City of Bridgeton, NJ
Cumberland County
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Bridgeton 11-4-1970 as Ch. VII of the 1970 Code; amended in its entirety 3-6-2012 by Ord. No. 11-18. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. III.
Taxicab fees — See Ch. 149, Art. II.
Traffic control signal monitoring system — See Ch. 336.
Traffic violations — See Ch. 338.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 350.

§ 321-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CRUISING
Driving an empty taxicab along a public street at a slow rate of speed for the obvious purpose of soliciting passengers.
OPERATION OF A TAXICAB
Transporting in a taxicab one or more persons for hire, or accepting a passenger to be transported for hire from a point of departure within the City to a destination within or without the City shall be considered operation of a taxicab within the City. The operation of a taxicab by one other than the owner shall be deemed operation by the owner as well as by the person actually driving the taxi. The transportation of any person other than the owner or driver in any motor vehicle bearing a sign using the words "taxi," "taxicab," "cab" or "hack" shall be prima facie evidence of operation.
OWNER
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.
TAXICAB or TAXI
A motor vehicle used to transport passengers for hire which does not operate over a fixed route and is not hired by the day or hour.
TAXI STAND
A designated, and marked, location within the City where a taxicab may legally park.

§ 321-2 License for owner and driver required.

A. 
No person shall operate a taxicab within the City unless both the owner and the driver of the taxicab are licensed under this chapter.
B. 
All applications for taxicab owner's and operator's licenses shall be completed in their entirety and filed with the City Clerk. Any application which is deemed incomplete by the City Clerk, or their designee, shall be rejected. All completed applications shall have the date and time that they have been received recorded thereon.
C. 
Each applicant for a owner's, or driver's, license shall have the following qualifications:
(1) 
Be at least 21 years of age. This requirement becomes effective for all new applicants after the effective date of this chapter.
(2) 
Be a citizen, or legal resident, of the United States.
(3) 
Have a valid New Jersey driver's license.
(4) 
Be able to communicate in the English language as determined by the City Clerk.
(5) 
Be fingerprinted prior to the issuance of any license.
(6) 
Upon license approval, provide a recent (within one year) passport-style photograph to the City Clerk.
(7) 
Submit to a criminal history background check, the results of which shall warrant disqualification for a license if a record of conviction is revealed for any of the following crimes:
(a) 
Aggravated assault.
(b) 
Arson.
(c) 
Burglary.
(d) 
Extortion.
(e) 
Escape.
(f) 
Homicide.
(g) 
Kidnapping.
(h) 
Robbery.
(i) 
Sexual, or aggravated sexual, assault.
(j) 
Endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to N.J.S.A.. 2C:24-4.
(k) 
Any crime pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A.. 2C:39-3; 2C:39-4, or 2C:39-9.
(l) 
Other than a disorderly persons, or petty disorderly persons offense, for the unlawful use, possession, or sale of a controlled dangerous substance as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2.
(8) 
Not have been convicted of an equivalent offense in any other state pursuant to the crimes listed in § 321-2C(7).
(9) 
Based on the recommendation of the Chief of Police, the criteria in Subsection C(7) and (8) shall not warrant automatic license disqualification provided that:
(a) 
The person convicted can produce a certificate of rehabilitation issued pursuant to N.J.S.2A:168A-8 or,
(b) 
If the criminal offense occurred outside New Jersey, an equivalent certificate from the jurisdiction where the criminal offense occurred.
D. 
Renewal applications. Previous convictions pursuant to § 321-2C(7) or (8) that have satisfied the requirements of § 321-2C(9) shall not be a basis for license disqualification provided that there has been no new disqualifying crime within the past year.
E. 
Nonrefundable fees for the services provided to license owners and drivers, transfer or replace licenses, inspect cabs, photograph and fingerprint licensees, and conduct background investigations shall be as provided in Chapter 149, Fees, Article II, Schedule of Fees, and are payable prior to providing the service.

§ 321-3 Types of licenses.

A. 
Driver's license. The holder of a Bridgeton taxicab driver's license shall be entitled to operate within the City any taxicab whose owner has been licensed under this chapter.
B. 
Owner's license. The holder of a taxicab owner's license shall be entitled to operate a taxicab owned by him within the City, provided that the person driving the cab holds a valid Bridgeton taxicab driver's license.
C. 
Driver's licenses shall not be transferred from one driver to another.

§ 321-3.1 Maximum number of taxi licenses.

[Amended 4-17-2012 by Ord. No. 11-23]
A. 
The maximum number of taxicabs that will be permitted in the City of Bridgeton shall be 21.
B. 
No taxicab company may have more than seven taxicabs operating in the City of Bridgeton.

§ 321-4 Licensing of taxicab owners.

