[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Geneva 3-4-1987 by Ord. No. 6-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the words and phrases stated below have the following meanings:
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the City of Geneva or his designee.
- HACK PLATE
- A permit issued by the License Clerk allowing a person to operate a taxicab in the City of Geneva.
- The person to whom a license has been issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
- A written record or log of the use of a vehicle as a taxicab.
- To own, drive, hold a hack plate or have control of a taxicab, or to engage in the business of operating a taxicab upon the streets of the City.
- A taxicab driver, owner, hack plate holder or other person controlling the use of a taxicab in the City. When the operator is not the driver of the taxicab, the operator as well as the driver shall be responsible for the acts of the driver and for assuring compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
- Two or more passengers, not exceeding the capacity of the cab, who have agreed in advance among themselves to hire a taxicab to furnish their required service.
- Any natural person, corporation, nonprofit corporation, partnership, association or other type of firm or business enterprise; excluding, however, governmental entities, agencies or subdivisions.
- RATE CARD
- A card containing authorized taxicab tariff rates.
- SENIOR CITIZEN
- Person age 62 or older.[Added 5-7-2003 by Ord. No. 2-2003]
- A motor vehicle which is used for the purpose of carrying
passengers within the City of Geneva, which does not operate on a
fixed route and is used for the purpose of transporting passengers
for compensations, including livery vehicles as defined in § 121-e
of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York, excluding
stretch limousines used for occasional hire for weddings, proms and
special events.[Amended 8-3-1988 by Ord. No. 88-6]
- TAXICAB DRIVER
- Any individual who drives a taxicab.
- TAXICAB DRIVER'S LICENSE
- A license permitting an individual to drive a taxicab within the City.
- TAXICAB LIVERY
- An establishment maintained for the purpose of receiving calls and dispatching taxicabs to transport passengers.
- TAXICAB STAND
- Any place along the curb or upon the street or a public place which is designated by the City for the use of taxicabs, and which shall include a working taxicab stand and/or a taxicab parking zone.
- TIME CALL
- A request made at least one hour before service is required for a taxicab to be at a particular place at or before a particular time.
No person shall operate a vehicle as a taxicab within the City unless a hack plate, issued pursuant to this chapter, is properly attached to such vehicle; provided, however, that this section shall not prevent any taxicab not having a hack plate attached from terminating a fare within the City when such fare commenced outside the City or from answering a prearranged call in the City, as long as such taxicab has a valid hack plate.
A hack plate may be issued by the City Clerk after compliance with the provisions set forth in this chapter, upon payment of the required license fee and upon approval by the Chief of Police.
A hack plate shall expire on the 30th day of June after its issuance, unless revoked, surrendered or abandoned at an earlier time.
[Amended 9-2-1987 by Ord. No. 87-24]
A person desiring to secure a hack plate shall register his or her name for such purpose with the City Clerk and shall pay a registration fee of $150 for each taxicab.
[Amended 6-16-1993 by Ord. No. 6-93]
An applicant for a hack plate shall notify the City Clerk of any change of address. The offering of a hack plate will be forwarded by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address listed with the City Clerk.
No person shall have his name appear on the hack plate registration list more than once at any given time.
When a hack plate becomes available, due to abandonment or revocation, such hack plate may be issued to the next registered person. The City Clerk shall notify the first person whose name appears on the hack plate registration list, in the order of date of registration, that a hack plate has become available. Such person must make application for the hack plate within 20 days from the date of mailing of such notice and must further comply with the provisions of this chapter in order to secure the hack plate.
If the person so notified fails to complete an application and to secure a hack plate within the time permitted, the City Clerk shall notify the next person whose name appears on the list and who is eligible for a hack plate of the availability of a hack plate.
The application for a hack plate shall contain the name and address of the applicant and such other information as the Chief of Police may require. An applicant shall certify that the hack plate will be used only on a vehicle that is in good mechanical condition and which meets all of the requirements for taxicabs as set forth in this chapter.
The Police Department shall conduct an investigation of each applicant for a hack plate, and the report of said investigation and a copy of the traffic and police record of the applicant, if any, shall be attached to the application for the consideration of the Police Chief.
