City of Pittsfield, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licenses, registrations and permits generally — See Ch. 11.
Motor vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 13.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Authority of City to regulate carriages and vehicles — See MGL c. 40, § 22.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 1]
Every motor vehicle used or to be used for the conveyance of persons for hire shall be deemed to be a taxicab within the meaning of this article, except a motor vehicle operated in a manner and for the purposes stated in chapter 159A of the General Laws.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 2]
No person shall operate any taxicab upon any public way in the city without first obtaining a license therefor from the city council and complying with the applicable terms of this article.
[Ord. No. 523, § 1, 10-28-1985]
The taxicab commission, established in section 2-90, article XIX of chapter 2 of this code, is hereby delegated the powers and authority vested in the city council by sections 21-2, 21-3, 21-10 and 21-13 of this article.
[Ord. No. 523, § 1, 10-28-1985]
The taxicab commission shall regulate the operation of taxicabs in the city and shall annually on December 1 recommend to the city council and mayor changes to be made in authorized fees and rates as established by ordinance.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 3]
Applications for licenses required by this article shall be made to the city council on forms furnished by it and shall set forth such information as the council may require.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 4]
No license shall be issued under the provisions of this article unless the applicant therefor shall have presented to the city clerk in the case of each car, a valid certificate of registration issued by the registrar of motor vehicles.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 5; Ord. No. 617, § 1, 10-14-1988]
The fee for each license issued pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be as set out in chapter 24 of this Code, section 24-1, schedule of fees. Said fee shall be charged for each vehicle to be operated thereunder, and no such license shall be issued until such fee has been paid to the taxicab commission.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 4]
Each license issued under the provisions of this article shall be signed by the city clerk. It shall set forth the name, residence and place of business of the licensee, a description of the motor vehicle to be operated under it, the current registration number and the engine number of such vehicle, and the number of persons, exclusive of the operator, which it may carry. Unless sooner revoked or rendered void, such license shall continue in effect until the first day of January next after the date thereof. Such licenses shall be numbered in order as granted and shall set forth upon their face that they are issued subject to all provisions of law, this Code and other ordinances of the city.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 12]
The city clerk shall issue to each licensee under this article with each such license a card bearing the title, "Taxi Vehicle License, Pittsfield, Mass.," and setting forth the serial number of the license, a schedule of rates to be charged, the year of its issue, and the number of passengers the vehicle therein referred to is permitted to carry. Such card shall be attached to the interior of such vehicle so as to be plainly visible to the occupants thereof.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 17]
No license granted under the provisions of this article shall apply to any vehicle except the particular one designated therein by its number or otherwise made certain.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 18]
No license issued under the provisions of this article shall be sold, assigned or transferred without the consent of the city council, endorsed thereon by the city clerk.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, §§ 2, 36]
After notice to the licensee and reasonable opportunity to be heard, the city council may suspend or revoke any license issued under the provisions of this article for violation of this article or for other cause.
Any license granted under the provisions of this article may be revoked or suspended by the city council upon the representation of the chief of police that the licensee is not a proper person to operate under such license.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, §§ 6—9]
No license shall be issued under the provisions of this chapter until the applicant has delivered to the city treasurer a policy of insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to transact the business specified in subdivision (b) of the sixth clause of section 47 of chapter 175 of the General Laws covering the motor vehicle to be operated by the applicant under his license, conforming to the provisions of sections 112 and 113 of chapter 175, nor until the applicant has also delivered to the city treasurer a certificate of the insurance company issuing the policy showing that the policy shall not be cancelled without giving the city treasurer 15 days' notice thereof.
Such policy shall be a policy of liability insurance which provides indemnity for or protection to the insured and any person responsible for the operation of the insured's car with his express or implied consent, against loss by reason of the liability to pay damages to others for injury to property or bodily injuries, including death, at any time resulting therefrom, sustained during the term of such policy by any person, including passengers, other than employees of the insured or of such other persons responsible as aforesaid, who are entitled to payments or benefits under the provisions of chapter 152 of the General Laws and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use anywhere in the commonwealth of such car, to the amount or limit of at least $5,000 on account of injury to or death of one person, or of at least $10,000 on account of any accident resulting in injury to or the death of more than one person, and to the amount or limit of at least $1,000 on account of any one accident resulting in injury to property.
