City of Chicopee, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Aldermen (now City Council) of the City of Chicopee 5-21-2002 by Ord. No. 02-26A.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sealer of Weights and Measures — See Ch. 89.
Licenses — See Ch. 188.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 250, Taxicabs, adopted 12-20-1988.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
The City Council licenses and regulates the operation of taxicabs in order to protect the safety and welfare of the public.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DRIVER OR OPERATOR
The person driving or having control or possession of a motor vehicle while the same is being used in a taxicab business.
OWNER
The person, firm, corporation or association having the ownership of any vehicle used or licensed to be used in the taxicab business.
TAXICAB
Also taxi or cab. With the exception of limousines and limousine services, every motor vehicle for hire used or to be used for the conveyance of persons, except a motor vehicle operated in a manner and for the purposes stated in MGL c. 159A, § 1.
TAXICAB MEDALLION
A sticker issued in concert with a taxicab license to identify a licensed vehicle.
TAXICAB STAND
An area in the roadway in which certain taxicabs are required to park while waiting to be engaged.
A. 
DBA (Doing business as) certificate or articles of incorporation.
(1) 
For unincorporated businesses, DBA certificates are issued by the City Clerk.
(2) 
For incorporated businesses, copies of articles of incorporation filed and approved by the Secretary of State.
B. 
Taxicab license and medallion.
(1) 
Taxicab license application and fees. Applications for taxicab licenses shall be made to the Chicopee City Council on forms furnished by it and shall set forth, under oath, such information as said Council may require. The fee for each such license shall be as set by the City Council. A taxicab license that is not in possession of the taxicab owner, acquired from the City Clerk's office, within 10 working days from the time of issuance by the City Council shall become null and void. The applicant's only recourse after nullification would be to start the process over and reapply. Medallions shall be issued as part of an approved license and are subject to the same regulations and process of revocation.
[Amended 8-3-2004 by Ord. No. 04-75; 9-1-2009]
(2) 
Certificate of registration; required information. No such license shall be issued unless the applicant therefor shall have presented to the City Clerk of the City of Chicopee, in the case of each car, a valid certificate of registration issued by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, and every such license shall be signed by said City Clerk. It shall set forth the name and residence and place of business of the licensee, a description of the motor vehicle to be operated under it and the current registration number and the engine number of said vehicle and the number of persons, not exceeding five in number or some other reasonable number appropriate to the vehicle involved, as determined by the Council, exclusive of the operator, which it may carry and, unless sooner revoked or rendered void, shall continue in effect until the 31st day of December next after date thereof.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
(3) 
Insurance.
(a) 
Certificate of insurance required. No taxicab license shall be issued until the applicant has delivered to the City Clerk a policy of insurance or a certificate issued by an insurance company authorized to transact business specified in MGL c. 175, § 47, Clause 6, Subdivision (b), covering the motor vehicle to be operated by the applicant under his license, conforming to the provisions of MGL c. 175, §§ 112 and 113, nor until the applicant has also delivered to the City Clerk a certificate of the insurance company issuing the policy showing that the policy shall not be canceled without giving the City Clerk five days' notice thereof.
(b) 
Type and amount of insurance. 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/her 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 said policy by any person other than employees of the insured or of such other person responsible as aforesaid, who are entitled to payments or benefits under the provisions of MGL c. 152, and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use upon the ways of the commonwealth of such car, to the amount or limit of at least $50,000 on account of injury to or death of any one person and, subject to such limits as respects injury to or death of one person, of at least $100,000 on account of any one accident resulting in injury or death of more than one person and to the amount or limit of at least $100,000 on account of any one accident resulting in injury to property.
(c) 
Public access to policies. The City Clerk of the City of Chicopee shall, upon the request of any person, furnish the name of the company issuing such policy covering any particular car licensed and shall exhibit such policy to any such person or his duly authorized representative.
(4) 
Taxi identification card. The City Clerk shall issue to the licensed vehicle a card bearing the words "Taxi Vehicle License, Chicopee, Massachusetts" and setting forth the owner's name, a description of the motor vehicle, the Massachusetts registration number, the vehicle identification number and the number of passengers it is permitted to carry. Such card shall be attached to the interior of the vehicle so as to be plainly visible to the occupants thereof.
