City of Saco, ME
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saco 5-1-1995 as Ch. V, Sec. 5-37, of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licenses — See Ch. 132.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 211.

§ 195-1 Title, authority and purpose.

This chapter shall be known as the "Ordinance to Regulate and License the Operation of Taxicabs Within the City of Saco" and is enacted pursuant to the authority granted to the City now or hereafter by general law, including 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3009. The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the number and operation of taxicabs and those operating taxicabs within the City of Saco through a licensing procedure in order to promote the general welfare and public safety.

§ 195-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases have the meanings as set out herein, unless the context clearly demonstrates otherwise:
DISQUALIFYING CRIMINAL CONVICTION
Any conviction for any criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for any period of time, whether or not the sentence was imposed or served, but shall not include any conviction which is shown to have been set aside on appeal or collaterally or for which a pardon, certificate of rehabilitation or the equivalent under the law of the sentencing jurisdiction has been granted or which is not rationally related to the purposes of owning or operating a taxicab.
LICENSE INSPECTOR
Any person designated by the City Clerk to perform inspections of taxicabs.
OPERATION WITHIN THE CITY OF SACO 
The act or business of picking up persons in a taxicab within the City of Saco for transportation to locations within or outside the city, except that the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a motor vehicle licensed by another municipality to operate as a taxicab which is operated within the City of Saco in response to:
A. 
A request to transport passengers from a point of destination within the City to another municipality but not to a point of destination within the city, provided that such drivers shall not cruise, park or stand for the purpose of soliciting passengers within this city; or
B. 
A request to convey a passenger from such other municipality to the city.
OPERATOR
A person to whom a license to operate a taxicab has been issued.
OWNER
A person owning and/or leasing for use any taxicab used in the taxi business.
PERSON
An individual, partnership, corporation or other legal entity.
TAXICAB
Any motor vehicle designed and used for the transportation of persons for compensation, the destination and route of which are under the direction and control of the passengers. Excluded from this definition are buses and vehicles commonly referred to as "stretch limousines."
TAXICAB BUSINESS LICENSE
The permission or license granted to a business seeking to engage in providing taxis for hire to the general public.
TAXICAB OPERATOR'S LICENSE
The permission or license granted to an individual allowing that individual to operate a taxicab within the City of Saco when such license is required under the terms of this chapter.
TAXICAB VEHICLE LICENSE
The permission or license granted to the owner of any taxicab used in the taxi business authorizing said vehicle to engage in the taxi business.

§ 195-3 Licenses required.

No person shall operate, cause to be operated, lease, rent or otherwise provide for use a taxicab within the City of Saco without such taxicab owner and the operator thereof having first obtained all licenses required from the City Council as provided herein.

§ 195-4 Application for taxicab business license.

A. 
An application for a taxicab business license shall be filed with the City Clerk upon forms provided by the Clerk. The application shall provide the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The address location of the dispatch center and garage.
(3) 
A signed consent to allow the Saco Police Department to investigate and verify all information submitted as part of the application.
(4) 
Proof of adequate public liability insurance as required under this chapter.
(5) 
A detailed description of the company logo, design, insignia, wording and coloring that will appear on any vehicles licensed under the applicant's name.
(6) 
Evidence that the applicant corporation, business, partnership or other legal entity is in good standing to operate within the State of Maine, if so required.
(7) 
A listing of all principals in the business or corporation, if applicable.
(8) 
A listing of all rates to be charged and the method of computation.
(9) 
Such further information as the City Council may require.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection A(10), establishing the application fee, was repealed 3-5-2001. Copies of the current fee schedule are on file in the office of the City Clerk.
B. 
Upon receipt of the report and comments from the Chief of Police, the City Clerk shall forward the application and all supporting documentation to the City Council for action. The Council shall consider the application during a public hearing at its next available meeting. Said public hearing shall be advertised in a newspaper of general distribution at least seven days prior to the hearing.
C. 
The Council shall review the application with respect to location of the business and adverse impacts to surrounding properties from noise, odor, fumes, traffic congestion or other causes. Following a hearing, the Council can grant a license, grant a license with certain conditions or deny the application. If the Council denies an application, it shall issue written findings within 10 days of the decision.
D. 
Aggrieved parties shall have 30 days to appeal the decision of the Council to Superior Court.

