[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of River Edge 12-31-1975 as Ch. VIII of the 1975 Code. Amended in its entirety 8-7-2000 by Ord. No. 1299. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes any vehicle defined as an "autocab" by N.J.S.A. 48:16-13.
- Includes any vehicle defined as an "autocab" by N.J.S.A. 48:16-1.
Taxicabs to be licensed. No taxicab whose owner's principal place of business, as expressed in N.J.S.A. 48:16-7, is in the Borough of River Edge shall be operated along any street in the Borough of River Edge until the owner thereof shall have obtained a license in accordance with the provisions of this section. The license required by this subsection shall be known as a "taxi owner's license."
Limousines to be licensed. No limousine whose owner's principal place of business, as expressed in N.J.S.A. 48:16-18, is in the Borough of River Edge shall be operated along any street in the Borough of River Edge until the owner thereof shall have obtained a license in accordance with the provisions of this section. The license required by this subsection shall be known as a "limousine owner's license."
No taxi owner's license or limousine owner's license shall be issued for any vehicle herein required to be licensed until the owner thereof shall have filed an application for same, addressed to the Mayor and Council, setting forth the character of the vehicle or vehicles proposed to be licensed, including a copy of the registration or the original registration, the correct name of the owner thereof, the residence and address of the principal office of such owner, a complete schedule of the fares proposed to be charged of the vehicle and list of all drivers, including a copy of their commercial driver licenses, including such other facts as the Mayor and Council may require; until there shall have been paid to the Borough Clerk the license fee provided in § 376-7 hereof, and until the owner complies with the insurance requirements provided for in § 376-8 hereof.
The owner and/or operator of any taxicabs or limousine service located within the Borough of River Edge shall submit a single application, notwithstanding ownership and use of more than one taxicab or limousine. Each vehicle and driver employed by said business or owner shall be listed on said application. The license fee shall be assessed on a per-vehicle basis as set forth in § 376-7 herein.
The Borough Clerk will forward the application to the Borough Police Chief. The Borough Police Chief will be responsible for conducting a background investigation, the purpose of which is to determine the following: the veracity of the application responses; the existence of criminal records; whether company vehicles are properly registered and inspected; whether drivers have valid commercial driver licenses; or anything that might potentially be detrimental to the general public, i.e. borough residents, visitors or merchants. The Chief may utilize fingerprint searches as part of the investigation process.
Upon completion of the investigation the application will be returned to the Borough Clerk. The Chief will recommend approval or denial. The Chief will provide a report establishing the basis for a denial.
The Borough Clerk will forward the license request to the Mayor and Council for approval or denial. The Borough Clerk will notify the license applicant of the recommendation and that the issue of approval or denial will be decided by the Mayor and Council on a particular date.
Licenses approved by the Mayor and Council will be issued by the Borough Clerk. The Borough Seal shall be affixed to the license and signed by the Borough Clerk. A photograph of the license shall be affixed thereto.
The fee to be paid for a taxi owner's license or limousine owner's license shall be the sum of $50 per year for each vehicle.
No taxicab license or limousine license shall be issued until there shall have been submitted to and approved by the Risk Manager, and filed with the Borough Clerk, a certificate of insurance requiring ten-day notification to the borough upon the intent of cancellation, by the insurance company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of the State of New Jersey, as follows:
A Commercial Auto policy with a minimum of $500,000 combined single limit for liability imposed by law for bodily injury and/or property damage per occurrence to one person or any one accident.
A Commercial Excess Liability Umbrella policy providing a minimum of $1,000,000 excess bodily injury and property damage.
The license will continue effective and operative only as long as the insurance policy shall remain in force and effect, and the full amounts payable thereunder shall remain collectable. Such insurance policies shall provide for the payment of any final judgment received by one person or persons on account of the ownership, maintenance and use of the vehicle or any fault in respect thereto and shall be for the benefit of any person suffering loss, damage or injury as aforesaid.
Power of attorney. A power of attorney shall be executed and delivered to the Borough Clerk concurrently with the filing of the policy of insurance hereinbefore referred to, wherein and whereby the owner shall nominate, constitute and appoint the Borough CFO (Chief Financial Officer) as the owner's true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service of any process of a court of competent jurisdiction to be served against the insured by virtue of the indemnity granted under the insurance policy filed.
Certificate. The Borough Clerk, upon the filing of the required insurance certificate, shall issue a certificate in duplicate showing that the owner of the vehicle has complied with the terms and provisions of this section. The certificate shall recite the name of the insurance company, the number and date of the expiration of the policy, a description of every vehicle insured thereunder and the registration number of the same. The certificate shall be filed before any such car is registered pursuant to this section and shall be posted in a conspicuous place within the vehicle.
Operation in more than one municipality. Where a vehicle operates in more than one municipality, the insurance policy required shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality in which the owner has its principal place of business, and the owner shall file with the Borough Clerk the certificate issued by the clerk of the municipality in which the insurance policy was filed.
