[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Delran as Ch. X of the 1993 Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- The driving of an empty taxicab to and fro along a public street at a slow rate of speed for the obvious purpose of soliciting passengers.
- Any street, road, avenue, park, parkway, highway or other public right-of-way.
- Any automobile or motor vehicle commonly called taxi, autocab, limousine or by whatever other name or designation they may be known, engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire, which is held out, announced or advertised to operate or run over the public streets or highways in the Township, and particularly accepts and discharges persons who may offer themselves for transportation from points or places within the Township to points or places within or without the Township, or which is hired by charter or for a particular contract, or by the day or hour, or other fixed period, or to transport passengers to a specified place or places, or which charges a fare or price agreed upon in advance between the operator and the passenger. Nothing in this definition or chapter shall apply to omnibuses or to school buses.
License required. No person shall operate, or permit to be operated, a taxicab within the Township limits without first obtaining a license therefor from the Township.
Application; contents; fee.
Application. An application for a taxicab license shall be made by the owner, lessee or bailee of the vehicle upon forms furnished by the Township Clerk and shall be so sworn to and filed with the Clerk.
The application shall state:
The name and address of applicant.
The length of time applicant has resided at such address.
The place of birth of applicant.
The name and address of employer of applicant.
Whether applicant was ever convicted of a crime and, if so, the date and place of conviction and nature of offense.
Whether applicant was ever previously licensed to operate a taxi and, if so, where.
The name and address of the business from which the applicant intends to operate such taxicab.
Whether any license of the applicant to operate a taxi has ever been refused or revoked and, if so, the date, by whom and the cause.
A description of the vehicle, with serial and engine numbers, the state registration number and the length of time it has been in use.
The ownership of the vehicle and the interest of applicant therein.
The number of persons the vehicle is capable of carrying.
A complete schedule of rates.
Such other information as may be required by the Township Administrator relevant to the purposes for which the license is granted.
Inspection of taxicabs. The Township Administrator shall cause a thorough and careful inspection of each taxicab to be made to determine whether each vehicle is of good appearance, well painted and in a clean and sanitary condition and in a safe condition for the transportation of passengers.
License approval; issuance; renewal.
No taxicab license or taxicab driver's license shall be issued to an individual who is not a citizen of the United States or who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude and unless he or she has been a bona fide resident of the Township of Delran of one year next preceding the date of his or her application, unless, for good cause shown and established at a hearing for that purpose by the Township Council, such disqualification shall be waived.
Issuance. The Clerk shall then issue, under the Seal of the Township, a license stating the name and address of the licensee, a description of the vehicle including the motor and serial number, the maximum number of passengers to be carried therein at any one time, the date of issuance and such other information as may be appropriate.
Renewal. Licenses shall be first issued to those applicants holding a current taxicab license who have filed for a renewal thereof prior to December 1 of each year.
License expiration date; transfers.
Expiration date. All taxicab licenses shall expire on December 31 of each year.
Transfers. Any taxicab licenses issued hereunder may be transferred to another person or another vehicle upon compliance with this chapter and approval by the Township Administrator of an application therefor and the payment of a fee as set forth in § 150-3A of this Code to the Township Clerk. The Clerk shall thereupon cancel the license and issue a replacement in accordance with such application.
No taxicab license shall be issued until the applicant for a taxicab license shall have first filed with the Township Clerk an insurance policy of a company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of New Jersey, conditioned for the payment of a sum not less than:
Two hundred fifty thousand dollars to satisfy all claims for damages, by reason of bodily injury to or death of any one person, resulting from an accident, and a sum not less than $500,000 to satisfy all claims for damages, by reason of bodily injuries to or death of all persons, on account of any such accident, by reason of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of such taxicab upon any public street.
Fifty thousand dollars to satisfy all claims for damages to property of any person or persons resulting from an accident, on account of such accident, by reason of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of such taxicab upon any public street.
The taxicab license and operation thereunder shall be effective only so long as the insurance policy required by this section shall remain in full force to the full and collectible amounts as required by this subsection.
Power of attorney required. No taxicab license shall be issued until there has been executed and delivered to the Township Clerk, concurrently with the filing of the policy of insurance referred to in Subsection F, a power of attorney, wherein and whereby the owner of a vehicle to be licensed shall nominate, constitute and appoint the Township Clerk as his or her true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service of any process out of any court of competent jurisdiction to be serviced against the insured by virtue of the indemnity granted under the insurance policy filed.