A. 
Application information.
(1) 
Application for a taxicab owner's license shall be made to the City Clerk. The forms and the information required thereon shall be established by the City Council by resolution.
(2) 
Applications shall be verified by oath or affirmation. Applications by a partnership shall give the information required for each partner and shall be verified by all partners. Applications by a corporation 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.
B. 
Referral to police. Each applicant shall be referred to the Chief of Police or his designee, who shall immediately institute whatever investigation of the applicant's business responsibility, moral character and ability to properly conduct a taxicab business, as he considers necessary for the protection of the public.
C. 
Investigation. The Chief of Police or his designee shall investigate the application. 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 the recommendation shall be forwarded to the City Clerk within 10 days from the request for the investigation.
D. 
Notice of hearing. The City Clerk shall advise the Council of the filing of an application on receipt of the report from the Chief of Police. The Council shall set a date for a hearing on the application and shall notify the applicant. The date set shall be within a reasonable time after the filing of the application.
E. 
Conduct of hearing. At the hearing any person who is a resident or taxpayer of the City may appear in person and make a brief statement or submit a written statement in support of or opposition to the granting of a license. In addition, the applicant and any other person who will be affected by the granting or denial of the license other than as a City resident or taxpayer 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.
F. 
Factors considered. In determining whether to grant or deny the license, the City Council shall take into consideration the following factors:
(1) 
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 chapter.
(2) 
Any other factors directly related to the granting or denial of the license which would substantially affect the public safety or convenience.
G. 
Issuance of license. The City Council shall by resolution grant or deny the license. If the application is approved, the Clerk shall issue the license upon forms established by the City Council by resolution.
H. 
A taxicab owner's license shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is issued. The license fee per year or a portion thereof per vehicle shall be as provided in Chapter 149, Fees, Article II, Schedule of Fees, payable upon the filing of the application for the issuance or renewal of the license. Any amounts paid during the calendar year of this amendment towards licensing fees shall be prorated and any balance applied to the new fee applicable hereunder.
I. 
Renewals. A taxicab owner's license may be renewed by the City Council without a hearing upon the licensee's filing with the Chief of Police a sworn statement that there have been no changes in the information contained in the initial application.
J. 
All applications for taxicab owner's license shall contain, or be accompanied by, the following:
(1) 
The names, age and residence of the applicant. A post office box is not acceptable.
(a) 
If a partnership, the names, ages and residences of all partners along with the business address of the partnership.
(b) 
If a corporation, the names, ages and residences of its president, secretary and treasurer along with its certificate of incorporation, certified copy of resolution authorizing this application and a certificate of good standing issued by the State of New Jersey not more than 30 days prior to the date of application. Corporations shall maintain an office in the City of Bridgeton, and their applications shall be signed by its president and attested by its secretary.
(c) 
If a limited liability company, the names, ages and residences of all of its members, name, age and residence of managing member, certified copy of the resolution authorizing the application, certificate of good standing issued by the State of New Jersey not more than 30 days prior to the date of the application. All partners, corporate officers or members of the limited liability company applicant shall be at least 18 years of age.
(2) 
(Reserved).

§ 321-5 Licensing of taxicab drivers.

A. 
Applications.
(1) 
Applications for a taxicab driver's license shall be made to the City Clerk's office upon forms provided by the City Clerk. The forms and the information required thereon shall be established by the City Clerk.
(2) 
The application shall be accompanied by a fee as provided in Chapter 149, Fees, Article II, Schedule of Fees, for the initial license period.
B. 
Referral to police. Each application shall be referred to the Chief of Police or his designee, who shall immediately institute whatever investigation of the applicant's business responsibility, moral character and ability to properly operate a taxicab, as he considers necessary for the protection of the public.
C. 
Investigation. The Chief of Police or his designee shall investigate the application. 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 the recommendation shall be forwarded to the City Clerk within 10 days from the request for the investigation.
D. 
Issuance of license; contents. Upon approval of the application by the Mayor, the City Clerk shall immediately issue the applicant a taxicab driver's license. The license shall be signed by the Mayor. The license shall contain the licensee's name and address, physical description, signature and photograph.
E. 
Term of license; fees. An initial license to drive a taxicab shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is issued. A taxicab driver's license may be renewed annually, unless it has been revoked or suspended, upon the payment of a fee as provided in Chapter 149, Fees, Article II, Schedule of Fees.
F. 
Display of license. The taxicab driver's license shall be prominently displayed in the taxicab so that it is readily observable by all passengers.

§ 321-6 Inspection of vehicles.

A. 
No license shall be issued until the said taxicab has been thoroughly inspected and it is determined that the following requirements are met:
(1) 
The taxicab is found to be in a safe condition for the transportation of passengers.
(2) 
The taxicab is of good appearance and well painted and varnished.
(3) 
There has been submitted with the application a certificate from a qualified individual or organization that the taximeter is recording the charges on fare accurately and that said meter has been inspected within 30 days of the application.
(4) 
There has been submitted with the application a certified check for the annual license fee.
(5) 
There has been submitted with the application a certificate from the Bridgeton Police Department that the said taxicab is in a clean and sanitary condition and that the rates of fare to be charged have been posted permanently on the taxicab so that they are visible to the passengers prior to the hiring of the taxicab and while riding in a taxicab.
B. 
Reinspection. All taxicabs shall be reinspected annually or more often if the Mayor so requires, and such inspection shall be conducted by the Bridgeton Police Department. In addition, a 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.
C. 
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 City 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 immediately be taken out of service and shall remain out of service until the defect is corrected.

§ 321-7 Identification of taxicabs.

A. 
Identification required. Each taxicab operated in the City shall have a sign painted on each rear door. The sign shall contain the owner's name and the words "Taxicab" or "Taxi" in letters that are not less than four, nor more than eight inches, in height.
B. 
Imitation of color scheme or insignia. No taxicab operated in the City shall imitate the color scheme or any identifying design or insignia of another taxicab lawfully operating in the City, nor shall one taxicab have a color scheme or identifying design or insignia which is as 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.
C. 
Taxi number. The owner of each taxicab shall display on the body of the vehicle the taxi license number issued to that vehicle. The number shall be issued by the City Clerk, and 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.
D. 
Municipality name. Each taxicab shall display on each rear door of the vehicle the words "City of Bridgeton, N.J." in block letters three inches in height.
E. 
It shall be the taxi company owner's responsibility to ensure that all taxi identification markings required by Subsections A through D above are removed within five days of removing the vehicle from service, or immediately upon selling or transferring the vehicle title.

§ 321-8 Fares.

A. 
The rates of fare to be charged within the City limits of the City of Bridgeton shall be posted permanently on the taxicab so that the rates are visible to persons prior to hiring the taxicab and passengers while riding in the taxicab.
B. 
Receipts. The driver of a taxicab upon request 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.
C. 
Refusal to pay fare. No person after hiring a taxicab shall refuse to pay the legal fare, nor shall any person hire a taxicab with the intent not to pay the legal fare.
D. 
Disputes over fares. All disputes as to the rate of fare shall, upon request of the driver or passenger, be determined by the police officer in charge of the City police station. Failure to comply with the officer's determination shall be a violation of this chapter.

§ 321-9 Insurance policy required.

A. 
No taxicab shall be licensed until an insurance policy or certificate in lieu thereof, together with power of attorney appointing the Business Administrator as lawful attorney for the acknowledgment of service, has been filed with the City Clerk pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 to 48:16-22, as amended and supplemented.
B. 
The minimum liability insurance required for a taxicab license in the City shall be $100,000 single limit, or such lesser amount as is the maximum being written by insurance carriers in the state for taxicab insurance, but in no event less than the requirements of N.J.S.A. 48:16-3.

§ 321-10 Rules and regulations.

The Business Administrator may establish, with the approval of the Mayor, regulations relating to the operating of taxicabs and the conduct of licensees. A copy of the rules and regulations shall be furnished to each licensee.

§ 321-11 Cruising and soliciting; use of taxi stands.

A. 
Cruising prohibited. No taxicab owner or operator shall cruise on the streets of the City at any time for the purpose of soliciting passengers.
B. 
Parking restricted to taxi stands. No operator of a taxicab shall park on any street within the City except at those places designated and marked as taxi stands. This prohibition shall not apply to a taxicab that is stopped waiting to pickup, or discharge, passengers. Taxi stands are designated at the discretion of the Director of Public Works who shall provide a listing of taxi stand locations to the City Clerk.
C. 
Soliciting passengers. No taxicab operator while waiting for employment shall stand on any public street or place other than at a designated taxi stand. Nor shall any driver seek employment by repeatedly and persistently driving to and fro on a short space before, or by otherwise interfering with the proper and ordinary access to or egress from, any public, or private, place.

§ 321-12 Suspension or revocation of licenses.

