Victorian taxi passengers will soon have more certainty about what they pay when hailing or catching a cab from a rank and more confidence they can get a taxi when needed.

Under state government updates to the commercial passenger industry regulations, drivers will be required to use their meters for trips from ranks or when hailed on the streets and will no longer be able to negotiate a price with customers above the regulated maximum fare.

The changes result from industry and community feedback and are set to come into effect on September 28, arriving in time for the Spring and Summer major events seasons.

Amended regulations will ensure that drivers always utilise the taxi meter to compute the maximum regulated charge for unbooked journeys, increasing passenger safeguards, especially during times of high demand, and eliminating any uncertainty over fee rules.

Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said changes will improve taxi services for Victorians, giving passengers certainty they can get home safely, especially during busy major events.

“We’re making sure the rules are clear and that people travelling by rank and hail taxis will get to where they need to go without frustrating price hikes,” Mr Carroll said.

The amendments will apply to unbooked trips from a taxi rank or hailed from the street in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. No changes are being made to pre-booked taxi or rideshare services.

The state government regularly monitors and consults with passengers, drivers and booking service providers to improve the industry, and these changes reflect recent feedback about unbooked taxi services.

The changes build on the improvements made with the deregulation of the industry, which has increased competition, delivered better services and value for money since the reforms were introduced.