§ 195-5 Application for taxicab operator's license.

[Amended 3-5-2001]
An application for a taxicab operator's license shall be filed with the City Clerk upon forms provided by the Clerk. The application shall be verified under oath and shall provide the following requirements:
A. 
The name, address and date of birth of the applicant.
B. 
Any prior experience in the transportation of passengers.
C. 
Proof of a valid motor vehicle license and whether any license held by the applicant is presently revoked or has been revoked during the three years preceding the application and the reasons for any such revocations.
D. 
The applicant's prior traffic and police record, if any.
E. 
The consent to allow the Saco Police Department to investigate and verify the information submitted in the application.
F. 
Two photographs of the applicant of such size as the Clerk may specify.
G. 
Proof of adequate public liability insurance as required by this chapter.
H. 
Such further information as the City Council may require.

§ 195-6 Application for taxicab vehicle license.

[Amended 3-5-2001]
An application for a taxicab vehicle license shall be filed with the City Clerk upon forms provided by the Clerk. The application shall be verified under oath and shall provide the following requirements:
A. 
The name, address and date of birth of the owner of the vehicle or of all principle officers of the applicant if the applicant is a corporation, including the clerk of the corporation, together with the address of a business office or principal place of business.
B. 
The make, type, year, vehicle identification number and license plate number of each vehicle for which a taxicab vehicle license is being sought and the address of the garage or site where the vehicle will be stationed when not in service.
C. 
A state inspection sticker issued within the 30 days prior to the date of application.
D. 
Adequate proof showing the vehicle to be currently registered and licensed within the State of Maine.
E. 
Proof of adequate public liability insurance as required by this chapter.
F. 
A detailed description of the graphic design, insignia, wording and coloring which will appear on the vehicle, if licensed.
G. 
Such further information as the City Council may require.

§ 195-7 Issuance or denial of licenses; term.

A. 
Taxicab operator's license.
(1) 
Upon receipt of a completed application for a taxicab operator's license, the City Clerk shall refer the same to the Chief of Police or his designee to verify the information set forth therein and to report and comment on the same to the Clerk within 30 days. The Chief of Police will ensure that the information contained on the application is valid, and the fee for such investigation and taxicab inspection shall be established by the Council after public hearing.
[Amended 5-3-2004]
(2) 
Upon receipt of the report and comments from the Chief, the Clerk shall either issue or deny a license based on the standards in this chapter. Any decision of the Clerk can be appealed to the City Council. The initial application fee for each license shall constitute the first year's license fee, and the license shall be in effect for the remainder of the calendar year in which the license is issued. Written findings for any denial shall be prepared by the Clerk within 10 business days of the decision.
B. 
Taxicab vehicle license.
(1) 
Upon receipt of a completed application for a taxicab operator's license, the City Clerk shall refer the same to the Chief of Police or his designee to verify the information set forth therein and to report and comment on the same within seven days.
(2) 
Upon receipt of the report and comments from the Chief, the Clerk shall either issue or deny a license based on the standards in this chapter. Any decision of the Clerk can be appealed to the City Council. The initial application fee for each license shall constitute the first year's license fee, and the license shall be in effect for the remainder of the calendar year in which the license is issued. Written findings for any denial shall be prepared by the Clerk within 10 business days of the decision.
C. 
License renewal. Licenses may be renewed only by the City Clerk after a review of a new application updating all required information. Licenses issued by the City Council shall be renewed by the City Council following a new application.

§ 195-8 Standards for denial.

Any license applied for under this chapter shall be denied by the Council or Clerk under the following circumstances:
A. 
Taxicab vehicle license:
(1) 
If the applicant is other than the registered owner of the vehicle;
(2) 
If any of the principals of the applicant corporation or any person having an actual ownership interest or management authority therein has a disqualifying criminal conviction;
(3) 
If the applicant has had a taxicab vehicle license revoked within the three previous years; or
(4) 
Failure to have an approved taxicab business license.
B. 
Taxicab operator's license:
(1) 
If the applicant has not attained the age of 18 years;
(2) 
If the applicant has been given a disqualifying criminal conviction at any time during the five years immediately preceding the application or if the applicant has been imprisoned at any time during said period for a disqualifying criminal conviction, provided that said conviction was for an offense which is rationally related to the purpose of licensing taxicab operators;
(3) 
If the applicant has been convicted, at any time during the three years immediately preceding the application, of criminal speeding, reckless driving, driving to endanger, operating under the influence, attempting to operate under the influence, operating under suspension or an equivalent offense in any other jurisdiction or if the applicant's privilege to operate a motor vehicle in any jurisdiction has been revoked at any time during said period for any reason; or
(4) 
If the applicant has been convicted of criminal speeding, reckless driving, driving to endanger, operating under the influence, attempting to operate under the influence or operating under suspension while operating any vehicle licensed under this chapter for the five years immediately preceding the date of application.
C. 
Taxicab business license:
(1) 
If the Council determines that the proposed business location will have an undue adverse impact on surrounding property owners;
(2) 
If the Council determines that the applicant has had a taxicab business license revoked in the past three years;
(3) 
If the applicant business or corporation is not licensed and in good standing to do business in the State of Maine;
(4) 
If any of the principals of the applicant corporation or any person having an actual ownership interest or management authority therein has a disqualifying criminal conviction;
(5) 
If the applicant has had a taxicab business license revoked within the three previous years; or
(6) 
If the applicant is not current for all personal property taxes owed to the City of Saco.

§ 195-9 Temporary licenses.

Upon an application for a taxicab operator's license, the City Clerk may issue a thirty-day temporary license which shall carry all the privileges of a permanent license. During this thirty-day period, the Clerk shall request of the Chief of Police an investigation of the information contained in the application for an operator's license. This temporary license may be revoked by the City Clerk upon a determination that any of the standards of this chapter have been violated by the operator or if the investigation by the Police Chief reveals that the applicant does not meet the qualifications to receive a permanent operator's license.

§ 195-10 Suspension and revocation of licenses.

A. 
A license issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked or suspended by the City Council upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police if the holder thereof has violated any of the provisions of this chapter or has violated any ordinances of the City of Saco or the laws of the United States or the State of Maine, the violations of which reflect unfavorably on the fitness of the operator to offer public transportation.
B. 
Prior to suspension or revocation, the City Council shall hold a public hearing to determine all the facts relating to the suspension or revocation of the license. The holder of the license shall be given notice of the proposed action to be taken and shall have an opportunity to be heard before the City Council at the hearing to consider suspension or revocation.

§ 195-11 Standards for suspension or revocation.

A. 
Any license issued under the terms of this section may be suspended or revoked by the City Council upon a determination by the City Council that the licensee:
(1) 
Knowingly took a longer route to his or her destination than was necessary, unless so requested by the passenger;
(2) 
Knowingly conveyed any passenger to a place other than that which the passenger specified;
(3) 
Solicited or caused another person to solicit taxicab passenger business in any manner whatsoever when such proposed business is not related to the provision of taxicab services;
(4) 
Transported any person other than the passenger first engaging the taxicab without the express consent of such passenger;
(5) 
Drove a taxicab when not clean and neat in appearance;
(6) 
Failed to remain in the operator's compartment of the taxicab at all times that the taxicab was in service or was waiting to be hired, other than to assist a passenger or his or her bags into or out of the taxicab, or permitted any person other than the operator and a passenger or passengers to remain in the taxicab at any such time, except a trainee, if a licensed taxicab operator;
(7) 
Refused to transport any orderly person upon request, unless all licensed taxicabs are engaged (if no taxicab is available at the time a request for taxicab service is telephoned to a dispatch center, the dispatch service shall offer to arrange with the caller for transportation by the next available taxicab);
(8) 
Charged more than the maximum fare specified in the application on file with the City Clerk's office;
(9) 
Failed to notify the Clerk of any change of any material fact set forth in the application for such license;
(10) 
Removed from a taxicab or obscured or caused to be removed from a taxicab or obscured any notices required under this chapter;
(11) 
Knowingly gave incorrect information on the license application;
(12) 
Refused to provide and use a certified child safety seat when transporting any child that would have been required to be in a child safety seat in the child's parents' vehicle; or
(13) 
Refused transportation to any person based on age, sex, religion, color, creed, national origin, destination, handicap or because of the presence of children.
B. 
In addition to the provisions of Subsection A above, a taxicab operator's license may be suspended or revoked upon a determination that the driver engaged in any loud argument, fight or other disturbance; harassed, threatened or assaulted another person; intentionally damaged, destroyed or threatened to damage or destroy any property; or in any other manner engaged in conduct detrimental to the orderly and efficient transportation of passengers.
C. 
Maximum suspensions of taxicab operators' licenses shall be as follows: three days for the first violation, seven days for the second violation and 15 days for the third violation within a twelve-month period. Fourth violations shall result in revocation of the taxicab operator's license and may be the basis for further action with respect to the taxicab vehicle license.
D. 
In addition to the provisions of Subsection A above, a taxicab business license may be suspended or revoked upon a determination that:
(1) 
The taxicab business licensee or any person employed or connected with such licensee has operated a taxicab without a current and valid taxicab operator's license;
(2) 
There have been repeated violations by the operators of vehicles licensed to the same licensee resulting in more than four suspensions in any twelve-month period;
(3) 
The taxicab business licensee permitted or caused a taxicab operator to operate a taxicab with knowledge of or in disregard of that operator's loss or suspension of his motor vehicle license by the Secretary of State;
(4) 
The taxicab business licensee permitted or caused a taxicab operator to operate a taxicab with knowledge of or in disregard of that operator's intoxication; or
(5) 
The taxicab business licensee permitted or caused a taxicab to operate within the City which was unsafe or in unsound condition.
E. 
A taxicab vehicle license may be suspended or revoked upon a finding by the City Council that:
(1) 
The City has been notified by the licensee's insurance carrier that the insurance policy covering the vehicle in question has lapsed, been suspended or has been terminated; or
(2) 
It has been determined by the license inspector that the vehicle in question is no longer fit for service as a taxicab.

