[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton as Rev. Ords. 1964, §§ 10-31, 10-32, 10-34 to 10-40, 10-42 and 10-45 to 10-51 (§§ 12-179 to 12-198 of the 2010 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 405.
Every vehicle drawn or propelled, except motorbuses and jitneys transporting passengers for hire as a business between fixed and regular termini, used in the City for the conveyance for hire of persons or property, and using the public ways of the City for solicitation of business, shall be called a "public service vehicle," which term shall include taxicabs and limousines, and shall be licensed by the Municipal Council.
[Amended 11-5-1984; 7-11-2000]
The Municipal Council may grant to such persons, upon such terms as it may deem expedient, licenses for public service vehicles upon payment of a license fee of $50.
All permits, licenses, locations, stops and stands required by ordinance, except when otherwise specifically provided by law, shall be granted by the Municipal Council, and a copy sent to the Chief of Police, and a record thereof kept by the City Clerk. Such permits and licenses and the right to use such locations, stops and stands shall expire on the first day of May next after the date thereof and may be revoked and cancelled at any time at the discretion of the Municipal Council. Petitions therefor shall be signed by the applicant and shall contain the name and address of the owner, description of the vehicle, the maximum number of seated passengers carried or maximum freight capacity of the vehicle, the net weight of the vehicle, and such other information as may be required by the licensing authority.
Before the issuance of a license for a public service vehicle and while such license is in effect, the owner of the license shall have on file with the City Clerk a certificate of insurance as evidence that the vehicle is then properly insured under the Massachusetts Standard Liability Policy. In the case of such vehicle carrying passengers, the certificate of insurance shall indicate that the owner of the license is properly insured against damages for injuries to persons transported in the vehicle licensed, and travelers upon the highway, in the minimum sum of $25,000 for injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person in the same accident. In the case of such a vehicle carrying property, the certificate of insurance shall indicate that the owner of the license is properly insured in the sum of $5,000 against damage for loss or damage to the property transported in the vehicle licensed. In lieu of such certificate of insurance the licensee may have on file with the City Clerk an indemnity bond in the respective sums mentioned in each case, with ample surety or sureties, approved by the City Solicitor and City Clerk, conditioned for the safe carriage of passengers or the safe delivery of property to its destination, or both, as the case may be, for the benefit of any persons damaged. Failure to have such insurance certificate or bond on file with the City Clerk and in effect shall be a revocation of the license.
The Municipal Council may determine the locations and boundaries and descriptions in the public ways of the City of passenger zones, private stands, bus stops and stands, taxi stands, express truck stands, freight truck stands, and stands for other public service vehicles, in such places and numbers as may be of benefit to the public. Such stands and stopping places shall be designated by appropriate signs and painted lines on the curb and surface of the ways under the supervision of the Chief of Police, so that drivers of vehicles may be informed thereof. Licenses therefor shall state the terms under which the license is issued, the name and address of the licensee, a description of the vehicle licensed, the boundaries and location of the stand, the hours and times when such stands may be occupied, and such other conditions and limitations as may be imposed, unless otherwise voted by the Municipal Council.
Stands not occupied or used by the licensee daily shall be deemed to be abandoned and all rights thereto shall cease.
The total number of such licenses shall not exceed one such license for every 1,000 of the population of the City according to the most recent federal census report. No person shall own or control in excess of 25% of the total number of allowable stand licenses.
The fee for the issuance of a license for a taxi stand shall be $100. The name of the concern to which the license is given shall appear on the public service vehicle plate.
Taxi stand licenses shall not be sold or transferred without the consent of the Municipal Council.
No person in charge of or driving a motorbus, except in case of emergency, or by direction of a police officer or official traffic sign or signal, shall allow such vehicle to stop or remain stationary at any place in the public ways of the City, except places officially designated as stops and stands for such vehicles, and such vehicles shall stop at officially designated stops only while passengers are entering or leaving the vehicle and while no other vehicle or bus occupies the stopping place.
No person in charge of or driving a cab, truck or job wagon shall permit the same to stand, for the solicitation of business, in the public ways of the City except at the officially designated stands for each vehicle duly licensed to occupy the same, which license shall be in the vehicle at all times.
Every owner or person conducting a taxicab business shall cause all his/her drivers to be photographed and fingerprinted at police headquarters. The owner or person conducting a taxicab business shall furnish all drivers with a uniform cap equipped with a badge containing a legible number together with the name of the concern. The owner or person conducting a taxicab business shall also require the driver's picture, name and number to be placed in a conspicuous place in the cab while such vehicle is under the control of such driver.
No person to whom a taxi stand license has been granted by the Municipal Council shall sublet the stand or any part thereof to another individual or concern as a means of conducting a business either as a partner or as a separate operator.
No more taxis will be allowed in any stand than the number called for in the license granted by the Municipal Council.
Every taxi licensed under this chapter shall bear the designation of its owner by means of an illuminated light placed on the top of the vehicle.
All public service vehicles licensed under this chapter shall be kept clean at all times and shall be inspected after each trip for lost articles, which, if found, shall be immediately turned over to the owner of such taxi or the person in charge of conducting the business at the time and a report made to the Police Department.
No person liable for the payment of a fare to a licensee under this chapter shall refuse to pay or attempt to evade payment of the same.
The Board of License Commissioners, subject to the approval of the Municipal Council, may establish, revise and amend maximum rates of fares for the carriage of passengers for hire from place to place in the City and maximum tariff rates for transportation of property in the City. No person shall demand or receive for such service a sum in excess of the rates so established.
[Amended 7-11-2000; 9-20-2005]
Every taxi shall contain a card showing the rate of fare, which shall be set by ordinance, recorded with the City Clerk and approved by the Municipal Council. Copies of such cards shall be on file at police headquarters and also shall be displayed in taxicabs in clear view of the passengers therein. Such rates shall be uniform for all taxi concerns. Rates shall be as follows: