in Geelong in early 2020. Despite coronavirus (COVID-19) related shutdowns throughout the trial, participants took more than 170 trips. They gave the service a perfect 5.0 satisfaction rating.

The MPTP subsidy covers 50 per cent of the cost of eligible participants’ trips, up to $60. The subsidy is automatically applied to the upfront price shown to the MPTP member before they request a trip through the Uber app. It remains applied until their subsidy is exhausted.

This gives travellers more certainty about the cost of a trip before they book. It also removes the need to use physical cards on each trip to deduct the balance.

Aaron de Rozario, CEO, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, said: “Victorians with accessibility needs should be able to access a range of commercial passenger vehicles, just like anyone else in the community. This means being able to choose the type of service that meets their individual needs and lifestyle.

“This arrangement with Uber gives MPTP members more options and importantly choice for their individual travel needs. With access to work, study and leisure activities, members can be active citizens, which in turn supports the economic growth of Victoria.

“The Victorian Government is committed to providing more accessible services across the transport network. This means looking for new ways to deliver services, and this arrangement is a great example of innovation.”

The Multi Purpose Taxi Program Expansion Project started in 2017. It aims to make commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) services more accessible, give more choice to passengers with accessibility needs and increase competition and innovation in the accessibility point to point market.

Net-Cabs (trading as Oiii) completed a successful trial in 2018. The company now offers MPTP services to members in the metropolitan Melbourne area.

Any booking service provider can express interest to CPVV in offering MPTP services. Learn more.

How it works:

  1. If you don’t have the Uber app yet, download it to your smartphone. If you already have it, you’re all set.
  2. To join the program, you first need to complete this form t.uber.com/EnrolMPTP. Make sure you include the email address that is connected to your Uber account, and have your MPTP member card number handy.
  3. Enter your destination on the Uber app.
  4. Request a ride via UberX – or use Uber Assist for additional service getting into and out of the vehicle. Members can also choose UberXL, Uber Comfort or Uber Premier.
  5. The 50% discount will automatically be factored into your trip, up to $60. You will be shown the total amount for the trip at time of request. Your subsidy will continue to apply as long as you have a balance remaining under the MPTP program.

03 Dec 2020

Cleaning campaign keeps travellers safe

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) is hitting the road to help reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

CPVV is the safety regulator of the commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) industry. CPVs include taxis, rideshare vehicles and hire cars.

Under new regulations introduced by the Victorian Government, drivers must clean their vehicles frequently and work with their booking service providers to keep a record of what is cleaned when. They must also have hand sanitiser available for passengers to use.

Uniformed CPVV officers will be patrolling metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to ensure CPV drivers understand their obligations under the new regulations, which are designed to stop the spread of the virus.

The new laws reflect the advice that has been issued to the CPV industry since the start of the pandemic.

The safety campaign will be launched in Geelong today (Thursday 3 December) and inspections will be rolled out across Victoria in the coming weeks.

While the focus of the inspections will be compliance with the cleaning regulations, officers will also be carrying out normal safety checks on vehicles and drivers.

Aaron de Rozario, Chief Executive, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, said: “The CPV industry has worked hard in recent months to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus and we are grateful for everyone’s efforts.

“While we are not currently seeing any new cases of the virus in Victoria, the advice from the Department of Health and Human Services is that there is still a risk. That’s why these additional cleaning requirements are in place.”

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said: “We’re thankful that taxi and rideshare drivers have been so diligent throughout the pandemic to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the virus. It’s crucial that there are clear rules in place to continue to keep both drivers and passengers safe.”

Learn about the cleaning requirements for commercial passenger vehicles in our FAQs.

27 Nov 2020

Temporary changes to medical assessments for new driver accreditation applicants

On 15 May 2020 CPVV introduced a temporary medical self-assessment process for driver accreditation applicants in support of the Government’s management of COVID-19. The CPVV medical self-assessment was designed in-line with the Austroads Assessing Fitness to Drive: commercial driver medical standards.

The standards clearly identify conditions that may require medical assessment. Any applicant who has provided information to CPVV that they have one of these conditions has been notified that their application is currently on hold.

As of the 1 December 2020, applicants who have identified a medical condition will be asked to provide CPVV with a medical report to progress their application.

In the meantime, you may wish to contact the CPVV Customer Service on 1800 638 802 to seek advice about what type of medical assessment will be required to progress your application. This would allow you to make an appointment with the appropriate medical professional and prepare the documentation to upload as soon as CPVV informs you this is possible.

24 Jul 2020

Funding support for commercial passenger vehicles

The Victorian Government is investing $22 million to support the commercial passenger vehicle industry and support jobs to ensure the safety of thousands of passengers and drivers relying on the service throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The $22 million package invests in a range of initiatives to boost the industry and support vulnerable Victorians who rely on the service and drivers who have lost work with the reduction in trips.

More than $6 million will be invested to subsidise the depot fees paid by vehicle owners to booking service providers to make sure wheelchair accessible vehicles are available for those who need them.

$1.7 million will be invested to double the wheelchair lifting fee for the next three months paid by Government for transporting wheelchair users to give providers further incentive to keep wheelchair accessible vehicles operating.

The Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) subsidy will be increased from 50 to 70 per cent per fare during the next three months to make rides more affordable for the people who need them the most.

The Government will provide relief from the $1 Service Levy owed for the 2019-20 June quarter, which will put more money into the pockets of drivers struggling during this period.

In addition to these subsidies, strict cleaning standards based on advice from the Department of Health and Human Services are being implemented for all commercial passenger vehicles.

To ensure the safety of all passengers and drivers, up to $3.5 million worth of grants will be made available to support increased cleaning and sanitation of vehicles across the state and assist the industry with the costs of procuring sanitisation resources.

These changes will support the industry to implement improved vehicle sanitation, noting the requirement for all Victorians to wear face mask as of 11:59pm on Wednesday 22 July.

In addition, $1 million will be invested to establish a regional essential service fund to support booking service providers in regional communities who may be struggling to survive. This will ensure that vulnerable Victorians in regional towns – including the elderly or people living with a disability – do not lose access to commercial passenger vehicle services.

This important investment will support the industry, drivers, and ensure this continues to be a safe option for the thousands of vulnerable Victorians who rely on commercial passenger vehicles each week to meet their essential transport needs.

The Department of Transport and Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria have worked closely with a Government Advisory Panel on these key initiatives to help industry recover from the impacts of Coronavirus and continue to support the running of a safe and efficient transport system.

The Department of Transport and Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, in conjunction with the State Revenue Office, will begin rolling out the support package from early August 2020.

Further information on the industry assistance package will be published on our website once it is available.

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