Borough of Highland Park, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Highland Park by Ord. No. 365 (§ 4-3 of the 1987 Code); as amended by Ord. No. 369; Ord. No. 449; Ord. No. 494; Ord. No. 555; Ord. No. 643; Ord. No. 650; Ord. No. 760; Ord. No. 806. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Traffic — See Ch. 7.
Licensing — See Ch. 247.

§ 380-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
CRUISING
Driving of an empty taxicab along a public street or public place at a slow rate of speed for the purpose of soliciting passengers or bringing the presence of the taxicab to the attention of prospective passengers.
OWNER
To include the lessee and bailee.
SENIOR CITIZEN
Any person over 60 years of age and a resident of the Borough.
TAXICAB
A self-propelled conveyance held out for public hire at a stipulated fare or upon a time or distance basis, and not operating upon a fixed route.

§ 380-2 License required.

[Amended 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 12-1827]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, propel or operate a taxicab within the Borough unless such person shall first procure a license to do so as hereinafter provided.
B. 
No license shall be required of either owner or operator, for a taxicab discharging a passenger within the Borough where the passenger began such trip in another municipality, provided that such other municipality permits the discharge of passenger, within its corporate limits, where the trip of such passenger began in the Borough, without requiring the owner or operator of the taxicab to be licensed so to do.

§ 380-2.1 Notice.

[Added 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 12-1827]
Whenever the Borough Council determines to authorize the issuance of one or more new or additional taxi licenses, the Borough Clerk shall publish a notice in a newspaper circulating generally within the Borough, stating the number of new or additional licenses to be authorized and the application period for the new or additional licenses. The notice shall specify a time and date after which no further applications will be accepted. The notice shall be published at least twice and at least one week apart, with the second notice published at least 30 days prior to the time and date specified in the notice as the time and date after which no further applications will be accepted. In the case where a license has not been issued within six months after the closing time and date for acceptance specified in the notice, no such license shall be issued without again publishing notice as set forth above.

§ 380-3 Application.

[Amended by Ord. No. 939; Ord. No. 1163; Ord. No. 1213; Ord. No. 1622; 9-21-2010 by Ord. No. 10-1792; 10-4-2011 by Ord. No. 11-1822; 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 12-1827]
A. 
Information required of applicant. Applications for a license hereunder accompanied by the proper fee shall be made to the Borough Clerk upon forms to be furnished by him or her and shall contain the applicant’s name, address, height, weight, color of eyes and hair, place of birth, residence since birth, whether ever convicted of a disqualifying crime as set forth in Subsection B below, proof that the applicant is a natural-born or naturalized citizen of the United States, permanent resident or has other lawful immigration status, and which shall be accompanied by three photographs of the applicant, 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/4 inches in size. Applications by owners for licenses hereunder shall, in addition to the foregoing, contain the make, year, model and engine number of the taxicab intended to be operated and the registration number of such motor vehicles as issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission of the State of New Jersey if the same has then been obtained, and if the same shall be obtained after such license be granted, then the licensee shall, within five days after obtaining such registration number, report the same in writing to the Borough Clerk.
B. 
Investigation and report. After such application shall have been filed with the Clerk, he or she shall refer it to the Chief of Police for investigation. The applicant, upon notice by the Chief of Police, shall thereupon present himself to the Chief of Police, who may interrogate the applicant as to the matters contained in the application and shall take his fingerprints. All applicants applying for a new license or renewing a license, fingerprints shall be required every year so that a criminal background check can be performed, at the applicant’s expense. Thereupon the Chief of Police shall file the application with the Borough Council accompanied by his report showing the result of his investigations and his or her recommendation based upon this background check.
[Amended 3-6-2012 by Ord. No. 12-1831]
C. 
Approval fees. The Borough Council shall thereupon pass the application for such license and shall grant the same if it determines that the applicant is qualified and public necessity and convenience would be served by the issuance thereof. If so granted, the Clerk, shall issue the license upon payment to him or an annual license fee of $50 per car for an owner’s license; $25 for an operator’s license. The applicant shall also reimburse the Borough for any costs incurred by the Borough in complying with the public notice requirements set forth in § 380-2.1. All licenses issued hereunder shall expire December 31 of the year in which issued. The number of taxicab licenses issued hereunder and outstanding at any one time shall not exceed 30.
D. 
Insurance required. Before the issuance of a license, the owner of the taxicab must file with the Borough Clerk an insurance policy which shall be issued by an insurance company duly licensed or registered to conduct business in this state, a policy providing for not less than $35,000, of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage or the amount of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:6B-1, whichever is greater, to satisfy all claims for bodily injury, death or property damages of any person resulting from, or on account of, an accident by reason of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of such taxicab upon any public street. Nothing herein shall prohibit an owner from obtaining any additional amount of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage from a company licensed outside the State of New Jersey.
E. 
Display of licenses; badges; license numbers. The operator’s license provided for hereunder shall be at all times, during operation thereof, prominently displayed inside the taxicab and shall have affixed thereto one of the pictures filed with the application. In addition, the licenses shall be numbered and a badge corresponding to the number of such license and a copy of the picture aforesaid shall be furnished by the Borough Clerk to the licensee, who shall, at all times during the operation of the taxicab within the Borough, wear the same upon his outermost garment. The taxicab license number issued to such vehicle shall also be displayed on the body of the vehicle. The license number shall be three inches in height and located in the center of the rear quarter panels on the driver and passenger sides and the rear center line of the trunk of the vehicle. Each taxicab shall display on each rear door in three-inch letters the name of the Borough and any other municipality that has issued a taxicab license thereto.
F. 
Partnerships. In the case of an application by a partnership for an owner’s license hereunder, in addition to the matters required to be shown upon the application as hereinbefore provided, the application shall show that each member of the partnership is a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident of the United States, or has other lawful immigration status and none of the members have ever been convicted of a disqualifying crime as set forth in Subsection B above.
G. 
Requirement for application by a corporation. In the case of an application by a corporation for an owner’s license hereunder, in addition to the matters required to be shown upon the application hereinbefore provided, the application shall show that each of the officers and stockholders of the corporation is a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident of the United States, or has other lawful immigration status and that none of the officers of stockholders have ever been convicted of a disqualifying crime as set forth in Subsection B above.