§ 195-12 Maintenance of taxicabs; required equipment.

All taxicabs operating within the City of Saco shall adhere to the following requirements at all times:
A. 
Taxicabs shall at all times be clean and in good repair inside and out and shall be maintained at all times in compliance with the laws of the State of Maine relating to passenger vehicles and the rules and regulations of the State Commissioner of Transportation enacted pursuant thereto.
B. 
Taxicabs that compute fare through the use of a taximeter shall have those meters installed so as to give an accurate reading of all the car's movements and so as not to be subject to tampering. Any meters used shall be tested, approved and sealed by the State Sealer of Weights and Measures. Said meters shall indicate fare and mileage by means of legible figures which are electrically illuminated during the period between sunset and sunrise, which fare shall be calculated in accordance with the fare posted on the vehicle and on file in the application on file with the City Clerk.
C. 
Every taxicab operating in the City shall be equipped with an exterior light affixed to the roof thereof, which shall be covered with a translucent fixture marked with the word "Taxi" in legible lettering and which shall be operated during the period between sunset and sunrise.
D. 
Every taxicab shall be conspicuously marked, in letters not less than 1 1/2 inches in height, with the word "Taxicab," "Taxi" or "Cab" and the owner's name or trade name or, in lieu of such name or trade name, with a design or monogram containing the owner's name or trade name. Such design or monogram shall be not less than eight inches in diameter.
E. 
Every taxicab shall be conspicuously marked, in numbers not less than 1 1/2 inches in height, with a vehicle number, which shall correspond to the vehicle license number issued by the City Clerk, such number to be unique to all taxicabs licensed by the City of Saco.
F. 
All taxicabs shall have access to a certified child safety seat, for use when transporting children required to be placed in such a seat.
G. 
All handicapped-accessible taxicabs licensed in the City of Saco to pick up or drop off passengers must have a restraint system or straps designed to hold a wheelchair and passenger securely in place. Every operator of a handicapped-accessible taxicab licensed to operate within the City is to be trained by the employer in the appropriate and safe application of said restraint system or strap and to hold the passengers securely in a wheelchair.
[Added 11-4-2013]

§ 195-13 Display of license.

A taxicab operator shall display his or her taxicab operator's license, complete with name and picture, in a place within the cab which is clearly visible to passengers at all times when the cab is in service.

§ 195-14 Display of rates.

