[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fitchburg 4-2-1996 by Ord. No. 88-96. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BOARD or LICENSING BOARD
- The Licensing Board established by § 120-13 of the Code of the City of Fitchburg.
- The City of Fitchburg.
- Every individual, general or limited partnership, corporation, firm, association or group.
- Includes any vehicle used to carry passengers for hire but not operating on a fixed route.
The Licensing Board shall be the sole authority for issuing, revoking or suspending taxi licenses within the City and subject to the ordinances of the City for regulating the conduct and businesses of licensees.
It shall be unlawful to engage in the business of operating a taxi in the City without having a license therefor.
The Board shall issue a taxi license only to persons of good character with sufficient liability or indemnity policies or other assurance of financial responsibility for the protection of persons or property potentially injured by the operation of the taxi.
The Board may adopt reasonable regulations to carry out the responsibilities imposed by this chapter, including regulations which:
Prescribe the form and contents for applications.
Establish the procedure for the conduct of any hearings for the issuance, termination or suspension of licenses.
Set forth the standards and frequency for regular inspection of all vehicles licensed as taxis.
Set up a system for inspecting the taxis and a system for appropriate certification that such inspections have been performed.
Terminate licenses for good cause, prohibit the use of unsafe vehicles and regulate the conduct of licensees and the taxi business to protect the public health and safety.
No person shall operate a taxi unless duly licensed by the commonwealth to drive a motor vehicle. It shall be unlawful for any driver of a taxi while on duty to drink any intoxicating liquor or to operate the taxi while under the influence or effect of intoxicating liquor or any drug which impairs or tend to impair the ability to drive.
The Board shall issue licenses in an amount not to exceed in the aggregate one vehicle for each 1,000 persons, or fraction thereof, as determined by the last preceding federal census.
Any person violating any provisions of this chapter or any regulation of the Licensing Board shall be fined an amount not to exceed $300. Each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue shall be considered as a separate offense and shall be punishable as such.
The Board shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this chapter and may in its discretion deem any violation of this chapter or any of its regulations as a noncriminal offense within the meaning of MGL c. 40, § 21D. The fines imposed for such violation shall be $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, $300 for the third offense. When treating a matter as a noncriminal violation, the Board in its discretion may, in lieu of imposing a fine for the first offense, issue a warning notice to the offender.
The Board shall, in its discretion, seek injunctive relief in an appropriate court to restrain violation of this chapter and its regulations.
All regulations of the Board of License Commissioners shall be duly adopted at meetings thereof. Notice of the meeting shall clearly describe the subject matter of the proposed regulation. All regulations when adopted shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk.
If any provision of this chapter is declared invalid, the other provisions shall not be affected thereby but shall continue in full force and effect.