§ 380-4 Stopping and standing of taxicabs.

[Amended 2-7-1989 by Ord. No. 1178]
A. 
No vehicle other than a taxi licensed hereunder shall stop at any public taxicab stand except while loading or unloading goods, wares, merchandise or receiving or discharging passengers.
B. 
Only taxicabs in such numbers as may be reasonably parked therein shall remain at any public taxicab stand and such taxicabs shall remain therein only in single file.
C. 
No driver of any such taxicab standing at the head of such file shall refuse to transport any orderly person applying for a taxicab who agrees to pay the proper rate of fare; provided, however, that this provision shall not prevent any prospective passenger from selecting any taxicab at any stand whether or not it shall be at the head of any such file. Any taxicab shall approach the space so created from the rear of the stand and shall stop as near as possible to the last taxicab then in the file.

§ 380-5 Fares.

[Amended by Ord. No. 896; Ord. No. 1094; Ord. No. 1267]
The prices which may be charged by the owner or driver of taxicabs licensed hereunder for transportation of passengers for hire within the Borough shall not exceed the following rates:
A. 
Regular fare.
[Amended 3-4-2014 by Ord. No. 14-1857]
(1) 
For the carriage of any two passengers from the same point of origin to the same point of discharge, the points of origin and discharge being within the limits of the Borough and one of the points being north of the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks, the regular fare shall be $3.65 during 2014, $4.10 during 2015 and $4.50 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough. The fare for each additional passenger to the same points described above shall be $0.65 during 2014, $0.85 during 2015 and $1 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough.
(2) 
For the carriage of any two passengers from the same point of origin and discharge, the points of origin and discharge both being within the limits of the Borough and not covered by Subsection A(1) as above, the regular fare shall be $3.35 during 2014, $3.65 during 2015 and $4 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough. The fare for each additional passenger to the same points described above shall be $0.65 during 2014, $0.85 during 2015 and $1 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough.
B. 
The regular fare cited in Subsection A shall not apply to senior citizens during the following times:
(1) 
Monday through Friday, except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
(2) 
All day Saturday.
C. 
The fare for senior citizens during the time cited in Subsection B of this section shall be as follows:
[Amended 3-4-2014 by Ord. No. 14-1857]
(1) 
For the carriage of any one senior citizen from the point of origin to the point of discharge, the points of origin and discharge being within the limits of the Borough, the senior citizen fare shall be $2.50 during 2014, $2.75 during 2015 and $3 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough.
(2) 
The fare for each additional senior citizen passenger to the same points described above shall be $0.65 during 2014, $0.85 during 2015 and $1 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough.
D. 
In the event that the point of origin and/or point of discharge is different for any of the passengers, then each passenger shall pay the regular fare of $3.50 during 2014, $3.75 during 2015 and $4 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough or senior citizens fare of $2.40 during 2014, $2.60 during 2015 and $2.75 during 2016 or until further adjusted by the Borough as provided in Subsections A, B and C.
[Amended 3-4-2014 by Ord. No. 14-1857]
E. 
For the carriage of three or four packages, the fare shall be an additional $0.25. For the carriage of five to eight packages, the fare shall be an additional $0.50.
F. 
The rates for packages described in Subsection E above shall also apply to suitcases.

