[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Byram 10-2-1974 as Ch. XI of the Revised General Ordinances of 1974. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- OPERATION OF A TAXICAB
- Consists of transporting in a taxicab one or more persons for hire. Accepting a passenger to be transported for hire from a point of departure within the Township to a destination within or without the Township shall be considered "operation of a taxicab" within the Township. The operation of a taxicab by one other than the owner shall be deemed operation by the owner as well as by the person actually driving the taxi. The transportation of any person other than the owner or driver in any motor vehicle bearing a sign using the words "taxi," "taxicab," "cab" or "hack" shall be prima facie evidence of operation.
- Any person in whose name the title to any taxicab is registered with the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles or who appears in the Division's records to be a conditional vendee or lessee or has any other proprietary interest in a taxicab.
- TAXICAB or TAXI
- A motor vehicle used to transport passengers for hire which does not operate over a fixed route and is not hired by the day or hour.
No person shall operate a taxicab within the Township unless both the owner and the driver of the taxicab are licensed under this chapter.
Driver's license. The holder of a taxicab driver's license shall be entitled to operate within the Township any taxicab whose owner has been licensed under this chapter.
Owner's license. The holder of a taxicab owner's license shall be entitled to operate a taxicab owned by him within the Township, provided that the person driving the cab holds a valid taxicab driver's license.
Application for a taxicab owner's license shall be made to the Chief of Police on forms provided by him. The forms and the information required thereon shall be established by the Township Council by resolution.
Application shall be verified by oath or affirmation. Applications by a partnership shall give the information required for each partner and shall be verified by all partners. Applications by a corporation shall give the information required for and be verified by all officers and directors and all persons holding more than 10% of the corporation's common stock as well as the corporation itself.
Notice of hearing. The Chief of Police shall advise the Township Council of the filing of an application. The Township Council shall set a date for a hearing on the application and shall notify the applicant. The date set shall be within a reasonable time after the filing of the application.
Investigation. The Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him shall investigate the application. A report containing the results of the investigation and evaluation, a recommendation by the Chief of Police that the license be granted or denied and the reasons for his recommendation shall be forwarded to the Township Council at least three days before the date set for the hearing. A copy of the report shall also be sent to the applicant.
Conduct of hearing. At the hearing any person who is a resident or taxpayer of the Township may appear in person and make a brief statement or submit a written statement in support of or opposition to the granting of a license. In addition, the applicant and any other person who will be affected by the granting or denial of the license other than as a Township resident or taxpayer shall have the right to be represented by an attorney, to testify himself or to present witnesses in support of his position, to cross-examine opposing witnesses and, at his own expense, to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings.
Factors considered. In determining whether to grant or deny the license, the Township Council shall take into consideration the following factors:
The character, business and financial responsibility and experience of the applicant and the probability that, if granted a license, the applicant will operate his taxicab in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Any other factors directly related to the granting or denial of the license which would substantially affect the public safety or convenience.
Issuance of license. The Township Council shall by resolution grant or deny the license. If the application is approved, the Clerk shall issue the license upon forms established by the Township Council by resolution.
License term; fees. A taxicab owner’s license shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is issued. The license fee shall be as set forth in Chapter A287, Fees, payable upon the filing of the application for the issuance or renewal of the license.
[Amended 2-4-2008 by Ord. No. 2-2008]
Renewals. A taxicab owner's license may be renewed by the Township Council without a hearing upon the licensee's filing with the Chief of Police a sworn statement that there have been no changes in the information contained in the initial application.
Application for a taxicab driver's license shall be made to the Chief of Police upon forms provided by him. The forms and the information required thereon shall be established by the Township Council by resolution.
Investigation. The Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him shall investigate the application and shall report the results to the Township Council within a reasonable time. The report shall include a recommendation that the license be granted or denied and the reasons for the recommendation.
Issuance of license; contents. Upon approval of the application by the Township Council, the Clerk shall immediately issue the applicant a taxicab driver's license. The license shall contain the licensee's name and address, physical description, signature and photograph.
Term of license, fees. An initial license to drive a taxicab shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is issued. A taxicab driver's license may be renewed annually, unless it has been revoked or suspended, upon the payment of a fee as set forth in Chapter A287, Fees.
[Amended 2-4-2008 by Ord. No. 2-2008]
Initial inspection. Before any vehicle is used as a taxicab within the Township, it shall be inspected by the Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him to ascertain that it is in a safe, clean and sanitary condition and contains all safety devices required by law.
Reinspections. All taxicabs shall be reinspected annually or more often if the Township Council so requires by resolution. In addition, a police officer may inspect a taxicab at any reasonable time to determine if it is clean, sanitary and in a safe and proper operating condition.
Failure to pass inspection. Any taxicab which fails to pass inspection shall be immediately taken out of service and shall not be operated again within the Township until the defects which led to its rejection are corrected. In the case of minor defects which do not constitute an immediate danger to the health or safety of the public, the taxicab may continue to operate for a period of one week, at the end of which time it shall be reinspected. If the defect has not by then been corrected, the vehicle shall be immediately taken out of service and shall remain out of service until the defect is corrected.
Identification required. Each taxicab operated in the Township shall have a sign painted on each rear door. The sign shall contain the owner's name and the words "Taxicab" or "Taxi" in letters which are not less than four inches nor more than eight inches in height.
Imitation of color scheme or insignia. No taxicab operated in the Township shall imitate the color scheme or any identifying design or insignia of another taxicab lawfully operating in the Township, nor shall one taxicab have a color scheme or identifying design or insignia which is so similar to that of another taxicab as to be likely to have a tendency to mislead the public. The person first using a particular color scheme or identifying design or insignia for his taxicab shall have the prior right to it.
Rates of fare. The fare that may be charged by the driver or owner of a taxicab for a trip wholly within the limits of the Township shall not exceed the rates approved by the Township Council by resolution. A schedule of the approved rates shall be displayed in the taxicab in a manner so as to be easily read by all passengers.
Receipts. The driver of a taxicab upon request shall give the passenger a receipt for the amount charged. The receipt shall show the name of the owner, the license number of the taxicab, the amount of the fare and the date of the transaction.
Refusal to pay fare. No person after hiring a taxicab shall refuse to pay the legal fare, nor shall any person hire a taxicab with the intent not to pay the legal fare.
Disputes over fares. All disputes as to the rate of fare shall, upon request of the driver or passenger, be determined by the police officer in charge of the Township police station. Failure to comply with the officer's determination shall be a violation of this chapter.
The Township Council may establish, by resolution, rules and regulations relating to the operating of taxicabs and the conduct of licensees. A copy of the rules and regulations shall be furnished to each licensee.
Generally. In addition to the causes for revocation of a license set forth in Article I of Chapter 164, Licensing, any license issued under this chapter may be revoked or suspended or any application for the issuance or renewal of a license denied, for any of the following reasons:
Failure to render reasonable, prompt, safe and adequate taxicab service.
The existence of a judgment unsatisfied of record against the licensee or applicant in any suit arising over the operation of a motor vehicle.
Permitting any taxicab owned or driven by the licensee to become unsafe, unsanitary or dirty.
Failure to comply with all applicable laws of the State of New Jersey, the ordinances of the Township or the rules and regulations adopted in accordance with this chapter.
Drivers. If the licensee is a driver, his license may also be revoked or suspended for the following reasons: