[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 12-18-72 as Ord. No. 721. Section 159-12A amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Borough of Somerville, in the County of Somerset, New Jersey.
- Driving to-and-fro along a public street or business place at a slow rate of speed for the purpose of soliciting passengers or bringing the presence of the taxicab to the attention of prospective passengers.
- Includes any individual, partnership, corporation or other business association and any legal representative thereof.
- Includes any automobile or other vehicle commonly known as a "taxicab," engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire.
A. No person shall use or drive, or cause to be used or driven, any taxicab in or upon any of the public streets, roads, alleys or other public places in the borough without a license for that purpose having been previously obtained from the Borough Clerk, with the consent of the Borough Council, for each taxicab.
B. No person shall drive or operate within the borough any taxicab unless such person shall have previously obtained from the Borough Clerk, with the consent of the Borough Council, a license authorizing him to operate taxicabs within the borough. The Chief of Police of the Borough of Somerville may grant a temporary license to such person until said permanent license has been received upon terms and conditions established by the Chief of Police.
[Amended 3-3-80 by Ord. No. 883]
This section shall not be construed to prohibit the operation of a taxicab within the borough solely for the purpose of bringing in passengers from without the borough and discharging them within the borough.
All applications for licenses required by this chapter shall be made in writing, signed by the applicant, stating the place of residence of the applicant and such other information as may be deemed to be pertinent and of assistance in determining whether the license applied for should be granted.
All applications for vehicle licenses shall specify the type of vehicle to be licensed and the number of passengers which such vehicle is built to carry.
Each applicant for a driver's license shall accompany an application with two (2) photographs of the applicant, equal to the size of passport photographs, one (1) of which shall be attached to the application and the other of which shall be attached to such license, if any, as shall be issued pursuant to his application, and shall provide fingerprinting on all new applications of the borough at the time of his application. All renewals shall be exempt from fingerprinting requirements.
[Amended 10-4-10 by Ord. No. 2333]
The fee for each vehicle license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be eighty five dollars ($85.) per year. The fee for each driver's license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be fifty dollars ($50.) per year. An applicant must pay for the full year regardless of how many months or days remain in the licensed year. Each applicant for a driver's license shall at the time of application submission, deposit the sum of fifty dollars ($50.) with the Borough Clerk, to be applied towards the driver's license fee. The fee is a processing fee and is not refundable in the event of denial without Municipal Council approval.
[Amended 5-4-81 by Ord. No. 909; 6-6-83 by Ord. No. 944; 2-25-99 by Ord. No. 2073; 2-5-01 by Ord. No. 2100; 10-4-10 by Ord. No. 2333; amended 8-20-12 by Ord. No. 2398-12-0716]
[Repealed 10-4-10 by Ord. No. 2333]
[Amended 11-21-88 by Ord. No. 1056(A)]
The number of vehicle licenses issued pursuant to this chapter shall not exceed one (1) for every five hundred (500) inhabitants of the borough or fraction thereof as determined by the last duly promulgated census, and not more than ten (10) vehicle licenses shall be granted to one (1) person.
Every vehicle licensed by the borough pursuant to this chapter shall be covered by property damage and public liability insurance in such sums as the Council of the borough may from time to time determine, such insurance to be effective at all times regardless of who may be operating the vehicle.
[Amended 3-3-80 by Ord. No. 883; 11-7-83 by Ord. No. 957; 11-21-88 by Ord. No. 1056(A); Ord. No. 12-17-90 by Ord. No. 1090; 6-17-13 by Ord. No. 2418-13-0603]
Rates shall be made clearly visible inside cabs. Cabs may be inspected from time to time to ensure the rates are made available and made visible to riders.
All licensed taxicabs congregating at the Central Railroad Station in the borough for the purpose of procuring passengers shall station themselves for such purpose at such points as shall be from time to time set apart by the Police Department of this borough for their use. No person except a licensed driver with a vehicle at his immediate command shall solicit passengers and no such licensed driver shall solicit passengers and no such licensed driver shall solicit passengers except at such points as the Police Department shall from time to time designate, which points shall be at least eight (8) feet from the station platform. Drivers locating their cars at said station shall line up in such a manner that they will not pocket or close in any other vehicle.
No licensee shall permit more than one (1) of his taxicabs at any time to occupy space in any public taxi stand now or hereafter established on any street, other than Division Street, in the borough.
No licensee shall suffer or permit persons to loiter in or about his taxicab while on duty.
No licensee shall solicit business by means of outcry or hawking.
No licensee shall solicit business by means of cruising.
No licensee shall interfere with any person alighting from a public bus, for the purpose of soliciting such person's patronage.
There shall be displayed in every vehicle licensed pursuant to this chapter, in a place sufficiently well lighted so that it may be readily observed and read by passengers occupying the said vehicle, the license issued by the borough to the driver operating the same.
No vehicle licensed pursuant to this chapter shall be operated at any time by a person other than the one whose driver's license, issued pursuant to this chapter, shall at the time be displayed in such vehicle as required by this section.
The owner of each vehicle to whom a vehicle license is issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall at all times keep an accurate record showing the names of the respective drivers operating the vehicle from time to time, and such records shall at all times be promptly made available for inspection, upon request, by any police officer of the borough.
Whenever any vehicle licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be occupied by any person or persons who have hired or employed the use thereof, it shall not be occupied by any other person or persons, other than the duly licensed driver thereof, unless the person hiring the use of the vehicle shall expressly permit the same.
Every vehicle used by virtue of any license granted under this chapter shall be subject to every ordinance of the borough and every regulation of the Police Department touching upon or regulating street traffic or highways and to such rules for taxi drivers as may be adopted from time to time by the Borough Council, and all such vehicles shall be subject to inspection at any time by any officer of the Police Department of this borough.
Each person holding a vehicle license issued pursuant to this chapter shall give to the citizens of the borough reasonable service, and in order to do so each shall have his taxicab available for service and shall continuously maintain telephone service by which he can readily be reached between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m., prevailing local time, at a minimum. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the providing of service at hours in addition to those herein required.
All licenses granted under this chapter shall expire at 12:00 midnight on June 30 following the date on which they are granted.
Any person who shall fail or neglect to comply with any provision of this chapter or who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.) or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of not more than ninety (90) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the Judge before whom such conviction shall be had.
Any license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the Borough Council upon proof to its satisfaction that the person to whom the license was issued, or any person acting in his behalf, has violated any provision of this chapter or any other ordiance or regulation in effect in the borough or has committed any other act which, in the judgment of said Council, requires that such license shall be suspended or revoked in order to properly protect and preserve the public good and general welfare; provided, however, that no license shall be suspended or revoked without a reasonable opportunity first being afforded to the licensee to be heard on his own behalf.