Permit required. No person shall operate, or permit to be operated, any taxicab upon the streets of the Township by any person not the holder of a valid taxicab driver's permit issued pursuant to this section.
Driver requirements. Each applicant for a driver's license, under the terms of this chapter, must conform to the following requirements and continue to abide by these requirements subsequent to licensing approval:
Be of the age of 21 years or over, a citizen of the United States or have declared his or her intention to become such citizen and shall not have been convicted of any crime and/or disorderly person offense involving moral turpitude including, but not limited to, conviction for possession and/or distribution of pornography, all elements included under the New Jersey statute prohibiting prostitution, sexual offenses or physical violence against persons or property and conviction under New Jersey Statute Title 24, Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs within 10 years next preceding the date of application for license, unless the Township Council, for good cause shown and established at a hearing held for that purpose, shall waive any disqualification based on such conviction.
In addition, no applicant shall have a record of motor vehicle operation which contains any convictions within three years of the application for reckless driving, driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, or leaving the scene of an accident.
In the event of a conviction for any such violation, the licensee shall be subject to a hearing leading to suspension or revocation.
Be able to read and write the English language.
Be clean in dress and person and not addicted to the use of narcotics or intoxicating liquors.
Be familiar with the geography of the Township.
Application; photographs; medical certificate; fee.
Application information. Application for a taxicab driver's permit shall be made upon forms furnished by the Township Clerk, by any person who has been a licensed driver for at least three years. The application shall state:
The name and address of the applicant.
The date and place of the applicant's birth.
The number of his or her New Jersey State driver's license and whether his or her driving privileges have ever been suspended or revoked in this or any other state, and, if so, the state, the date and all reasons therefor.
The name of his or her employer, if any.
The number of years the applicant has had experience as a taxicab driver, for whom and length of time employed as such driver.
The record of convictions of the applicant of any crimes or disorderly person statutes or ordinances, or violation of this chapter.
Photographs; medical certificate. The application shall be accompanied by:
Two recent photographs of the applicant of the size of 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches.
Present the certificate of a reputable physician showing that he or she has been examined within 60 days and that he or she is of sound physique, with good eyesight and not subject to epilepsy, vertigo, heart trouble or any other infirmity of body or mind which might render him or her unfit for the safe operation of a taxicab. The Township Administrator, whenever it shall appear to him or her on the basis of his or her personal observation or on the basis of reports made to him or her upon observation and investigation, followed by an interview by the Township Administrator, that good cause exists to believe that the licensee is suffering from any infirmity above mentioned to an extent which would affect the safety of the licensee or of the public with whom he or she may come into contact in the course of performing his or her licensed activities, may at any time after a driver's permit has been issued, require the holder of the permit to submit to a physical or psychiatric examination to be conducted by a physician or psychiatrist designated by the Township, at Township expense. If the licensee shall fail to submit to an examination ordered by the Township Administrator after receiving reasonable notice containing a clear statement of the reasons therefor, or if the examination shall result in a determination that the licensee is unfit to conduct the licensed activities without endangering himself or herself or the public, the Township Administrator shall issue to him or her a notice of suspension containing a clear statement of the reasons therefor which shall be effective immediately upon receipt by the licensee, which may be accomplished by delivering a copy thereof to him or her personally or by delivering a copy thereof to his or her business address. Upon receipt of a notice of suspension, the licensee shall be entitled to demand a hearing at any time thereafter to dispute or rebut the findings of the Township Administrator, at which time he or she may submit the report or the testimony of any physician or other expert or lay witness to rebut or dispute the basis of the Township Administrator's findings. Unless the Township Administrator shall determine in favor of the licensee without the need for a hearing, a preliminary hearing shall be convened no later than five days after receipt of the request therefor.
Investigation of applicant. The Police Department shall conduct an investigation of each applicant for a taxicab driver's permit. A report of such investigation, including a copy of the traffic and police record of the applicant, if any, shall be forwarded to the Township Administrator.
Permit; approval; issuance.
If the Township Administrator finds that the applicant has had at least three years' experience of motor vehicle driving and is fit, willing and able to be a taxicab driver within the Township and to conform to the provisions of this chapter, and that the public convenience and necessity so requires, he or she shall approve the issuance of a taxicab driver's permit.
