[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Augusta as Ch. 19 of the 1990 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- A certificate issued by the Council authorizing a person to operate a taxicab business in the City.
- DRIVER'S LICENSE
- The permission granted by the Council to drive a taxicab upon the streets of the City.
- RATE CARD
- A card issued by the City Clerk for display in each taxicab which boldly shows the rates then in force.
- A motor vehicle regularly engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire having a seating capacity of not less than four persons and not operated on a fixed route.
- TAXICAB OPERATOR
- A person engaged in the business of employing drivers and taxicabs for transporting passengers for hire.
- WAITING TIME
- The time when a taxicab is not in motion from the time of acceptance of a passenger to the time of discharge, but does not include any time that the taxicab is not in motion if due to any cause other than the request, act or fault of a passenger.
[Amended 1-6-1992 by Ord. No. 244]
The Police Department is hereby given the authority and is instructed to watch and observe the conduct of operators and drivers operating under this chapter.
Upon discovering a violation of the provisions of this chapter, the Police Department shall report the same to the Council, which will order or take appropriate action.
No person shall operate or permit a taxicab owned or controlled by him to be operated as a vehicle for hire upon the streets of the City without having first obtained a certificate from the Council.
An application for a taxicab certificate required by § 250-3 shall be filed with the City Clerk upon forms provided by the City. Such application shall be verified under oath and shall furnish the following information:
If the Council finds that an applicant for a taxicab certificate is fit, willing and able to perform such public transportation, and to conform to the provisions of this chapter and the rules promulgated by the Council, then the City Clerk shall issue a certificate stating the name and address of the applicant, the number of vehicles authorized under the certificate and the date of issuance; otherwise, the application shall be denied.
No certificate required by § 250-3 shall be issued or continued in operation unless there is in full force and effect an indemnity bond for each vehicle authorized in the amount of $20,000 for bodily injury to any one person; in the amount of $40,000 for injuries to more than one person which are sustained in the same accident and $10,000 for property damage resulting from any one accident.
The bond shall inure to the benefit of any person who is injured or who sustains damage to property, proximately caused by the negligence of a taxi operator.
The bond or bonds shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk and shall have as surety thereon a surety company authorized to do business in the state.
No certificate required by this chapter shall be issued or continued in operation unless the holder thereof has paid the annual license fee required for the right to engage in the taxicab business and the required fee for each vehicle operated under a certificate.
The license fees shall be for the calendar year and shall be in addition to any other license fees or charges established by proper authority and applicable to the taxicab operator or the vehicle or vehicles under his operation and control, and a schedule of such fees is on file in the City Clerk's office.
No taxicab operator's certificate may be sold, assigned, mortgaged or otherwise transferred without the consent of the Council.
A certificate issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked or suspended by the Council if the holder thereof has:
Violated any of the provisions of this chapter.
Discontinued operations for more than 60 days without due cause.
Violated any ordinance of the City or the laws of the United States or of the state, the violation of which reflects unfavorably on the fitness of the holder to offer public transportation.
Prior to suspension or revocation, the holder shall be given 10 days' notice of the proposed action to be taken and shall have an opportunity to be heard.
Holders of certificates issued in accordance with this chapter shall maintain a central place of business for the purpose of receiving calls and dispatching cabs.
Holders of certificates shall answer all calls received by them for services inside the corporate limits of the City as soon as they can do so; and if services cannot be rendered within a reasonable time, they shall then notify the prospective passengers how long it will be before the call can be answered and give the reason therefor.
Any holder who refuses to accept a call during business hours anywhere in the corporate limits of the City at any time when such holder has available taxicabs, or who fails or refuses to give service during business hours, shall be deemed a violator of this chapter and the certificate granted to such holder shall be revoked at the discretion of the Council.
Taxicabs will be clearly marked as such. Taxicab operators may employ a specific color scheme, identifying design, monogram or insignia.
Each licensed taxicab shall have on the top and/or each side in letters readable from a distance of 20 feet the name of the licensee or the dispatch controller for the purpose of receiving calls, as well as a designated number assigned by the City Clerk to be no smaller than three inches to be placed on each side of each licensed vehicle.
[Amended 8-17-1987 by Ord. No. 173; 10-20-2008 by Ord. No. 176A]
No taxicab operator or taxicab driver shall charge a sum for the use of a taxicab higher than that in accordance with the following rates:
A total of $3.50 for one and $1 for each additional person 10 years of age and over, and $0.50 for each child under 10 years of age, from the same point of hire to the same destination. An additional $0.50 shall be added to all fares on Sundays, holidays, and between 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. daily.
Maximum distance of travel for minimum fare.
Bangor Street light.
South Belfast Avenue to Quimby Street.
Stone Street to Eastern Avenue lights, including Crooker Street and Davenport Street as far as Mitchell Street.
Arsenal Street to State Hospital gate.
Cony Street to Malta Street.
Mt. Vernon Avenue to Mt. Vernon Avenue Playground.
Northern Avenue to Monroe Street.
Washington Street to Monroe Street.
State Street to Union Street.
Sewall Street to Capitol Street light.
Winthrop Street to Granite Street.
Green Street to Cushman Street.
Western Avenue to Cushman Street.
Rates of travel shall be $3.50 for the first one mile or portion thereof, and $1 for each 1/2 mile or portion thereof thereafter.
Use of vehicle trunks/luggage areas may be charged for at the rate of $1.50.
Charges for waiting time shall be $15 per hour.
The minimum charge for errands shall be $2 over the cost of the fare.
An additional fee of $1 shall be charged for aiding with groceries, parcels, etc.
A rate card shall be displayed at all times in each taxicab.
It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to pay the legal fare of any of the vehicles mentioned in this chapter after having hired the same, and it shall be unlawful for any person to hire any vehicle with intent to defraud the person from whom it is hired of the value of such service.
Upon demand by the passenger, the driver of any taxicab shall render to such passenger a receipt for the amount charged, either by a mechanically printed receipt or by a specifically prepared receipt on which shall be the name of the owner, charges and date of transaction.
No driver of a taxicab shall solicit patronage in a loud or annoying tone of voice or in any manner annoying to any person, or obstruct the movement of any person, or follow any person for the purpose of soliciting patronage.
Drivers of taxicabs shall not receive or discharge passengers in the roadway but shall pull up to the right-hand sidewalk or, in the absence of a sidewalk, to the extreme right-hand side of the road and there receive or discharge passengers; except upon one-way streets, where passengers may be discharged at either the right- or left-hand sidewalk or side of the roadway in the absence of a sidewalk.
No driver shall permit any other person to occupy or ride in his taxicab unless the person first employing the taxicab consents to the acceptance of additional passengers.
No driver shall permit more persons to be carried in a taxicab as passengers than the rated seating capacity of his taxicab as stated in the registration issued by the state for such vehicle. A child in arms shall not be counted as a passenger.
No driver of a taxicab shall refuse or neglect to convey any orderly person, upon request, unless previously engaged or unable or forbidden by the provisions of this chapter to do so.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive a taxi within the City without displaying an identification number. The number shall be issued by the City Clerk. The cost of the identification number shall be borne by the driver.