[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Taxicabs
Article II Limousines
[Adopted 6-8-1970 as Ch. 9 of the Revised General Ordinances]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated in this section:
- INITIAL APPLICATION
- Refers to the first application made by a person for a taxicab owner's license and also to any application for permission to increase the number of taxicabs authorized in an existing license.
- Accepting or soliciting passengers indiscriminately for transportation for hire between two points within the Town of Newton or at a point within the Town of Newton to a destination outside its boundaries as may be directed by the passenger(s). "Soliciting" shall include the driving of an empty taxicab at a slow rate of speed along a public street, parking in parking spaces or driveways of commercial businesses without conducting any business or repeated travel or stopping along streets for the obvious purpose of soliciting passengers. The operation of any taxicab by any individual other than the owner shall be deemed operation by the owner as well as the person actually driving the taxicab.
- Any person in whose name title to any taxicab is registered with the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles or who appears in the Division's records to be a conditional vendee or lessee or has any other proprietary interest in a taxicab.
- RENEWAL LICENSE
- The reissuance of a license to an owner or driver, which license contains essentially the same provisions as a previously issued license which is about to expire but which has not yet expired.
- A motor vehicle for hire designed to carry seven passengers or less, including the driver, operated on any highway or public street in the Town of Newton, accepting or soliciting passengers indiscriminately for transportation for hire between two points within the Town of Newton or at a point within the Town of Newton to a destination outside its boundaries as may be directed by the passenger(s), provided that nothing in this article shall be construed to include as a taxicab a motor vehicle operated over a fixed routes or schedules or that is hired by the day or hour.
No person shall operate a taxicab within the Town unless both the owner and the driver of the taxicab are licensed under this article.
All licenses issued under this article are deemed valid for one year, and requests for renewal must be submitted at least 30 days prior to expiration to the Chief of Police.
Driver's license. The holder of a taxicab driver's license shall be entitled to operate within the Town any taxicab whose owner has been licensed under this article.
Owner's license. The holder of a taxicab owner's license shall be entitled to operate a taxicab owned by him/her or permit other person(s) to operate a taxicab owned by him/her within the Town, provided that the person driving the cab holds a valid taxicab driver's license.
Application for a taxicab owner's license shall be made to the Chief of Police on forms provided by him and shall contain the following information:
The name and address of the applicant. If the applicant is a corporation, the name and the address of its principal place of business, and the name and address of its registered agent must be provided.
A statement as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of violating any criminal or quasi-criminal statute, including traffic laws and municipal ordinances in New Jersey or in any other state. If the applicant has been convicted, a statement as to the date and place of conviction, the nature of the offense, and the punishment imposed.
The number of vehicles to be operated or controlled by the applicant and the location of any proposed depots or garages.
The previous experience of the applicant in the transportation of passengers for hire, including the name of any other state or municipality where the applicant has ever been licensed to operate a taxicab, whether his/her license was ever suspended or revoked or his application for the issuance or renewal of a license denied, and the reasons for the denial, suspension or revocation.
Appropriate evidence as to the applicant's good character, business and financial responsibility so that an investigator will be able to properly evaluate it.
Any other facts that the applicant believes tend to show why he/she should be granted a license.
A full color sketch or photograph showing the color scheme of the taxicabs to be operated by the applicant and another full color sketch or photograph of any insignia or design which the applicant intends to use to identify the taxicabs.
Name of insurance carrier, date of expiration, limits of coverage and other pertinent information relating to liability insurance.
Any licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) used in connection with the business.
Any other appropriate information which the Council may require by resolution.
Applications shall be verified by oath or affirmation. Applications by a partnership shall give the information required by this subsection for each partner and shall be verified by all partners. Applications by corporations shall give the information required for and be verified by all officers and directors and all persons holding more than 10% of the corporation's common stock, as well as the corporation itself.
Investigation. The Chief of Police shall advise the Council of the filing of an application. The Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him shall institute an investigation of the facts stated in the application and shall evaluate the application in the light of the criteria set forth in Subsection E of this section. A report containing the results of the investigation and evaluation, a recommendation by the Chief of Police that the license be granted or denied, and the reasons for his recommendation, shall be forwarded to the Council.
Notice of hearing.
After considering the facts contained in the application and the report of the Chief of Police, the Council may grant the application or may decide to hold a hearing on this matter.
In the event that the Council decides that a hearing is necessary, the Council shall set a date for a hearing on the application and notify the applicant. The applicant shall be given at least five days' notice of the fact that a hearing will be held and its time and place. The Town shall cause a notice of the time and place of hearing to be published once in a newspaper circulating in the Town at least three days before the date set for the hearing.
The applicant shall also be furnished with a copy of the record of the Chief of Police.
Conduct of hearing. At the hearing any person may appear in person and make a brief statement or submit a written statement in support of or in opposition to the granting of a license. In addition, the applicant and any other person who will be affected by the grant or denial of the license shall have the right to be represented by an attorney, to testify himself or to present witnesses in support of his position, to cross-examine opposing witnesses and, at his own expense, to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings. This subsection shall not prevent the Council from imposing reasonable limits on the number of witnesses appearing in favor of or against the granting of the license, the time allowed for each side to present its case or for the examination or cross-examination of any witness, or from imposing any other restriction which is necessary to ensure that the hearing is conducted in an orderly, fair and expeditious manner.
Factors considered. In determining whether to grant or deny the application, the Council shall take into consideration the following factors:
The character, business and financial responsibility and experience of the applicant and the probability that, if granted a license, the applicant will operate his taxicab in accordance with the provisions of this article.
The number of taxicabs already in operation, the need of the public for additional service, and any increased inconvenience that would result to the public if more taxicabs were placed in operation.
Any other factors directly related to the granting or denial of the application which would substantially affect the public safety or convenience.
Issuance of license. The Council shall, by resolution, approve or disapprove the application. If the application is approved, the Municipal Clerk shall issue the license upon receiving satisfactory proof from the applicant that he has complied with all laws of the State of New Jersey relating to the operation of taxicabs. The license shall state the name and address of the licensee, the number of vehicles which the licensee is authorized to operate, and the date of issuance.
A taxicab owner's license may be renewed annually as follows.
Prior to the expiration of the license the licensee shall request from the Chief of Police a renewal application. Applications shall be completed in all particulars and returned to the Police Chief no later than 30 days prior to the expiration date. It shall be the sole responsibility of the licensee to furnish the required information on the renewal application. Failure to comply may result in a lapse of licensing.
Upon receiving the filed application, the Police Chief shall review the renewal application and report to the Town Council as to whether the renewal application is substantially the same as the original and make a recommendation as to whether the application should be renewed.
If the Council then feels that a hearing is warranted, or if there are substantial changes in the renewal application, or if the Chief of Police does not recommend to the Council that the applicant's license be renewed, then the Town Council may choose to hold a hearing. The notice and conduct of the hearing shall be in accordance with Subsections C and D of this section above.
Change in vehicles. An owner with a valid owner's license may during the year substitute vehicles as long as he first files an amendment to his initial or renewal application and complies with all other sections of this article. Any addition or subtraction of the number of vehicles operated shall constitute a new license application.
Applications. Applications for a taxicab driver's license shall be made to the Chief of Police on forms provided by him and shall contain the following information:
The name, address, telephone number, social security number and date of birth of the applicant.
The applicant's valid driver's license number and expiration.
A statement as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of the violation of any criminal or quasi-criminal statute, including municipal ordinances and traffic laws in New Jersey or in any other state. If the applicant has been convicted, the date and place of the conviction, the nature of the offense and the punishment imposed.
A list of all the places where the applicant has ever applied for or been granted a license to drive a taxicab.
A statement as to whether the applicant's license to operate a motor vehicle or his license to drive a taxicab has ever been suspended or revoked or his application for the issuance or renewal of either license denied and, if so, the date and place of the denial, suspension or revocation and the reasons for it.
The names and addresses of all persons by whom the applicant has been employed for the past five years, the positions held, and the nature of the work performed.
A statement of any physical conditions or impairments or any regularly prescribed medication. For any such condition, impairment or medication, the applicant shall submit a physician's certification that he/she has examined the applicant on a specified date, which shall not be more than 60 days prior to the filing of the application, and that such condition, impairment or medication does not impair the applicant's ability to drive a taxicab.
Three photographs of the applicant, no hat or glasses, at least two inches by two inches, clearly showing the head and shoulders of the applicant.
Three personal references affirming that the applicant is of good moral character and clean in dress and person.
If the Chief of Police considers it necessary for the proper identification or investigation of the applicant, the applicant shall be fingerprinted and the fingerprints immediately processed for classification and identification.
Investigation. The Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him shall conduct an investigation of the facts stated in the application and shall report the results to the Council within a reasonable time. The report shall include a recommendation that the license be granted or denied and the reasons for the recommendation.
Consideration of application. After considering the facts contained in the application and the report of the Chief of Police, the Council may grant the application or may decide to hold a hearing on this matter.
Notice of hearing. In the event that the Council decides that a hearing is necessary, the applicant shall be given at least five days' notice of the fact that a hearing will be held and its time and place. The applicant shall also be furnished with a copy of the record of the Chief of Police.
Conduct of hearing. At the hearing any person may appear in person and make a brief statement or submit a written statement in support of or in opposition to the granting of the license. At the hearing the applicant shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney, to present witnesses or to testify himself on his own behalf, to cross-examine any opposing witnesses and, at his own expense, to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings. After considering the evidence, the Council shall either grant or deny the application.
Issuance of license; contents. Upon approval of the application by the Council, the Town Clerk shall immediately issue the applicant a taxicab driver's license. The license shall contain the licensee's name and address, physical description, signature and photograph.
Initial inspection. Before a vehicle is used as a taxicab within the Town it shall be inspected by the Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him to ascertain that it is in a safe, clean and sanitary condition and contains all safety devices required by law. In addition, the following shall apply.
Doors. All taxicabs shall have four doors, two leading into the passenger compartment and two leading into the driver's compartment. The doors shall be so constructed that they may be opened from the inside and outside. Each door shall be constructed with an approved safety lock.
Windows. All doors shall have windows that can be operated independently by the passenger. All windows in the rear and side of the taxicab shall be of such size, dimensions and clarity that passengers may be readily seen and identified through the windows.
Seat belts. All seat belts shall be visible and available for use by passengers in both the front and rear seats for each and every fare. All required child passenger safety seats shall be used when applicable.
Lights. Every taxicab shall be equipped with a passenger compartment light adequate to illuminate the interior of the passenger compartment and with a switch easily accessible to the passenger.
Reinspections. All taxicabs shall be reinspected annually or more often if the Council so requires by resolution. In addition, any police officer may inspect a taxicab at any reasonable time to determine if it is clean, sanitary and in a safe and proper operating condition.
Failure to pass inspection. Any taxicab which fails to pass inspection shall be immediately taken out of service and shall not be operated again within the Town until the defects which led to its rejection are corrected. In the case of minor defects which do not constitute an immediate danger to the health or safety of the public, the taxicab may continue to operate for a period of one week, at the end of which time it shall be reinspected. If the defect has not by then been corrected, the vehicle shall remain out of service until the defect is corrected.
Record of inspections. It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to maintain detailed records covering the inspection of taxicabs.
Identification required. Each taxicab operated in the Town shall have a sign printed on the front door of both sides of the vehicle that is clearly legible and in contrast to the color of the taxicab. The sign shall contain the owner's name and the words "taxicab" or "taxi" in letters which shall not be less than four inches nor more than eight inches in height.
Imitation of color scheme or insignia. No taxicab operated in the Town shall imitate the color scheme or any identifying design or insignia of another taxicab lawfully operating in the Town, nor shall one taxicab have a color scheme or identifying design or insignia which is so similar to that of another taxicab as to be likely to have a tendency to mislead the public. The person first using a particular color scheme or identifying design or insignia for his taxicab shall have the prior right to it.
Rates of fare and baggage charges.
Rates of fare. The fare that may be charged by the driver or owner of a taxicab shall be reasonable and on par with rates charged by similar business practices.
Charge for baggage. In addition to the regular passenger fare, the driver may charge a reasonable extra fee for the carrying and/or handling of personal baggage belonging to the passenger, except that there shall be no charge for transporting of handbags, valises or personal baggage belonging to the passenger which does not require the assistance of the driver.
Display of rates.
Every taxicab shall have displayed in it in a manner so as to be easily read by all passengers a card giving the maximum permissible rates of fare.
The owner of a taxicab will furnish the Chief of Police with a listing of all rates of fare and any extra fees that may be charged to any passengers.
Receipts. Upon the request of a passenger, the driver of a taxicab shall give the passenger a receipt for the amount charged. The receipt shall show the name of the owner, the license number of the taxicab, the amount of the fare, and the date of the transaction.
Additional passengers. No driver shall permit an additional person to ride in his taxicab as a passenger unless the person first employing the taxicab consents to the acceptance of the additional passenger.
Number of passengers. Every taxicab shall have in it a card displayed within plain view of all passengers stating its maximum permissible seating capacity. This capacity shall be determined by the Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him at the time that the vehicle is initially inspected as provided by § 283-6A. No driver shall permit more persons to be carried in his taxicab as passengers than the number stated as the maximum permissible seating capacity.
Refusal to carry passengers. No driver shall refuse to carry an orderly person to a destination within the Town unless previously engaged or unable or forbidden by the provisions of this article to do so.
Misrepresentation. No driver of a taxicab shall induce any person to employ him by knowingly misinforming that person as to the time or place of the arrival or departure of any train or bus, or as to the location of any hotel, public place or private residence within the Town, or at to the distance between any two points; nor shall any driver convey a passenger to any other place or over any other route than that which the passenger may have instructed him to take. Unless otherwise ordered, a passenger shall be conveyed only over the most direct practical route to his destination.
Transfer of licenses. A license issued under this article shall apply only to the person to whom it is issued and shall not be transferable.
Display of license. A driver licensed under this article shall display his driver's license in such a manner that it can be seen by all persons riding in the taxicab as passengers. No license shall be displayed in a taxicab which does not belong to the person actually driving at the time.
Records. A driver shall maintain a daily record which shall indicate, with respect to each trip he makes, the time and place of origin, the time and place of destination, and the amount of fare charged. All completed records shall be returned to the owner by the driver at the conclusion of his tour of duty. All such records shall be retained for two years by the licensee of the taxicab, who shall be responsible for the maintenance of daily records for all taxicabs operated by him. The forms for such daily records shall be furnished by the licensee after prior approval thereof by the Chief of Police. All such records to be maintained by the licensee shall be open for inspection by the Chief of Police at any time.
Lost property. A driver of a taxicab at the beginning and end of his tour of duty shall carefully search the cab for any property lost or left in it. Any lost property not claimed by or delivered to the owner within 24 hours shall be reported in writing to the Chief of Police by the driver or owner of the taxicab. The report shall give brief particulars and a description of the property.
Insurance required: a policy of insurance with the premium prepaid of a company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of the State of New Jersey in the sum of $500,000 against loss from liability imposed by law upon the owner for damages suffered by one person; and in the sum of $500,000 against loss from liability imposed by law upon the owner for death suffered by more than one person as a result of an accident occurring by reason of the ownership, maintenance or use of the vehicle so licensed; and in the sum of $500,000 against loss from liability imposed by law upon the owner for property damage suffered by any person or persons as a result of an accident occurring by reason of the ownership, maintenance or use of the vehicle so licensed. The insurance policy shall provide for the payment of any final judgment received by any person or persons on account of the ownership, maintenance and use of the vehicle or any fault in respect thereto and shall be for the benefit of any person suffering any loss, damage or injury as aforesaid, and shall recite on its face that it is issued in pursuance of this article; provided, further, that a power of attorney shall be executed and delivered to the Treasurer concurrently with the filing of the policy of insurance, wherein and whereby the owner shall nominate, constitute and appoint the Treasurer as his true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service of any process of a court of competent jurisdiction to be served upon the insured by virtue of the indemnity granted under the insurance policy filed. Unless the policy of insurance and power of attorney are filed with the Clerk within 30 days from the date of approval of the application by the Council, no license shall be issued upon the application.
Causes. A license issued under this article may be revoked or suspended or any application for the issuance or renewal of a license denied for any of the following reasons:
Failure to render reasonable, prompt, safe and adequate taxicab service.
The existence of a judgment of record unsatisfied against the licensee or applicant in any suit arising over the operation of a motor vehicle.
Permitting any taxicab owned or driven by the licensee to become unsafe, unsanitary or dirty.
Failure to comply with all applicable laws of the State of New Jersey.
Drivers. If the licensee is a driver, his license may also be revoked or suspended for the following reasons:
Revocation or suspension of his New Jersey motor vehicle operator's license.
Contraction by the licensee of a communicable or contagious disease.
Operating a taxicab in a reckless or grossly negligent manner or habitually operating a taxicab in a negligent manner.
A violation of the provisions of this article.
[Amended 2-13-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-2]
Any person who shall operate a taxicab in the Town of Newton without a valid taxi driver's permit and any person who shall permit such operation of a taxicab in violation of this article shall be guilty of a civil violation and shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty.
[Amended 2-13-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-2]
In order to ensure the safety of the public, it shall be unlawful for the owner or lessee of any taxicab to operate or cause or permit a taxicab to be operated, nor shall any license be issued hereunder, until and unless the applicant has complied with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 et seq., and the acts amendatory or supplemental thereto; except that, in any case where the requirements of this article are more stringent than the requirements of the aforesaid statute, the provisions and requirements of this article shall be controlling.
It shall be the duty of all police officers of the Town of Newton to enforce the provisions of this article.
[Adopted 4-23-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, except as these terms are otherwise defined by N.J.S.A. 48:16-13 or its successor statute.