The Clerk shall then issue, under the Seal of the Township, a taxicab driver's permit stating such information as may be appropriate, and containing a photograph of the permittee.
Permit expiration. All taxicab driver's permits shall expire on December 31 of each year.
Renewal. All applications for renewal of a driver's permit shall be made to the Township by December 1, in order to be effective on January 1 following.
Suspension or revocation. Any license or permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the Township Administrator, after due notice and hearing, if:
The holder thereof has violated any of the provisions of this chapter;
The holder thereof has violated any ordinances of the Township or the laws of the United States or of this state, the violation of which reflects unfavorably on the fitness of the holder;
The holder thereof has performed any act which would be a basis for a denial of the application;
The licensed taxicab is unfit, unsafe, unsanitary or unsuited for public patronage.
The taxicab driver has in any degree contributed to any injury to a person or damage to property arising out of the negligent operation of the taxicab; or
The taxicab driver shall have any communicable or contagious disease.
Hearings. All hearings required by this chapter shall be conducted by the Township Administrator or his or her designee.
Appeals. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Township Administrator may appeal such decision, in writing, to the Township Council within 15 days of the date of such decision.
Maximum rates. All licensees shall submit to the Township Council a list of their rates and charges for approval. Taxi fares that shall be charged by the owners or drivers of taxicabs within the Township limits shall not exceed the rates approved by the Township Council.
Fare disputes; nonpayment. All disputes as to fare shall be determined by the officer in charge of the police station at the time of such dispute. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to pay the legal fare under this chapter.
Display of permit and rates. Every licensed vehicle shall have exhibited to its passengers in a conspicuous place and manner:
Report of lost property. Every driver of a taxicab, immediately after the termination of any hiring or employment, must carefully search such taxicab for any property lost or left therein, and any such property, unless sooner claimed or delivered to the owner, must be reported within 24 hours, in writing, by the driver or owner of the taxicab to the Police Department, with brief particulars and description of the property.
Receipts. The driver of any taxicab shall, upon demand by the passenger, render to such passenger a receipt for the amount charged on which shall be the name of the owner, driver, the taxicab license number, the amount of the charge, date and time of the transaction and the point of origin and destination.
Restrictions as to riding in front seat. No person, other than the licensed driver of the taxicab, shall ride or sit in the front seat of the taxicab unless the rear is fully occupied by the passengers, except when, for physical or health reasons, a passenger must sit in the front seat.
Use of taxicabs for illegal or immoral purposes. No holder or driver shall knowingly permit his or her taxicab to be used for any illegal or immoral purposes, under penalty of suspension or, after hearing, revocation of holder or driver's license, or both, and such other penalty as may be provided.
Misleading of patrons.
No driver of a taxicab shall induce any person to employ him or her by knowingly misinforming or misleading such person either as to the time or place of the arrival or departure of any train, plane, bus or boat, or as to the location of any hotel, public place or private residence within the Township, or as to the distance between any two points, nor shall any such driver deceive any person or make any false representation to him or her or convey any passenger to any other place or over any route other than that to which such passenger may have instructed the driver to go. Unless otherwise ordered, passengers shall be conveyed only over the most practical direct route to their destination.
No driver shall delay an immediate departure or otherwise accommodate additional passengers without the permission of the first passenger to hire the taxicab.
Conduct of drivers. Taxicab drivers, while engaged in the operation of a taxicab, shall behave in a civil and orderly manner and shall not use any indecent, profane or abusive language.
Receiving and discharging passengers. Taxicab drivers shall not receive or discharge passengers in the roadway without pulling their taxicabs as close as possible to the right-hand sidewalk or, in the absence of a sidewalk, to the extreme right-hand side of the road and there receive or discharge passengers. On one-way streets, passengers may be discharged at either the right- or left-hand sidewalk or side of roadway where no sidewalk exists.
Taxicab service. All persons engaged in the taxicab business in the Township operating under the provisions of this chapter shall render an overall service to the public desiring to use taxicabs. They shall answer all calls received by them for services inside the corporate limits of the Township as soon as they can do so, and if the services cannot be rendered within a reasonable time, they shall then notify the prospective passenger how long it will be before the call can be answered and give the reason therefor. Any licensee or driver who shall refuse to accept a call anywhere in the corporate limits of the Township at any time when such licensee has available cab(s), or who shall fail or refuse to give overall service, shall be deemed a violator of this chapter, and the license or permit granted to such holder may, after a hearing, be revoked.