A. 
Generally. In addition to the causes for revocation of a license set forth in Chapter 200, Licensing, Article I, General Licensing Requirements, any license issued under this chapter may be revoked or suspended or any application for the issuance or renewal of a license denied, for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Failure to render reasonable, prompt, safe and adequate taxicab service.
(2) 
The existence of a judgment unsatisfied of record against the licensee or applicant in any suit arising over the operation of a motor vehicle.
(3) 
Permitting any taxicab owned or driven by the licensee to become unsafe, unsanitary or dirty.
(4) 
Failure to comply with all applicable laws of the State of New Jersey, the ordinances of the City or the rules and regulations adopted in accordance with this chapter.
B. 
Drivers. If the licensee is a driver, his license may also be revoked or suspended for the following reasons:
(1) 
Revocation or suspension of his New Jersey motor vehicle operator's license.
(2) 
Contraction by the licensee of a communicable or contagious disease.
(3) 
Operating a taxicab in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or habitually operating a taxicab in a negligent manner.
C. 
Self reporting. Company owners and taxi drivers shall immediately surrender their City-issued licenses to the City Clerk whenever their New Jersey driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.
[Added 1-8-2013 by Ord. No. 12-16]
D. 
Owner's responsibility. Company owners are responsible to ensure that all taxi drivers have a valid New Jersey driver's and a City-issued taxicab driver’s license in their possession whenever they operate any taxicab.
[Added 1-8-2013 by Ord. No. 12-16]
E. 
Failure to comply with § 321-12C or D shall be deemed to be a violation of this chapter and subject the respective licensee to the maximum penalties as set forth in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty.
[Added 1-8-2013 by Ord. No. 12-16]

§ 321-13 Rates and meters.

A. 
Taximeter.
(1) 
No person shall operate a taxicab unless and until the taxicab has been equipped with a taximeter of a type and design approved by the State Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Weights and Measures.
(2) 
The taximeter shall be located in the cab so as to be visible to the passengers at all times, and it shall be the duty of the person operating the cab to keep the meter operating at all times within such standard of accuracy as may be prescribed from time to time by the State Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Weights and Measures.
(3) 
No passenger shall be carried in any cab unless the taximeter is in operation. This provision shall apply regardless of whether the taxicab is engaged for a trip entirely within the boundaries of the City or partially outside the City. The meter shall be kept operating continuously during the entire time that it is engaged in the transportation of passengers for compensation at all times that the point of origin or the point of return for the passenger is within the limits of the City.
(4) 
No taxicab shall be permitted to operate in the City of Bridgeton unless the driver shall have in his possession a meter registration form, a "Form 50," and valid meter calibration sticker affixed to the meter from the individual or organization qualified to so certify that the taximeter is recording the service for fares accurately.
B. 
Taximeter use. All taximeters shall be equipped with a device (flag, button, knob, touchpad, etc.) that when operated indicates the taxicab is employed and a fare is being charged (recording position), or not employed and no fare is being charged (nonrecording position). This operational device shall be kept in the nonrecording position when the taxicab is for hire and shall be kept in the recording position when the taxicab is employed. At no time may a taxicab transport a person with the taximeter in a nonrecording position. It shall be the duty of the taxicab operator to ensure the taximeter's operational device is placed in the nonrecording position at the end of each trip. Any taxicab driver transporting a person for hire with the device in a nonrecording position shall have his license suspended for a period not to exceed six months. The licensed operator may appeal the license suspension by filing a request with City Clerk (within 10 calendar days the suspension date) for a hearing on the suspension before City Council.
C. 
Fare display. Taximeters shall have a mechanism that registers and displays the current fare being charged in accordance with established rates of fare. The taximeter shall be so placed that the fare being charged is in plain view of the passenger while riding in the taxicab or upon exiting. Taxicabs shall be equipped with a light which during the period between sunset and sunrise shall reflect upon the taximeter's fare display so as to enable the passenger to read the figures.
D. 
Top light. Each taximeter shall be furnished with a tamperproof switch within the system of electrical distribution so that when the no fare is being charged (nonrecording position) the roof light will be lit, and whenever a fare is being charged (recording position), the top light will go off.
E. 
Rates of fare. No person owning or operating or controlling any taxicab in the City of Bridgeton shall charge other than the following rates to be determined by the taximeter:
(1) 
The minimum (or flag drop) fare shall be $2.50.
(2) 
For each additional meter mile: $2.50. Fractions of each mile shall be calculated at the rate of $0.25 per 1/10 of a mile.
(3) 
For each 1/2 minute of waiting time or fraction thereof: $0.15.
(4) 
For each package delivered: $1.50.
(5) 
For each additional passenger there shall be charged a fare of $0.30 per person. The fare shall be registered on the taximeter's extra button. Two children under the age of 10 years shall be considered the equivalent of one adult. Where the driver is required to carry, transport, or handle groceries, an additional charge of $0.10 per bag shall be made.

§ 321-14 Violations and penalties; misstatement on application.

If the applicant purposely misstates the facts on the application, in addition to the ability of the Council to deny the application or suspend or revoke the license, if previously applied for or granted, the applicant shall be deemed to have violated this chapter and be subject to the maximum penalties as set forth in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any misstatement on the application is purposeful.