The city treasurer shall, upon the request of any person, furnish the name of the company issuing such policy covering any particular car described in a license granted under this article, and shall exhibit such policy to any such person or his duly authorized representative.
Any such license shall terminate upon the cancelling or the expiring of such policy of insurance covering the car therein described.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, §§ 14, 15]
Each operator of a taxicab shall file with the chief of police his photograph, name, age, address and descriptive data on his license to operate motor vehicles in this commonwealth. Each operator shall carry a duplicate of that photograph attached to his license when operating.
No owner or person having the care or management of a taxicab shall employ or suffer any person to drive the same, and no person shall drive the same, other than a person who has conformed with the requirements of this section.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, §§ 10, 11; Ord. No. 617, § 2, 10-14-1988]
Before a license to operate a vehicle as a taxicab is granted, such vehicle shall be thoroughly inspected and examined by the chief of police, or by some one designated by him, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the same is in a safe condition for the transportation of passengers, clean and of good appearance. All taxicabs for which a license to operate has been granted shall be inspected to meet the above requirements every six months after the issuance of such licenses. All taxicabs so inspected and licensed shall be given a sticker to be issued by the taxicab commission and distributed by the police department. Said sticker shall indicate the date of inspection, and be conspicuously displayed on the lower righthand corner of the rear window of said taxicab.
The city council shall refuse a license to operate, or, if already issued, revoke or suspend the license to operate, or to cause or allow to be operated as a taxicab, any motor vehicle found to be unfit or unsuited for public patronage.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 13]
No person operating a taxicab shall establish and maintain therefor any route between fixed terminals in competition with a person licensed by the city council to engage in motor bus service.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28; 16]
No taxicab driver shall operate more than 12 hours during any period of 24 consecutive hours.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 19]
No taxicab shall carry more passengers than the number designated as to seating capacity in the license granted for such taxicab.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 20; Ord. No. 554, § 1, 9-29-1986]
No driver of a taxicab shall refuse to carry any person as a passenger therein, unless the person is drunk or disorderly or is affected with a contagious disease or is distasteful or offensive.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 21]
No person having charge of or driving a taxicab shall receive or permit to be placed therein, or convey in or upon the same, any person affected with any contagious disease, or the body of any person deceased from such disease.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 22]
No person driving a taxicab shall have in his possession a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe while any passenger is being carried therein.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 23; Ord. No. 773, § 1, 11-10-1994]
No taxicab shall be stopped to take on or to discharge passengers at any place on any street except at the curb; nor shall any passenger be permitted to enter or to leave the vehicle except from the side nearest the curb; nor shall any person be permitted to sit or ride upon any fender, dash, step, running board, top or door of any such vehicle. A driver of a taxicab may require that all passengers ride in the back seat.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 24]
Every person having charge of or driving a taxicab shall deliver any article left therein by any passenger to the Police Department not later than 24 hours after finding the same, and shall receive a receipt therefor; and the Police Department shall take proper steps to return the same to the owner. All such articles delivered to the Police Department and not claimed by the owner within 90 days from such delivery shall be delivered to the licensee of the vehicle in which they were left.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, §§ 25, 26; Ord. No. 540, § 1, 6-13-1986]
Every motor vehicle used or to be used as a taxicab, except motor vehicles used as limousines or on a contractual basis, whether for a single person or a group, and rented on an hourly basis or other specific time period only, shall be equipped with a mechanical instrument or device, otherwise known as a taximeter, by which the charge for hire is mechanically calculated, either for distance traveled or for waiting time, or for both, and upon which such charge shall be indicated by means figures.
Such mechanical instrument shall be of standard transmission type and shall be tested and certified by the Sealer of Weights and Measures of the city before its use, and thereafter at such times as he may inspect the same, and, if in any way found to be defective by him, shall be immediately removed from such taxicab, and thereafter shall not again be used until tested and approved by him.
