What can a passenger expect?
Passengers can expect their driver to:
- Display an ID card with their photo inside the taxi or shuttle in a place where it is clearly visible. If the photo doesn’t match the driver or cannot be easily seen, the passenger is entitled to choose another vehicle.
- Act in an orderly, clean and civil manner.
- Have the vehicle clearly identified with the company name and the fleet number or licensee name. Shuttle licensee names should be on the outside of both front doors.
- Display a registered fare schedule. This will also make reference to an address for the receiving of any complaints.
- Provide fare information when asked.
- Give a receipt for the payment of the fare if asked. The receipt must contain the driver’s unique identification details and the vehicle’s registration number.
- Carry reasonable quantities of luggage and that it be carried with appropriate care. Check the vehicle for left property immediately after each hire and report it to their office or the Police.
- Passengers confined to a wheelchair can ask for a taxi equipped with a wheelchair hoist.
If the passenger is travelling in a taxi, they can also expect the driver to:
- Take them to their destination using the shortest or most convenient route to the passenger.
- Not allow people, other than the hirer, to ride in the taxi without the original hirer’s permission.
- Inform them of any change in tariff when other hirers participate in a multiple hire.
- Use the fare meter correctly without any intent to deceive, or tamper with it in any way.
When can a driver refuse to carry a passenger?
Taxi or shuttle drivers can refuse passengers if, on reasonable grounds, they consider:
- Their personal safety would be threatened or endangered.
- The intending passenger is under the influence of drink or drugs.
- The intending passenger is in a filthy condition.
- The intending passenger is consuming food or drink.
- The intending passenger is noisy, violent or is disturbing the public peace.
- The intending passenger is accompanied by an animal, unless that person’s sight is impaired and the animal is a guide dog.
- The intending passenger owes the driver for a previous fare and refuses to pay what is owed.
- The intending passenger does not have enough money to meet the cost of the journey (the driver has the right to ask for payment in advance).
- The number of passengers wishing to travel exceeds the number stated on the vehicle’s loading certificate.
- If the vehicle is a taxi the driver may also refuse a passenger if the driver does not hold an Area Knowledge Certificate that qualifies him or her to operate within a specific area.
What if I have a complaint?
A procedure is in place for people who wish to make a complaint about a passenger service and have it investigated by the appropriate transport authorities. If the matter is serious, or concerns criminal activity, you should contact the New Zealand Police.
Otherwise, it is recommended that you first make your complaint directly to the taxi or shuttle company. Taxi and shuttle companies are required by law to keep a Complaints Register which is available for inspection by the ‘New Zealand Transport Agency’ (NZTA).
If you are not satisfied with the result of the company’s internal investigation, you may make your complaint to the Compliance Section of the NZTA in your region.
To do this, call the NZTA Helpdesk on 0800 699 000, and you will be given contact details for a Compliance Officer in your area. Although complaints are usually made to the Compliance Section, other agencies like the New Zealand Police or the Ministry of Consumer Affairs are able to record complaints and pass them on to Compliance staff of the NZTA.
Investigating the complaint
If you make your complaint to a Compliance Officer, or once notification is received by us from another agency such as the Police, a Compliance Officer will be assigned to your case and may interview you and other parties involved.
Where possible your complaint should be in writing. If this isn’t possible, (for example if you have a writing disability or you can only make contact by phone) a Compliance Officer will still be able to record your complaint.
A complaint carries more weight if signed, although your complaint will not be ignored if you do not sign it. If you do not wish to sign any complaint written for you, or you do not wish to become involved as a witness in any prosecution action that may ensue, your complaint will be referred to a Regional Compliance Officer who will decide what further action should be taken.
Once your complaint has been investigated, it will be referred to the Regional Compliance Officer in your region, who will ensure that you are informed of the outcome. There are avenues through which you may review the outcome if you are unhappy with the result.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you should notify the Regional Compliance Officer of your local NZTA office directly, as soon as possible after receiving the result of your complaint. If you are still dissatisfied with the findings of the Regional Compliance Officer you should then write to the Land Transport New Zealand Regional Manager, for your area.