Taxi subsidy schemes are a way of providing accessible transport to people who cannot use public transport because of their disability.
Each Australian state and territory has a taxi subsidy scheme. However each has different eligibility criteria and works slightly differently.
We’ve outlined some starting points for the disability taxi vouchers scheme in each state below, along with some other connected supports.
Queensland Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS).
In Queensland, the Taxi Subsidy Scheme covers half of the total taxi fare, up to a maximum fare of $30 per trip. This amount is paid directly to the driver. The remainder of the fare must be covered by the traveller.
- You must be a permanent QLD resident; and
- Meet a minimum of one of the following eligibility criteria:
- Physical disability requiring dependence on a wheelchair for all mobility outside the home
- Severe ambulatory problem
- Total loss of vision or severe visual impairment (both eyes)
- Severe and uncontrollable epilepsy
- Intellectual impairment or dementia resulting in the need to be accompanied by another person at all times for travel on public transport
- Severe emotional and/or behaviour disorder.
How it works.
Once approved, you will receive a TSS card to use which lasts for up to five years. Shorter memberships may be available for people with temporary disability. TSS members may be accompanied by an assistance animal.
TSS members using a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) for a trip can also access an additional Lift payment of $20 (including GST). These payments go directly to the taxi booking company or the operator and are not added onto the fare.
Each journey must meet certain eligibility requirements and payments are not available for other personalised transport such as Uber or Ola.
For more information refer to Taxi Subsidy Scheme and Lift Payment.
NSW Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS).
In NSW, the TTSS supports residents who are unable to use public transport due to a severe and permanent disability. It provides a subsidy of 50% of a taxi fare up to a maximum of $60.
- You must be a permanent Australian residents and normally reside in a NSW; and
- Not be a member of a similar scheme in another state or territory; and
- Be over school age (not pre-school age); and
- Have a severe and permanent disability that falls under one of the following categories: ambulatory/mobility/functional, epilepsy, intellectual disability, vision, speech and/or hearing.
How it works.
To apply for the NSW TTSS, you’ll need to complete an application form and have your doctor or medical specialist complete relevant sections too. You also need to supply other supporting documentation, such as photos of yourself and medical reports. Successful applicants get a smartcard which can be used to claim the subsidy portion of your fare.
For more information and how to apply, go to Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme.
Victoria Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).
The MPTP in Victoria assists with travel requirements of people with accessibility and mobility challenges by offering subsidised commercial passenger vehicle fares. Members receive a subsidy of 50% of a taxi fare up to a maximum of $60.
- You must be a permanent Australian resident living in Victoria; and
- Have a severe disability that your doctor deems is not likely to improve with treatment; and
- Be unable to use public transport safely on your own; and
- Be able to demonstrate financial hardship such as via a Centrelink issued concession card.
How it works.
The MPTP program is available for use in taxis as well as Oiii vehicles, UberX, UberAssist, UberXL, Comfort and Premier services.
For more information, and how to apply, visit Multi Purpose Taxi Program.
South Australia taxi fare subsidy scheme.
The South Australian taxi fare subsidy scheme has two different tiers: 75% taxi subsidy for wheelchair users (conditions apply) and 50% subsidy for other eligible travellers. This program is delivered as part of the South Australian Transport Subsidy Scheme.
- Applicants must be a permanent resident of South Australia.
- Applicants must have a severe and permanent disability which limits capacity to use public transport independently. A functional assessment, not diagnosis or type of conditions is the basis for eligibility.
- Applicants must also be able to supply evidence of their inability to yse public transport independently or with a companion/carer.
How it works.
The scheme provides members with up to 80 trips for subsidised taxi travel. A member is not eligible for more than 80 trips in a 6 month period. The subsidy applies to the first $40 of a taxi fare. The member must cover the full amount of any fare over the $40 maximum fare limit.
Applicants who are under 65 and may be eligible for the NDIS must complete an NDIS access request first.
For more information, and how to apply, visit Taxi fare subsidy scheme.