A. 
All taxicabs shall have the rates to be charged clearly displayed on the exterior of the vehicle, as well as on the interior of the vehicle, and be clearly marked either "metered taxi" or "zone taxi" on the exterior of the vehicle.
B. 
The maximum rate of fare charged by the taxicab and any lesser rate actually charged by the taxicab shall be advertised on both back doors of the taxicab, in lettering no less than one inch in height.
C. 
Every taxicab shall be equipped with a sign which shall be located in the interior of the taxicab and maintained in such a manner as to be clearly visible to all passengers therein and which shall state, in letters no less than 1/4 inch in height, the following:
Passenger Information
If you have a complaint about the services you have received or the fare you have been charged, please call the Chief of Police of the City of Saco at 283-1845.

§ 195-15 Rates.

A. 
The fare to be charged by a taxicab business shall be clearly described in the application for a taxicab business license. Upon any changes to the rate, the City Clerk and Police Chief shall be notified.
B. 
There shall be no charge for the transportation of the carry-on bags or parcels of a passenger.

§ 195-16 Insurance.

A. 
No taxicab vehicle license shall be issued to any licensed taxicab business until the applicant files with the Clerk satisfactory proof of liability insurance coverage for liability arising out of the operation of the taxicab. Insurance shall clearly cover the vehicle and all occupants under all operating conditions, including but not limited to by employees of the owner, lease arrangements or any other similar arrangement. The insurance coverage shall be in conformance with minimum state guidelines.
(1) 
In the case of vehicles constructed with capacity for more than four persons behind the driver, permanent alterations to the vehicle must be made in order to be considered a taxi.
(2) 
The City Council may require higher insurance liability coverage if it deems necessary.
(3) 
The insurance company issuing the policy shall contain a provision for the automatic and immediate notification by the insurance company to the City of Saco of cancellation, amendment or expiration of the insured's policy. If the insurance coverage terminates, expires or is suspended, the taxicab vehicle license or the taxicab operator's license shall terminate and expire and shall be immediately returned by the owner to the Clerk. Thereafter, the license may only be reinstated upon proof of retaining insurance as required herein.
B. 
In all cases, the operator and the owner shall both be insured to the limits established by this section or by a higher amount if deemed necessary by the Council.

§ 195-17 Inspections; removal from service.

The license inspector may require any licensee to present a taxicab for inspection whenever the inspector deems such inspection necessary. The inspection shall be performed as soon as practicable, at a location to be determined by the City of Saco. If a vehicle fails to pass this inspection, the license inspector may, in writing, order a taxicab removed from service, provided that a reinspection shall be scheduled as soon as possible, but in no case more than three days thereafter. There shall be a charge of $10 for the first reinspection and a charge of $25 for each reinspection thereafter of any taxicab ordered removed from service for any violation which is deemed by the license inspector to represent a serious threat to the health or safety of passengers. Any licensee aggrieved by such an order may appeal the decision of the license inspector to the City Council, which shall hear the appeal at the next regularly scheduled meeting date.

§ 195-18 Notices.

When notice is required to be given to an applicant or holder of a license issued pursuant to this chapter and notice by mail is used, the City Clerk may use the address set forth in the application on file. Proof of a certified or registered mailing to said address shall create the presumption of receipt by the applicant on the expiration of three days from the date of mailing.

§ 195-19 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

The Saco Police Department shall have the primary duty to enforce this chapter. Any person violating any provisions of this chapter shall pay a fine not exceeding $50 for the first such offense in any calendar year and $100 for each subsequent offense in the same calendar year. Any licensed owner or operator who violates any of the provisions of the foregoing sections shall, in addition to said penalty, thereupon become subject to suspension or forfeiture of his/her/its license thereafter.

§ 195-20 Additional regulations.

During the life of the license, the licensee shall be required to conform to any new regulations duly adopted by the City Council.

§ 195-21 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 195-21, Transfer of vehicle licenses; fee, was repealed 3-5-2001. Copies of the current fee schedule are on file in the office of the City Clerk.

§ 195-22 When effective; time limit for compliance

 This chapter shall become effective 30 days from its adoption, as provided by Section 2.09c of the Saco City Charter. For any initial vehicle license issued under this chapter, the licensee shall have 60 days to conform to the terms herein, excepting the requirements regarding the provision of child safety seats, for which the applicant shall have 90 days to comply. Subsequent licenses shall only be issued upon proof of compliance.

§ 195-23 Fees. [1]

[Added 3-5-2001]
Fee shall be determined by Council after a public hearing.
[1]
Editor's Note: Copies of the current fee schedule are on file in the office of the City Clerk.