Improper use of horn. Taxi drivers shall not use the horns of their vehicles to alert customers of their arrivals. Violation of this provision shall constitute a violation of this chapter and a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-69.
Solicitation and cruising.
No taxicab, while waiting for employment by passengers, shall stand on any public street or space other than at or upon a taxicab stand designated or established in accordance with this chapter, nor shall any driver of such taxicab seek employment by repeatedly and persistently driving his or her taxicab to and fro in a short space before, or by otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly access to or egress from any theater, hall, hotel, public resort, railroad station or other place of public gathering.
No driver shall solicit passengers for a taxicab except when sitting upon the driver's seat thereof.
No driver shall solicit employment in the transportation of passengers by driving in or through any public street or public place at a slow rate of speed, commonly designated as "cruising," except in such areas and at such times as may be designated by the Township Administrator. Such areas and times shall only be designated when the Township Administrator finds that taxicab cruising would not congest traffic or be dangerous to pedestrians or other vehicles.
No driver shall solicit patronage in a loud tone of voice or in any manner to annoy any person or obstruct the movement of any person, or to follow any person for the purpose of solicitation patronage.
Blocking of entrances. No taxicab driver shall stand in front of the entrance to any building within the prohibited space after his or her passengers desiring to leave have alighted, or attempt to stand in a prohibited space waiting for passengers.
Standing at curb in certain places prohibited. Subject to any rules and regulations of the Township Administrator, it shall be unlawful for any taxicab to stand in any restricted area, or any area which is controlled by parking meters, or at the curb within 15 feet of the entrance to any theater, hotel, restaurant or other public place.
No driver shall permit any other person to occupy or ride a taxicab unless the person(s) first employing a taxicab shall consent to the acceptance of an additional passenger(s); provided, however, that an additional passenger(s) shall not be accepted if they are of a different sex than the passenger first employing the taxicab.
No charge shall be made for an additional passenger, except when the additional passenger rides beyond the previous passenger's destination and then for only the additional distance so traveled. Upon reading the original passenger's destination the driver shall collect his or her fare and the passenger shall be charged as if the additional distance traveled were a new trip.
Restrictions on the number of passengers. No driver shall permit more persons to be carried in a taxicab as passengers than the number of seat belts available for such passengers.
Prohibition of drivers. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any driver of a taxicab to solicit business for any hotels, motels, rooming houses, bars, taverns, restaurants, theaters and the like, or to attempt to divert patronage from one such place to another. Neither shall such driver engage in selling intoxicating liquors or solicit business for any house of ill repute or use his or her vehicle for any purposes other than the transporting of passengers.
Attire regulation. Each taxicab owner shall establish a dress code for the operators of his or her taxicabs. Each operator of a taxicab shall conform to the dress code as established by the owner of the taxicab. The establishment of a dress code shall include the wearing of a clean, pressed shirt or blouse and trousers or skirt and, in cooler weather, a uniform-type blazer or a jacket and chauffeur's cap. Each licensed taxicab driver, while on duty, shall be clean in person and free from offensive odors. Each driver shall maintain the vehicle in a repaired condition free of debris, offensive odors and safe for the transportation of passengers. Each driver shall refrain from smoking while transporting passengers unless permission of all passengers has been obtained. A driver shall not refuse a passenger because such passenger objects to the driver smoking tobacco. Each driver who objects to the smoking of tobacco by passengers shall have conspicuously posted a notice of such prohibition as required by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-13.
Records to be kept by owners and drivers.
Every licensee shall require the driver to keep a daily record, identified by the cab number of the cab used that day and the license number of the driver, of the time and place when and where the passenger was accepted as well as the time and place of the discharge of the passenger together with the fare received for the trip, which record the licensee shall keep intact for 180 days from the date thereof, and shall be kept open at all times for inspection by a duly authorized representative of the Police Department or Township Administrator.