Tasmania taxi subsidy program.
In Tasmania, eligible people can apply for subsidised taxi travel which includes a 50% discount of up to $25 a trip for non-wheelchair users and 60% discount up to $30 per trip for wheelchair users (conditions apply). The remainder of the fare must be covered by the traveller.
- You must live in Tasmania; and
- Have a permanent and severe physical disability; and
- Meet the low income test (be the holder of a current relevant concession card) or be wheelchair dependent.
How it works.
Eligible applicants are provided with a Taxi Subsidy Smartcard which can be scanned at the taxi payment terminal at the end of each trip.
For information and how to apply visit Taxi Subsidy Program.
Western Australia taxi user subsidy scheme (TUSS).
TUSS is a subsidy available to eligible people with disability travelling in taxis, offering up to 75% off eligible fares.
- You must be a permanent resident of Western Australia; and
- Have a mobility, vision and/or cognitive or intellectual disability that will always prevent you from using public transport; and
- Be over 10 years old or less than 10 and use a wheelchair.
How it works.
A successful applicant may be granted temporary or permanent access to the TUSS. A standard subsidy of 50% of the fare up to a maximum of $25 is provided for non-wheelchair users.
For wheelchair users, subsidies vary depending on whether you’re travelling with a wheelchair and whether you’re in a standard or wheelchair accessible taxi. Interstate travel voucher books are also available.
For information and how to apply visit Taxi user subsidy scheme.
Northern Territory transport subsidy scheme (TSS).
The TSS provides subsidised travel in any taxi, minibus, private hire car and rideshare vehicles where TSS processing is available.
- Applicants must be a resident of the Northern Territory and be able to provide evidence of residency; and
- Not able to safely travel on a public bus; and
- Be assessed by a medical practitioner or allied health professional has having a permanent or long term disability which prevents you from accessing the public bus network.
How it works.
The scheme provides eligible persons with a subsidy of half of the total fare. The other half of the fare is paid by the member. Each user gets an electronic smartcard that can be used to make a partial payment on an EFTPOS machine.
Lift incentive scheme (LIS) for wheelchair users.
If eligible, for every journey you complete while using a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the LIS will provide a $20 incentive to the driver. The lift incentive is not transferable or redeemable for cash and can’t be used as part of the fare.
For information and how to apply visit Transport subsidy and incentive schemes.
ACT taxi subsidy scheme (TSS).
The ACT TSS provides financial support to residents with a disability or mobility restriction preventing the use of public and community transport. The subsidy may be 50% or 75% of the total fare. Eligibility is not income tested.
- You must be a permanent resident of the ACT or an asylum seeker; and
- Have a severe or profound activity limitation that prevents you from using public transport; and
- Not be a member of an interstate taxi subsidy scheme.
How it works.
Eligible members are allocated a smartcard which can be presented to process the fare. Proof of identification may also be required.
For application details and more information, visit Taxi subsidy scheme.
Top tip: Travelling interstate? While standard taxi subsidies in your home state cannot be used in other states or territories, most programs offer a limited number of vouchers for use interstate if you ask for them. Ensure you apply several weeks before travelling so they can be processed in time.
State taxi subsidy schemes and the NDIS.
With different schemes operating in the various states and territories, it can be hard to track whether taxi funding should come from a taxi subsidy scheme or your NDIS Plan.
When the NDIS launched, it was intended that eligible participants who were also eligible for taxi subsidy schemes would instead receive their funding through the NDIS. However, this transition is not complete.
It’s important to mention membership of any taxi subsidy schemes when you first join the NDIS as any NDIS funding for transport takes into account other transport supports.
Where transport funding is included in an NDIS plan, you may be able to claim the full cost of the taxi fare rather than only a proportion claimable through state-run schemes.
Some state governments are still working with the NDIS to finalise arrangements for how eligible transport subsidy users can access transport support under the NDIS. If in doubt, ask your local area coordinator (LAC) for assistance.
Originally published 28 January 2019, updated 27 February 2023.