(5) 
Medallions. The City Clerk shall issue to the licensed vehicle a medallion in the form of a sticker to be affixed to the rear of the cab.
(6) 
Transferability. A license or medallion issued for any taxicab is not transferable to any other taxicab without the prior written approval of the City Council and under no circumstances is a taxicab license or medallion transferable or to be sold from one company or operator to another.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
C. 
Operators license.
(1) 
All operators to be licensed by City Council. No owner or person having care or management of a taxicab shall employ or suffer any person to drive the same other than a person thereto licensed by said City Council.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
(2) 
Taxicab operators license application and fees. Applications for taxicab operator's licenses shall be made to the Chicopee City Council on forms furnished by it and shall set forth, under oath, such information as said Council may require. The fee for each such license shall be as set by the City Council.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
(3) 
English requirement. No such license shall be granted to any person who cannot read, write and speak the English language.
(4) 
Police Department review. Before issuing a taxicab driver's license, the Council must receive and review the recommendation of the Chief of Police or his designee concerning such application. The review by the Chief of Police must take into consideration a review of the record or lack thereof for the applicant involved. No license shall be granted to anyone who has been convicted of a felony or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last eight years. The Police Chief or his designee will provide a recommendation based on the review to the Council on a proper form. No license shall be granted unless the applicant shall have furnished the Police Department with a personal description, presented a valid Massachusetts driver's license and provided an appropriate photograph, said photograph to be updated every four years.
[Amended 9-3-2002 by Ord. No. 02-44; 9-1-2009]
(5) 
Taxicab operator's identification card. Such licenses shall be signed by the City Clerk of the City of Chicopee, shall be numbered in order as granted and, unless sooner suspended or revoked, shall continue in force until the 31st day of December next after the date thereof. The City Clerk shall provide the licensee under Section 12, an identification card bearing the words "Licensed Taxi Driver No. ______ , Chicopee, Massachusetts," setting forth the name of the licensee and the company the driver is employed by or self employed. If the applicant is a corporation, the names of the president and secretary thereof shall be given and the personal description of the licensee, including the age, height, weight, complexion, color of hair, color of eyes and Massachusetts driving license number and an expiration date for said license. Said license shall have a photograph of the driver pasted on said identification card, and the card shall be attached to the interior of the vehicle so as to be plainly visible to the occupants thereof.
The following are the general rules and regulation for taxicabs and taxicab operators in the City of Chicopee. A copy of these rules and regulations shall be placed in every taxicab and shall be available to any taxicab passenger upon request.
A. 
Taxicab owner's responsibilities for compliance with regulations.
(1) 
All persons, firms, corporations or associations having the ownership of any vehicle to be used as a taxicab within the jurisdictional bounds of the City of Chicopee must obtain all permits, pay all fees and abide by all regulations outlined in this chapter.
(2) 
The operation of each taxicab, recordkeeping, conduct of taxicab drivers and operators, adherence to proper rates of hire, and compliance with Chicopee City Code and all rules and regulations promulgated by the Chicopee City Council and shall be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the taxicab owners.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
B. 
Driver and taxicab daily logs.
(1) 
Taxicab owners shall ensure that drivers maintain a daily log for each taxicab. A separate daily log shall be started for each driver and also for each day. The daily log shall contain the date, vehicle number, driver, time of dispatch, origin, destination, completed time of destination, fare and number of passengers. All revisions to daily logs shall be made by drawing a line thought the part in error and initialed by the party making said revision, and the correct entry made immediately below.
(2) 
Taxicab owners are required to collect a copy of each taxicab driver's daily log on a daily basis and shall maintain the daily logs for inspection by the Chief of Police or his/her designee for a period of 24 months.
C. 
Taxicab service area limitations. Only taxicabs licensed by the Chicopee City Council may pick up passengers within the limits of the City of Chicopee. Taxicabs licensed in other cities or towns may drop off fares in the City of Chicopee so long as the fares are picked up in another city or town.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
D. 