- The owner of a limousine or limousine service that has submitted an application for a license from the Town of Newton under this article.
- BUSINESS ADDRESS
- Commercial office space at which the actual business of a limousine service is conducted in compliance with local zoning and use regulations. A business address may or may not be the principal place of business
- LICENSE YEAR
- The calendar year from January 1 through December 31.
- Includes any automobile or motor car used in the business of carrying passengers for hire to provide prearranged passenger transportation at a premium fare on a dedicated, nonscheduled, charter basis that is not conducted on a regular route and with a seating capacity in no event of more than 14 passengers, not including the driver, provided that such a vehicle shall not have a seating capacity in excess of four passengers, not including the driver, beyond the maximum passenger seating capacity of the vehicle, not including the driver, at the time of manufacture. Nothing in this article contained shall be construed to include taxicabs, hotel buses, buses employed solely in transporting schoolchildren or teachers, vehicles owned and operated directly or indirectly by businesses engaged in the practice of mortuary science when those vehicles are used exclusively for providing transportation related to the provision of funeral services, autobuses which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation or interstate autobuses required by federal or state law or regulations of the Department of Transportation to carry insurance against loss from liability imposed by law on account of bodily injury or death.
- LIMOUSINE SERVICE
- Includes the business of carrying passengers for hire by limousines.
- PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS
- In reference to a municipality, the location of the main place of business of the limousine service in the municipality where limousine service is conducted, where limousines are dispatched, and/or where limousine drivers report for duty.
Principal place of business in Newton. Whenever the owner of a limousine has its principal place of business located within the Town of Newton, said owner shall annually file for a license for each such owned limousine to be issued by the Town in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:16-17. The Town of Newton shall issue such license upon the owner's satisfaction of all of the requirements set forth in this article.
Foreign limousine registration with business address in Newton. Whenever the owner of a limousine maintains a business address in the Town of Newton; owns a limousine that is registered in another state or the District of Columbia; satisfies all of the requirements set forth in this article; and desires to obtain a license for each such limousine from the Town of Newton, said owner shall annually file for a license for each such owned limousine to be issued by the Town in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:16.22.4(a). Pursuant to New Jersey statute, the owner may have his principal place of business in a location other than a municipality in the State of New Jersey, in which case, the owner may elect a municipality in New Jersey in which he has a business address to file the required insurance policy and receive the license to operate. The Town of Newton shall issue such license upon the owner's satisfaction of all of the requirements set forth in this article.
[Amended 5-29-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-15]
Intramunicipal service. Whenever a limousine service provides intramunicipal service on a point-to-point basis within the Town of Newton, the owner of the limousine or limousine service shall annually file for a license for each limousine providing said service, to be issued by the Town as permitted by N.J.S.A. 48:16-18.1. The Town of Newton shall issue such license upon the owner's satisfaction of all of the requirements set forth in this article.
Fee. The applicant shall pay a nonrefundable, nontransferable fee as set forth in § 100-14C or such maximum fee allowed under N.J.S.A. 48:16-17, whichever fee is higher.
Insurance. The applicant shall submit proof of insurance for liability to the Municipal Clerk in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:16-14, issued by an insurer licensed to do business in New Jersey, having a minimal coverage of $1,500,000, or such other minimum amount set forth in N.J.S.A. 48:16-14 if different. Said proof shall be in the form of an insurance certificate issued by the insurance company.
Verification fee. The applicant shall annually pay to the Town of Newton a nonrefundable, nontransferable fee for verification of the accuracy of its license application information as follows:
Whenever the applicant represents that its principal place of business is located within the Town of Newton, the Town shall conduct its own investigation to confirm whether such a principal place of business exists within the Town of Newton. The verification fee for this investigation shall be as set forth in § 100-14C for each such principal place of business within the Town of Newton each license year.
Whenever the applicant represents that it maintains a business address in the Town of Newton and owns a limousine that is registered in another state or the District of Columbia, the Town shall conduct its own investigation to confirm both the Newton business address and the validity of the foreign registration of each limousine. The verification fee for this investigation shall be as set forth in § 100-14C for each such limousine and each such business address each license year.
Whenever the applicant seeks an intramunicipal license for the Town of Newton and represents that its principal place of business is located in another New Jersey municipality, there shall be no verification fee required, provided that the applicant presents a valid license for each such limousine from the New Jersey municipality in which the applicant's principal place of business is located.
The duration of each license issued by the Town of Newton shall be for that portion of the license year remaining from the date of issuance of said license.