Exception for self-insurance. If the owner carries its own liability insurance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:16-8 or N.J.S.A. 48:16-19, the owner may file, in lieu of an insurance policy, a copy of its exemption order with a statement sworn to by its president, vice president, treasurer or assistant treasurer that the corporation is the owner of vehicles covered by this section and that the copy of the order attached to the affidavit and filed therewith is a true copy of the original order and that the same has not been revoked.
The Clerk shall keep the license granted under the provisions of this section, which register shall show the character of the license, its number, date of issue, name of person licensed and any other information pertaining thereto, and the Borough Clerk shall keep all applications and, upon those which may be granted, shall endorse the number of the license issued in pursuance thereof.
All licenses granted hereunder shall expire on July 1 succeeding the date of issue. In the case of application for a taxi owner's license or limousine owner's license made after January 1 in any year, the fee to be paid therefor shall be prorated of the amount stated in § 376-7 hereof.
The Mayor and Council may suspend or revoke any license issued hereunder for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or the violation of any of the adopted rules and/or regulations or promulgated by the Mayor and Council, or by the Chief of Police, which rules are adopted by the Mayor and Council, in accordance with the provisions hereof. Any such suspension shall be noted on the license, together with a statement of the reason thereof, and in addition, during the period of suspension or revocation, the license shall be surrendered to the Borough Clerk and returned when the period of suspension is terminated. A second suspension for the same reason, or in any case, a third suspension of a taxicab driver's license, shall revoke the license.
Any suspended license should be surrendered to the Borough Clerk and shall be noted on the license, together with a statement of the reason thereof, for the term of the suspension.
A second suspension for the same reason shall revoke the license.
The charge for carrying passengers shall not exceed the rates set out in the application for the owner's license.
Every vehicle licensed hereunder shall have fastened in a conspicuous place a printed card showing the rates provided for in the approved application, in letters and figures not less than 1/2 inch in height, which card shall bear the license number of such vehicle and also the name of the owner thereof. Any fares charged in excess thereof shall constitute a violation of this chapter by the owner or operator, or both.
All vehicles herein required to be licensed, used or operated for the carrying of passengers, within the scope of this chapter, shall be automobile sedans or limousines with a minimum of three doors; at least two of the doors shall be for the exclusive use of the passengers. The vehicles shall at all times be clean and in good repair.
Unless there shall be one uniform flat rate charged at any point within the corporate limits of the borough for the transportation of passengers, each and every taxicab operating in the borough shall have installed therein a taximeter, or the equivalent thereof, of standard make, by which the fare or charge for hire of the vehicle is mechanically and accurately calculated and registered, and on which taximeter charge is plainly indicated. The taximeter is to be so placed in the vehicle that the charge thereof may be plainly seen by the passenger.
No person shall use or permit to be used in any vehicle a taximeter which shall be in such a condition as to be over 5% incorrect to the prejudice of any passenger.
After sundown, the face of every meter shall be illuminated by a suitable light so arranged as to throw a continuous steady light thereon while in operation and carrying a passenger, so that the meter will be clearly discernible and can be read by a passenger in the rear seat.
The taximeter shall be sealed, and a colored paster, different in color at each inspection, shall be placed at the taximeter after inspection.
No person shall use or permit to be used, or drive or hire, a vehicle equipped with a taximeter, the case of which is unsealed or the seal broken.
Any disputes as to the fare shall be determined by the officer in charge of the police station at the time of the dispute.
Every driver of a vehicle herein required to be licensed shall, when requested, give a passenger a receipt for the fare paid.
Other than the driver, only one or a passenger of the vehicle shall ride or sit in the front compartment of the vehicle.
Subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council, the Chief of Police is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to make reasonable regulations respecting the use of vehicles licensed hereunder, of public hack stands, the number of licensed vehicles which may stand in any one place at the same time and such other regulations as may promote the public convenience and safety.
No driver or other person interested in or connected with any vehicle licensed hereunder shall solicit customers in a noisy or offensive manner, nor at any place other than public hack stands in any manner whatsoever.
No driver of any licensed taxicab which is disengaged shall refuse to carry any orderly person upon the payment of the rate of fare herein fixed.
No driver of any vehicle licensed hereunder shall permit such vehicle when disengaged to stand in any public street or place other than at public hack stand; provided, however, that nothing herein shall prevent such driver from waiting for a passenger in front of any building or place.
Public hack stands are hereby established at such places as may be designated by the Chief of Police, who may designate the character of vehicles that may stand at any such public hack stand and exclude all other vehicles from such stands. The location and capacity of any such hack stand shall be indicated by a sign substantially as follows: "PUBLIC HACK STAND CAPACITY . . . ."
No vehicle other than one licensed hereunder and prepared to accept passengers upon request shall stand at any such public hack stand.
The Mayor and Council may suspend or revoke any license hereunder for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or for the violation of any of the rules and regulations made, adopted or promulgated by the Mayor and Council or by the Chief of Police, which rules are adopted by the Mayor and Council, in accordance with the provisions hereof. Any such suspension shall be noted on the license thereof, and in addition, during the period of suspension or revocation, the license shall be surrendered to the Borough Clerk and returned when the period of suspension is terminated. A second suspension for the same reason or, in any case, a third suspension of a taxicab driver's license, shall revoke the license.