Taxicab minimum operation volume in City limits. All taxicabs licensed by the Chicopee City Council must conduct a minimum of 50% of its daily operation within the limits of the City of Chicopee.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
E. 
Obligation to pick up passengers. No person having charge of driving a taxicab shall refuse to carry any person asking to be carried as a passenger therein, unless the person so asking is exhibiting disorderly conduct or appears to be a threat to others, including but not limited to the driver or other passengers.
F. 
Operation of unsafe taxicab. No driver is to knowingly operate, as a taxicab, any vehicle that is unsafe in any way.
G. 
Hours of operation. Taxi services must be provided on a twenty-four-hour basis.
H. 
Maximum shifts; compliance with safety laws. No taxicab driver shall be required or permitted to operate a taxicab or remain on duty for more than 12 hours in any 24 consecutive hours and any such driver shall be relieved from duty for at least one period of not fewer than eight consecutive hours during said 24 hours. All federal and state safety laws and regulations must be complied with.
I. 
Taking on or discharge of passengers. No taxicab shall be stopped to take on or to discharge passengers at any place on any street except from the side nearest the curb.
J. 
Reporting of lost and found articles. Every person having charge of or driving a taxicab shall deliver any article left therein by any passenger to the Police Department of the City of Chicopee no later than 24 hours after finding the same and shall receive from the Police Department 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 one year from such delivery may be delivered to the licensee of the vehicle in which they were left, unless prohibited by law.
K. 
Routes.
(1) 
Fixed routes prohibited. No person operating a taxicab shall establish and maintain therefor any route between fixed terminals under reduced fare so as to compete with motor bus or street railway service.
(2) 
Direct routes. Each taxicab owner shall ensure that taxicab drivers shall use the most direct route available from the point or origin to the point to destination for each trip unless otherwise directed by the passenger, or in the case of unusual circumstances in which an alternative route is in the best interest of the passenger.
L. 
Additional rules and regulations. 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 said Council.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
M. 
Violations and penalties. Whoever violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any rule, order or regulation adopted and published by said Council relating to said business shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 per offense, per day.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
N. 
Rates.
(1) 
Rates to be charged. Taxicab rates per day and night shall be set by the City Council. The rate schedule will be available in the City Clerk's Office.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
(2) 
Rates to be set and posted. No owner or driver of a taxicab shall charge any passenger or passengers therein any higher or lower rates for any service than those that shall from time to time be fixed by said Council. A schedule of said rates then in force shall be delivered to every owner and every driver of a taxicab at the time of delivery to them of their licenses, and new schedules shall be so delivered whenever said rates may be changed. Drivers must receive written confirmation from the Council before any rates may be changed. Said schedule shall be posted in each cab so that it may be easily read from the rear seat. Rates shall also be posted on both sides of the exterior of the cab at all times in an easy-to-read typestyle with letters and numbers no less than 3 1/2 inches high.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
(3) 
Rate disputes. Whenever requested by a passenger, or whenever there is a dispute over a fare, the taxicab driver shall give a receipt to said passenger which shall contain the taxicab company name, taxicab driver's full name and badge number, the taxicab number, date, time, origin and destination of the trip in addition to the amount charged.
O. 
Taxicab cleanliness and inspections. All taxicabs must be kept clean both inside and outside at all times. All taxicabs are subject to inspection without notice by the Chicopee Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, and City of Chicopee Sealer of Weights and Measures, or a duly appointed inspector for compliance with any City ordinance or rules and regulations promulgated by the Chicopee City Council.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
P. 
Taxicab operator appearance and conduct.
(1) 
Appearance. Every taxicab owner and taxicab driver while operating a taxicab shall be appropriately attired at all times while transporting passengers for hire.
(2) 
Language and behavior. No taxicab driver shall speak in an obscene, boisterous, loud or abusive manner while he/she is engaged in the transportation of passenger. Nor shall a taxicab driver threaten, harass or abuse any passenger or use or attempt to use any physical force against a passenger except in self-defense or in defense of another.