[Amended 6-16-1993 by Ord. No. 6-93]
Hack plates shall be issued annually by the City, however, in no event shall more than 12 hack plates be issued to any individual or business.
The fee for hack plates shall be $50 annually, and the operator's license shall be $30 annually, and such fees shall be paid at time the plate is issued.
[Amended 6-16-1993 by Ord. No. 6-93; 9-3-1997 by Ord. No. 97-8]
Upon issuance of a hack plate and license, the City Clerk shall also issue a taxicab license certificate in a form prescribed by the Chief of Police.
The City Clerk shall keep a record of each hack plate issued, of the holder, of the location of the office or place of business of the holder and of the hack plate number assigned to the holder.
The holder shall notify the Chief of Police of any change in business address within 10 days of such change.
No person shall operate a taxicab within the City unless said vehicle has passed a standard New York State motor vehicle inspection during the preceding six months and has a properly affixed and current inspection sticker, and is in good physical repair and in a safe condition for the transportation of passengers. The Chief of Police may make or cause to be made at any time a further inspection of any vehicle used as a taxicab in the City, and if said vehicle is found to be unsafe, unclean, unhealthful or unsuited for public patronage, he may order the discontinuance of the use of said vehicle as a taxicab. Inspection and maintenance of the vehicle shall be guided by the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
[Amended 1-24-1990 by Ord. No. 90-3; 1-9-1995 by Ord. No. 95-2; 12-5-2001 by Ord. No. 8-2001; 6-2-2004 by Ord. No. 5-2004; 6-4-2008 by Ord. No. 2-2008]
No driver of a taxicab shall carry any person other than the passenger first employing the taxicab without the consent of such passenger. In no event shall the driver pick up or carry any other person after such driver has begun to transport the passenger first employing the taxicab unless such passenger directs the driver to pick up the other person or persons.
All taxicabs shall be equipped with a roof light which shall be illuminated when the taxicab is vacant or is for hire and shall be kept unlighted when the taxicab is occupied by paying passengers.
All taxicabs shall have a rate card enclosed in a frame affixed inside said taxicab so as to be clearly visible to all passengers at all times. The rate card shall set forth the rate being charged by the taxicab for distance, waiting time, baggage and special rates, and in no event shall said rates exceed the maximum rates permitted by this section. Such rate card shall be in a form designated by the Chief of Police and shall contain such additional information as he may direct.
All taxicabs shall be designed and constructed so as to seat five persons or fewer, not including the driver, and shall have no less than four doors with a step height of 16 inches maximum. Any station wagon used as a taxicab shall not use the rear entrance for seating of passengers.
The Police Department shall conduct an investigation of each applicant for a taxicab driver's license, and the report of this investigation and a copy of the traffic and police record of the applicant, if any, shall be attached to the application for consideration by the Chief of Police.
The holder of a taxicab driver's license shall be permitted to renew the license annually, provided that he complies with all provisions of this chapter. The application for such renewal must be filed with the City Clerk not later than the 31st day of December of each successive year. If the application for renewal is not made within this time, the holder will be deemed to have abandoned the license.
[Added 9-7-1988 by Ord. No. 88-8; amended 9-30-1997 by Ord. No. 97-9]
No person shall drive and operate a taxicab within the City without first possessing a valid New York State operator's license Class A, B, C or D and possessing a Class E license as provided by Subdivision 2, § 501 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and a valid taxicab license issued by the City.
No taxicab driver shall induce any person to be carried by any taxicab by willful misrepresentation.
Each taxicab driver shall keep the interior and exterior of his taxicab in a clean and sanitary condition at all times. Each taxicab shall at all times be neat and clean in appearance.
No taxicab shall seek employment by persistently driving a taxicab past any theater, hall, hotel, public resort, railroad station or terminal or other place of public gathering, nor shall any taxicab driver solicit employment by driving at such slow speed as to interfere with or impede traffic. Taxicab drivers shall obey police officers who may from time to time give instructions in order to relieve traffic congestion and to preserve the safety and convenience of the public.