No license shall be granted under the provisions of this article until the taximeter attached to the taxicab therein described shall have been inspected by the Sealer of Weights and Measures and found to be accurate in accordance with the provisions of Section 45 of Chapter 98 of the General Laws and rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 27; Ord. No. 336, § 1; Ord. No. 520, § 1; Ord. No. 186, § 1, 4-24-1973; Ord. No. 187, § 1, 6-27-1973; Ord. No. 265, § 1, 11-12-1976; Ord. No. 354, § 1, 7-17-1979; Ord. No. 543, § 1, 7-1-1986; Ord. No. 784, § 1, 5-9-1995; Ord. No. 809, § 1, 9-25-1996; Ord. No. 873, § I, 4-25-2000; Ord. No. 962, § I, 9-28-2005]
No owner or driver of a taxicab shall charge any passenger or group of passengers taken on and discharged at the same respective points any higher rate than $2.50 and $0.30 for each additional 1/8 of a mile thereafter.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 28; Ord. No. 336, § 1; Ord. No. 520, § 1; Ord. No. 186, § 2, 4-24-1973; Ord. No. 187, § 2, 6-27-1973; Ord. No. 265, § 2, 11-12-1976; Ord. No. 354, § 2, 7-17-1979; Ord. No. 543, § 1, 7-1-1986]
Waiting time shall include all time during which the vehicle is not in motion beginning three minutes after its arrival at the place to which it has been called after having been engaged by a customer; provided, however, that should a customer request assistance from the driver of the taxi, either at the beginning of his engagement or at the place to which he has been directed by the customer, for the purpose of loading, unloading, or carrying of baggage, groceries or similar items, waiting time shall be measured without regard to said three-minute-period, but shall be measured from the time the said driver begins loading, unloading or carrying, until he has deposited such items in the place requested by the customer. Waiting time, if applicable, shall be computed at the rate of $0.30 per minute. No charge for waiting time shall be made due to the inefficiency of the driver, defectiveness of the vehicle, or time lost through interruption of street traffic. There shall be posted on each taxicab a legible notice, which does not obstruct the view of the operator, but is clearly visible to passengers entering the vehicle that if the cab driver assists in loading, unloading or carrying of articles a waiting time charge of $0.30 per minute is being registered on the meter.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 28, § 29; Ord. No. 186, § 3, 4-24-1973; Ord. No. 265, § 3, 11-12-1976; Ord. No. 354, § 3, 7-17-1979; Ord. No. 543, § 1, 7-1-1986; Ord. No. 617, § 3, 10-14-1988; Ord. No. 625, § 1, 1-12-1989]
No owner or driver of a taxicab, when hired by the hour for trips within the City, shall charge any passenger or group of passengers any lower rate than $18 per hour, and a proportionate part of the hourly rate charge for each fractional part of an hour after the first hour. Said rate shall be set with the prior written approval of the taxicab commission. No hourly rate shall be given for less than one hour. Hourly rate charges as hereinbefore provided shall be made without regard to the use of the taximeter. Charges for a taxi not engaged by the hour shall be as otherwise provided in the Code.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 30]
Taxicab rates for funerals, christenings and weddings shall be agreed upon between the person in charge of the motor vehicle and passenger.
[Ord. No. 773, § 2, 11-10-1994]
A driver of a taxicab may require that all fares be prepaid between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Any prepaid fare shall be estimated by the dispatcher. Upon arrival at the destination, the driver shall charge any additional amount due or refund to the passenger any overpayment based upon the driver's calculation of the actual fare.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 32]
When a taxicab is hired for a trip in part outside the city, the person in charge may suspend, with the consent of the passenger, the use of the taximeter as a means of determining the price to be paid. In such cases the price shall be agreed upon between the person in charge of the taxicab and the passenger.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 33]
Without the consent of a prior passenger, no driver of a taxicab shall take in or carry any passenger after the vehicle has been occupied or engaged; and no prior passenger shall be requested or obliged to pay an extra fare for such refusal.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 34]
Each vehicle described in a license granted under the provision of this article shall have affixed or attached thereto a placard, plate or other sign indicating to the public that it is a taxicab.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 35]
All owners and drivers of taxicabs shall be subject to such further rules, orders and regulations as may from time to time be promulgated by the city council.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 28, § 37; Ord. No. 187, § 5, 6-27-1973]
No person shall smoke or carry a lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette on a vehicle operated for the carriage of passengers for hire in such a manner as to afford a means of transportation similar to that afforded by a street railway company, except a chartered private vehicle or on that part of such vehicle first above referred to where smoking is permitted by the owner operating the same.