(3) 
Smoking, eating, drinking, drugs.
(a) 
No taxicab driver shall eat, drink, carry open alcoholic beverages, nor smoke or carry a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other smoking object or device while the taxicab is in service.
(b) 
No taxicab driver shall consume, be in possession of or under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance while operating a taxicab. No taxicab driver shall drive a taxicab while his/her ability is impaired by any prescribed or nonprescribed drug.
Q. 
Driver's seat. No taxicab driver shall, while on duty, occupy any seat in the taxicab other than the driver's seat, and at no time shall the taxicab driver permit anyone other than him/herself to occupy the driver's seat of said taxicab.
R. 
Use of taxicab in perpetuation of crime. No driver shall knowingly permit any taxicab to be used in the perpetuation of a crime or misdemeanor.
S. 
Passenger requests. A taxicab driver shall comply with all reasonable requests of a passenger.
T. 
Maximum occupancy. A taxicab shall not carry more persons that the maximum rating for the vehicle as established by the manufacturer of said vehicle.
U. 
Roof lamps. Roof lamps shall be turned on when the taxicab is operational or engaged. Roof lamps shall be turned off when the taxicab is not operational or engaged.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
Any taxicab license shall terminate upon the canceling or the expiring of such policy of insurance covering the car licensed. The City Council may suspend or revoke any taxicab or taxi operator license issued under this chapter for violation of any law or of this chapter or of any rule, order or regulation herein or hereafter promulgated by said Council. A notice will be provided to the individual or company involved relative to the date and time when such a contemplated hearing for a potential suspension or revocation is to take place. Failure to attend such a hearing will be grounds for immediate suspension or revocation of a license and medallion, as determined by the Council.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
A. 
Designation authority. Taxicab stands shall be designated by the Chicopee City Council.
B. 
Restricted areas; change in designations. No taxicab shall be allowed to stand or to wait for passengers in any street, square or public place, except on such portions thereof and during such hours as may be designated therefor by said Council in conjunction with the Chief of Police or his designee. Said Council, in conjunction with the Chief of Police or his/her designee, may from time to time designate locations in streets, squares and public places where and the hours during which such vehicles may so stand or so wait and may cancel or change such locations or hours as and whenever the public interests seems to it to require such changes.
A. 
Cabs to be equipped with taximeters. All cabs shall be equipped with a mechanical instrument or device by which the charge for transportation is mechanically calculated and indicated by means of figures for distance traveled, herein called "taximeters."
B. 
Basis of rates. All taximeters shall calculate and register fares based on distance at a single schedule of rates only.
C. 
Meters to be visible from rear seat. Taximeters shall be affixed to the taxicab so that the fare registered may be easily read from the rear seat.
D. 
Illumination of meters. Between sunset and sunrise and at all other times when necessary, the dial of the taximeter shall be clearly and continuously illuminated while the taximeter is operating.
E. 
Meters to be sealed by Sealer of Weights and Measures. No taxicab on which a taximeter is installed shall be used for hire unless the taximeter is sealed by the Sealer of Weights and Measures or his representative with wire and lead seals as follows:
(1) 
The meter mechanism shall be sealed within its case.
(2) 
The meter shall be sealed to the meter bracket.
(3) 
Driving equipment shall be sealed at the upper end to the meter bracket.
(4) 
The Sealer of Weights and Measures shall also affix a bright orange sticker on the driver's side of the rear window to verify the appropriate licensing of such taxicab for use in the City of Chicopee.
F. 
Responsibility for accuracy. The licensee of a taxicab will be held responsible for the accuracy of taximeters within the tolerances allowed, and he shall make tests with sufficient frequency and regularity to ensure continued accuracy of the taximeter. A record shall be kept of each such test showing the details thereof and the degree of accuracy as found, which record shall be kept available for inspection by the Sealer of Weights and Measures.
G. 
Variance tolerances; annual inspection or sealing. The tolerances allowed for all taximeters shall be 2% for distances under a mile and 4% for distances over a mile. All taximeters shall be sealed or inspected annually.