§ 380-6 Suspension or revocation of licenses.

The Borough Council may suspend or revoke at any time the license granted hereunder after public hearing, of which five days' notice shall be given to the licensee by serving the same personally upon him, or by mailing to his address as shown upon his application for such license, if the operator shall have used any taxicab for any illegal business or purpose, or if the owner or operator shall not keep the taxicab in a clean, safe and proper condition for the transportation of passengers, or for any violation by the owner or operator of the provisions of this chapter or of any state statute applicable to the ownership and operation of a taxicab or motor vehicle.

§ 380-7 Compliance with state laws.

It shall be unlawful for the owner of any taxicab to operate, or cause or permit the operation of the taxicab, nor shall any license for the taxicab be issued or permitted to be in effect, until and unless the owner shall have fully complied and shall continue to comply with all of the laws of the State of New Jersey in respect to any such vehicle and the operation thereof.

§ 380-8 Fare regulations.

[Amended by Ord. No. 896]
No person shall charge or attempt to charge any passenger any greater rate of fare than that to which such person shall be entitled for the use of any taxicab under the provisions of this chapter. The fares which may be charged by the owner or driver of such taxicab licensed and regulated hereunder shall be posted in a conspicuous place, in large readable print and in clear language, in the interior of each vehicle, in the Borough Municipal Building, the Senior Citizens Center and in the Senior Citizens Housing Project.

§ 380-9 Unlawful practices.

No driver of a taxicab shall induce any person to employ him by knowingly misinforming or misleading such person, either as to the time or place of the arrival or departure of any train, omnibus, boat, aircraft or other means of public transportation, or as to the location of any hotel, airfield, airdrome, public place, or private residence or place; nor shall any driver deceive any person or make any false representation to him in respect to the transportation, or prospective transportation of any passenger, or convey any passenger to any other place, or over any other route, than that to which, or over which, such passenger may have instructed the driver to go. Unless otherwise ordered, passengers shall be conveyed only by the most practical direct routes to their destination.

§ 380-10 Conditions of taxicabs.

All taxicabs licensed hereunder shall be kept in a neat and clean condition, and the windows thereof shall be clear and clean at all times so as to provide a clear and unobstructed view of the interior of such vehicle and all operators while operating any taxicab shall be clean and neat in dress and person.

§ 380-11 Lost property.

Every driver of a taxicab shall, immediately after termination of any hiring or employment, carefully search such taxicab for any property lost or left therein, and unless any such property shall be sooner delivered to the owner thereof, shall within 24 hours after finding any such property, deliver such property to the police officers in charge of the Police Headquarters of the Borough.

§ 380-12 Solicitation of passengers.

No person shall cruise any public street or public place of the Borough of Highland Park with any taxicab at any time for the purpose of soliciting passengers.

§ 380-13 Service.

No person shall refuse a call for a taxicab from any orderly person unless he is previously engaged.

§ 380-14 Violations and penalties. [1]

Violations of this chapter shall be penalized as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III, General Penalty.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).