Every licensee shall record in a book kept solely for such purpose the time of departure from the garage or cab stand of every licensed vehicle, giving the name and address of the driver thereof, his or her license number, the license number of the vehicle and the time of the return to the garage or cab stand of each such vehicle, which book shall be kept open for inspection at all times to a duly authorized representative of the Police Department or Township Administrator.
Cooperation with law enforcement officers. A taxicab driver shall cooperate with law enforcement officers in the performance of his or her duty. A taxicab driver shall not conceal evidence of a crime nor voluntarily aid violators to escape arrest. A taxi driver shall report immediately to the police any attempt to use his or her vehicle to commit a crime or escape from the scene of a crime.
Failure to comply with Township, state or federal laws.
Every driver licensed under this chapter shall comply with all Township, state and federal laws, the violation of which reflects unfavorably upon the fitness of such driver to engage in public transportation. Failure to do so will justify the Township Administrator in suspending or, after hearing, revoking the license.
If at any time within the licensed year, a taxicab driver has been found guilty of a high misdemeanor, misdemeanor or has permitted his or her taxicab to be used for any illegal or immoral purpose, the Township Administrator may immediately suspend or, after hearing, revoke the driver's license.
Maintenance of vehicles.
Every vehicle operating under this chapter shall be periodically inspected, at such intervals as the Township Administrator may direct, to insure the continued maintenance of safe operating conditions.
Every vehicle operating under this chapter shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
Any vehicle on the streets of the Township in violation of this section may be removed from the streets by the Police Department. If the vehicle is not returned to service in accordance with the provisions of this section within 90 days, the Township Administrator may suspend or, after hearing, revoke the taxicab license.
Side curtains. Side curtains or shades shall not be permitted on any taxicab licensed in the Township.
Identification of taxicab. Every taxicab shall have painted or marked on both sides thereof, or shall have affixed to the top thereof, a sign, light or device bearing the words "Taxi" or "Cab" or the name of the operating owner containing the words "Taxi", "Cab" or "Taxicab."
Imitation of licensed vehicles.
No vehicle covered by the terms of this chapter shall be licensed if, in a manner which is misleading or tends to deceive or defraud the public, its color scheme, name, monogram or insignia shall be in conflict with, or in the opinion of the Township Administrator, imitates any color scheme, name, monogram or insignia used by any other person operating a taxicab(s). Any taxicab license issued under the terms of this chapter shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the Township Administrator if any change is made with regard to the color scheme, name, monogram or insignia of any vehicle, in any manner tending to deceive or defraud the public which, in the opinion of the Township Administrator, imitates any color scheme, name, monogram or insignia used by any other person operating a taxicab(s).
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to operate any vehicle not licensed under this chapter in such a manner as to be misleading or tends to deceive or defraud the public into believing the vehicle is a licensed taxicab or is being operated as a licensed taxicab.
Change of address; loss of records. Any change of address of any owner or driver licensed under the provisions of this chapter must be reported, in writing, to the Township Clerk's office within 72 hours of such change. The loss of the license badge or any other book or document required to be kept by any licensed owner or driver must be reported to the Township Clerk's office, in writing, within 24 hours of such loss. In the event any licensed driver terminates his or her employment as such driver, he or she shall return the license, badge or any other paper or documents in his or her possession furnished to him or her by the Township Clerk to the Clerk's office within 72 hours of such termination.
Permitting unlicensed drivers to operate. It shall be unlawful for any person owning or operating any taxicab in the Township, licensed under the provisions of this chapter, to permit such taxicab to be operated by any person who does not hold a valid driver's permit as required by this chapter.
The Township Council may establish, from time to time, public taxicab stands in the several streets and public places of the Township which it may determine to be for the best interest and convenience of the public and shall cause same to be clearly and distinctly marked by proper signs setting forth the exact locations and boundaries of such public taxicab stands and the number of taxicabs which are permitted to occupy same at one time. When such public taxicab stands are so established and designated, no vehicle other than a duly licensed taxicab may occupy such space.
The Police Department of the Township is hereby given the authority and is instructed to watch and observe the condition of taxicabs and driven operating under this chapter. Upon discovering a violation of the provisions of this chapter, the Police Department shall report the same to the Township Administrator, who shall order or take appropriate action.
Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be subject, upon conviction, to the penalties provided in § 1-5, Violations and penalties, of this Code, which penalty shall be in addition to any suspension or revocation of license or permit.