[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Owego 12-1-1969 as Ch. 17, Art. II, of the 1969 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unless otherwise expressly stated, whenever used in this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings given to them by this section:
- Any person, firm, corporation, partnership or association of persons owning or having control of the use of one or more taxicabs used for hire upon the streets of the village or engaged in the business of operating a taxicab.
- Any street, alley, avenue, land or public place in the village.
- Any motor vehicle engaged in the business of carrying persons for hire, whether the same be operated from a taxi stand or subject to calls from a garage, residence, or otherwise operated for hire, except vehicles subject to the provisions of the Transportation Law or used by undertakers in the conduct of their business.
- TAXICAB DRIVER
- Any person who drives a taxicab, whether the person be the owner of such taxicab or employed by a taxicab owner or operator.
- TAXICAB LICENSE
- Permission granted by the Board of Trustees to any person, firm, corporation, partnership or association of persons to operate or keep for hire any taxicab in the village.
No person shall drive for hire a taxicab and no person shall permit anyone to drive a taxicab for hire within the limits of the village without such driver having first obtained and paid for and having in force and effect a driver's license under the provisions of this chapter.
A taxicab driver's license shall be issued for a period of one or three years, and the fee for such license shall be set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees.
Application for a taxicab driver's license shall be made on forms supplied by the Board of Trustees.
All applications for taxicab drivers' licenses shall be approved or disapproved, in writing, by the Chief of Police or the officer in charge of the Village Police Department. Such approval or disapproval shall be subject to review and final decision by the Board of Trustees.
Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license must meet the following requirements:
An applicant for a driver's license must be a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or over and of good character and reputation.
An applicant for a driver's license under this chapter must have a valid New York State chauffeur's license, be able to read and write the English language, be clean in dress and person and not addicted to use of intoxicating liquors or drugs.
The Chief of Police or officer in charge of the Police Department shall have the right to require of each applicant for a taxicab driver's license an examination to determine the fitness of the applicant and to assure that the qualifications set forth in § 183-4 are met. No license shall be issued to a person who has not satisfactorily qualified after such an examination.
Upon application being made to the Chief of Police or officer in charge of the Village Police Department, the Chief or such officer shall have authority to permit a taxicab driver to drive a taxicab for hire pending his obtaining a driver's license under this chapter, provided that the applicant shall have in force a New York State chauffeur's license.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or permit to be operated a taxicab upon the streets of the village without first having obtained and paid for and having in force and effect a taxicab license under the provisions of this chapter.
A taxicab license shall be issued for a period of one year, renewable the first of January each year, and the fee for such license shall be set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees.
Application for a taxicab license shall be made on such form and shall contain such information as prescribed by the Board of Trustees.
Prerequisite to licensing. No vehicle shall be licensed until it has been thoroughly and carefully inspected and examined and found to be in a thoroughly safe condition for the transportation of passengers. Such vehicle shall be clean, fit, of good appearance and well painted.
Standards. The inspection and examination provided for in this section shall meet the standards of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, relative to the inspection of motor vehicles as such standards are now in force or hereinafter promulgated and shall include inspection of, inter alia: brakes (foot brakes and auxiliary and/or hand), steering and wheel alignment, headlamps, taillights (plate and stoplights), parking lights, turn indicators, other lights, glass (windshield and windshield wipers), heater and defroster, exhaust system, fires, springs and seating, rear-vision mirror and horn.
By whom made; cost. The inspection provided for in this section shall be made by any motor vehicle inspection station licensed by the state, and the charge made therefor shall not be in excess of the maximum established by the state for such inspection and shall be paid for by the owner or operator applying for such inspection.
Effect of failure to pass inspection. The Chief of Police shall refuse a license to or, if already issued, suspend a license of any vehicle found upon inspection and examination to be unfit or unsuited for public patronage according to the standards set forth in this section.
The Chief of Police shall have the right to make or cause to be made a reinspection of any vehicle licensed as a taxicab at any reasonable time he deems such reinspection necessary.
The Board of Trustees shall prescribe the form of taxicab drivers' licenses and taxicab licenses to be issued as herein set forth. Such licenses shall be issued by the Village Clerk-Treasurer and must have the written approval of the Chief of Police or officer in charge of the Village Police Department. Such approval or disapproval shall be subject to review and final decision by the Board of Trustees.
No taxicab driver's license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be transferred, but shall remain for the proper use and benefit of the person to whom the same was issued.
A taxicab license may be transferred from one vehicle to another by the same owner or operator upon satisfactory proof being submitted to the Village Clerk-Treasurer that the vehicle from which such license is transferred is no longer owned or used as a taxicab and only upon the endorsement of such transfer upon said taxicab license.
No holder of a license issued by the village to own, operate or drive a taxicab within the village shall loan or permit to be used by another person the license issued to him.
Each taxicab license issued pursuant to this chapter shall at all times be conspicuously displayed within the taxicab for which it was issued, and the driver's license of the driver of the taxicab shall also be conspicuously displayed.
No person shall drive a taxicab for hire in the village while the identification card or license of another person is displayed in such taxicab.
No owner or operator of a taxicab shall permit any person to drive a taxicab for hire within the village limits unless such person is duly licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
Any person licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall, within three days after a change of address, notify the Village Clerk-Treasurer of such new address.
Any licensed operator who willfully uses a private car not duly licensed by the state and the village as a taxicab shall be subject to having his taxicab driver's license suspended by the village.
The Board of Trustees shall be empowered to regulate taxicab rates of fare if such is deemed necessary by said Board.
Rate cards shall be furnished by the owner or operator of a taxicab and shall be conspicuously displayed in view of passengers within said taxicab at all times, and a copy of the rate card must accompany application for a taxicab license.
Every driver of a taxicab subject to the provisions of this chapter shall have the right to demand payment of the legal fee in advance and to refuse employment unless so prepaid.
Subject to the provisions of § 183-17, a taxicab driver shall not refuse or neglect to convey an orderly person or persons anywhere within the village unless previously engaged or unable to operate his taxicab.
Whenever possible, taxicabs shall be parked or wait for employment in the places designated as taxicab stands by the Board of Trustees.
Each operator or holder of a taxicab license as provided for under this chapter shall be required to maintain trip sheets indicating the point of origin of the trip, the destination of the trip, the time that the trip began and the time that the trip ended and the fare charged or collected in connection with each and every call responded to by the taxicab driver, and the taxicab operator shall preserve such trip sheets for a period of two years.
Any taxicab driver's license or any taxicab license issued hereunder may be suspended for cause at any time, and sufficient cause is hereby deemed to include a violation of this chapter.
The Chief of Police or officer in charge of the Police Department may suspend a taxicab license or driver's license issued under this chapter by notifying the operator or taxicab driver of the reason therefor, in writing.
A person whose license has been suspended as provided in this chapter shall not operate or drive or cause to be operated or driven for hire any taxicab until a hearing shall have been had and the license reinstated.
A hearing to determine whether a license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be reinstated or revoked shall be held upon demand before a committee composed of three trustees of the village to be appointed by the Mayor and to be known as the "Police Committee." The hearing before the Police Committee shall be had within five days after such suspension, and both the suspending officer and the licensee shall have the right to submit testimony by witnesses and to be represented by counsel. A decision by the Police Committee shall be rendered within two days thereafter.
The decision rendered by the Police Committee may be appealed to the full Board of Trustees by either party. Such appeal shall be heard within five days by said Board, at which time witnesses may be heard and the parties represented by counsel. A decision shall be rendered by the Board of Trustees within five days after the hearing provided for herein.