No person shall drive a taxicab while intoxicated, nor shall any taxicab driver drink an alcoholic beverage while on duty, nor drive while his ability is impaired by use of a controlled substance as defined in § 3306 of the Public Health Law.
No taxicab driver shall fasten or lock the doors on a cab so that it is impossible for a passenger to open them from the inside.
Each taxicab driver shall search the interior of the taxicab at least once each day for articles left in the cab. The driver shall immediately take such property to his supervisor for safekeeping and proper disposition.
No taxicab driver shall permit any other person to use his taxicab driver's license.
No taxicab driver shall drive any taxicab for more than a period of 12 continuous hours in any twenty-four-hour period.
Each taxicab driver shall display his own taxicab driver's license in a frame placed inside the taxicab so as to be visible to passengers at all times and shall include a picture.
Each taxicab driver waiting for public employment in any established working taxi zone shall remain within the sight of his taxicab and shall at all times be prepared to move the taxicab.
A taxicab driver or operator shall immediately report a refusal to pay a fare to the Police Department, either in person or by telephone.
No taxicab driver shall permit any person or persons in the vehicle other than a paying customer.
A two-year maintenance program record shall be kept on file for each vehicle used as a taxicab.
Any accident involving personal injury or property damage and the operation of a taxicab must be reported to the Chief of Police within 24 hours.
Denial of license application. The Chief of Police may deny a license to any person who, in his judgment, is undesirable, unfit or incapable of performing as a holder of a license, who does not comply with the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated by the Chief of Police pursuant to this chapter or who makes a material misrepresentation on an application. The Chief of Police may also deny a license to any applicant for a violation by the applicant, or by any partner, agent, officer or employee of the applicant, of any federal, state or local law or ordinance.
The Chief of Police shall notify an applicant in writing of the reasons for the denial of a license and shall give the applicant 10 days in which to request a hearing on the denial.
Suspension or revocation of licenses. The Chief of Police or any person may bring charges against the holder of a license granted under this chapter alleging a violation by the holder, or any partner, agent, officer or employee of the holder, of any federal, state or local law or ordinance or any rules or regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police pursuant to this chapter. The Chief of Police shall investigate such charges, and, if he believes the charges are warranted, he shall notify the holder of the charges and of the possible penalties if the holder is found guilty of such charges. The holder shall be given 10 days to request a hearing on such charges. A holder's failure to request a hearing shall be deemed an admission of the charges.
If a holder is found guilty of the charges after a hearing or if the holder fails to request a hearing or to appear at a scheduled hearing, the Chief of Police may suspend the holder's license for a period not to exceed 90 days, may revoke the holder's license or may fine the holder a sum not to exceed $250.
Hearing. When a person entitled to a hearing under this chapter makes a timely request for a hearing, the Chief of Police shall schedule such hearing within 10 days after the request. The Chief of Police shall hear and determine the charges. The holder or applicant shall be permitted to be represented by counsel at the hearing, to submit evidence and summons witnesses on his behalf, to inspect documents and to cross-examine opposing witnesses. The burden of proving the charges shall be upon the person alleging the same. Compliance with the technical rules of evidence shall not be required.
Factors to consider concerning violations. In determining whether a license should be denied to an applicant or whether a penalty should be imposed upon the holder for a violation of a law or ordinance, the Chief of Police shall consider the following factors:
The nature of the violation.
The specific duties and responsibilities of a holder of a license and the relationship between the violation and a holder's fitness or ability to perform such duties or responsibilities.
The time which has elapsed since the violation and the age of the person at the time of the violation.
The public safety interest in protecting property and the health, safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.
Any mitigating circumstances or information concerning the rehabilitation or good conduct of a person.
Such other factors as the Chief of Police may deem relevant or as may be mandated in the Correction Law or other law.
Penalties for offenses. In addition to any other penalty which may be provided in this chapter, a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $150 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or by a penalty of not less than $5 nor more than $500 to be recovered by the City in a civil action. Every day of such violation may be held to constitute a separate offense. In addition to the above penalties, the Chief of Police shall be specifically empowered to order a person charged with any violation of this chapter to take such corrective action as may be required to bring such violation into compliance with the intent and provisions of this chapter.