[Ord. No. 186, § 5, 4-24-1973; Ord. No. 187, § 6, 6-27-1973]
Notwithstanding the taxi rates established by this article, elderly or senior citizens, so-called, shall be charged 80% of the established rate with a minimum charge of $0.50. Said elderly or senior citizens shall be entitled to such reduced rate by purchasing discount coupon books from the owner of the taxicab company or from the senior citizens center, which coupon books shall be furnished by the owner of the taxicab company and made available to the senior citizens center. Elderly or senior citizens shall only be entitled to such discount coupon books upon presentation of an identification card from the senior citizens center, which identification card shall be nontransferable. Said discount coupon books shall consist of a minimum of $5 of coupons for the price of $4 and the coupon book or any coupons thereof shall be redeemable by the purchaser from the owner of the taxicab company and nontransferable.
[1]
Editor's Note: Formerly, Art. I contained § 21-32.2, penalties, as derived from Ord. No. 187, § 7, approved 6-27-1973; and Ord. No. 555, § 1, approved 9-29-1986. Such section was repealed by Ord. No. 674, § 16, approved 5-29-1991, and the user's attention is directed to § 21-40.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 29, § 1]
No person shall set up, use or drive any truck, wagon, dray, cart or other vehicle for the conveyance, for hire from place to place within the city, of such articles as are enumerated in section 21-36 without a license therefor from the city council. Licenses granted as aforesaid shall be subject to such conditions as the city council may deem expedient and may be revoked in its discretion. A record of the licenses so granted shall be kept by the city clerk. This section shall not apply to an employee of a person licensed under this article while actually engaged as such employee.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 29, § 6]
For every license granted under the provisions of this article, there shall be paid to the city clerk, for the use of the city, the sum of $1; provided, however, that the owner of a truck, wagon, dray or other vehicle, who is licensed to set up or use more than one such vehicle, shall pay $1 for the first and $0.50 for each additional vehicle so included. All licenses granted as aforesaid shall expire on the first day of May next after the date thereof unless sooner revoked.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 29, § 2]
The person in whose name a license is granted under the provisions of this article shall, for all the purposes of this article be considered the owner of the vehicles operated thereunder and shall be liable to all the forfeitures and penalties herein contained.
[R. O. 1947, Ch. 29, § 3]
Every truck, wagon, dray, cart or other vehicle drawn by one or more horses or other power, which shall be commonly used for the conveyance within the city for hire of wood, coal, lumber, stone, brick, sand, gravel, clay, dirt, goods, wares, furniture, merchandise, building materials, or any article or thing whatsoever, whose owner is licensed as required by this article, shall be conspicuously marked and numbered on the outside, on the right and left sides thereof, with the number of the license in figures not less than 1 1/2 inches in height. Such figures shall be of a light color on a dark ground or of a dark color on a light ground and placed either on the driver's seat or on the sides of the vehicle. Every vehicle whose owner is licensed under the provisions of this article shall bear the name of the licensee in plain characters so that the same may be distinctly seen and read.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 29, § 4]
No owner or driver of any vehicle mentioned in section 21-33 shall use the same or suffer the same to be used with a number thereon other than that designated in the license of the owner thereof.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 29, § 5]
No person under 18 years of age shall drive or have charge of any vehicle mentioned in section 21-33 without special permission from the city council.
[R. O. 1947, ch. 29, § 7]
No person other than the duly licensed owner of any vehicle mentioned in this article or his employee shall solicit baggage, merchandise or articles of any kind to be conveyed for hire within the city.
[Ord. No. 674, § 16, 5-29-1991]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall pay the fines as stated below:
First and each subsequent offense $300.
Each day in which any violation exists shall be deemed to constitute a separate offense. The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by buildings inspector's office and the police department.