This article is enacted by the Board of Selectmen acting as the municipal officers, in accordance with 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3009. The article establishes a procedure for licensing of taxicab operators and taxicab companies operating taxicabs within the Town of Wells and establishes regulations governing licensed activities.
The purpose of this article is to promote the general welfare and enhance public safety by regulating the operation of taxicabs, taxicab operators, and taxicab companies within the Town of Wells through a licensing procedure.
For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly implies otherwise. Terms not defined in this section or in § 150-3 of this chapter shall have their ordinary meanings.
- The Police Chief of the Town of Wells or an authorized designee.
- OPERATE WITHIN THE TOWN
- The act or business of picking up a person(s) in a taxicab within the Town of Wells for transportation to locations within or outside the Town. Operation within the Town does not include the discharge of a person(s) from a taxicab within the Town, provided the trip originated outside the Town.
- A person who operates a taxicab.
- A person owning any taxicab used in the taxi business.
- Includes an individual, partnership, corporation or other legal entity.
- A motor vehicle used for the transportation of one or more individuals for compensation, but excluding buses, trolleys, carpools, and vehicles commonly referred to as "limousines."
- TAXICAB BUSINESS LICENSE
- The permission or license granted to a person allowing that person to operate a taxicab company within the Town when such a license is required under the terms of this article.
- TAXICAB COMPANY
- A person engaged in the business of operating one or more
taxicabs within the Town or of employing or otherwise authorizing
one or more persons to operate a taxicab within the Town.[Amended 6-5-2012]
- TAXICAB OPERATOR LICENSE
- The permission or license granted to an individual allowing that individual to operate a taxicab within the Town when such license is required under the terms of this article.
- TOWN CLERK
- The Wells Town Clerk or a duly authorized designee.
No person shall operate, cause to be operated, lease, rent or otherwise provide for use a taxicab or a taxicab company within the Town without first obtaining a taxicab operator license and/or a taxicab business license, unless exempted from the license requirement by Subsection B of this section. No such licenses shall be issued to an applicant who is not at least 18 years old.
Any taxicab operator who is licensed by a municipality that allows taxicab operators licensed by the Town of Wells to pick up passengers within that municipality for delivery to destinations outside that municipality may pick up passengers within Wells for delivery to destinations outside of Wells without obtaining a license from the Town, provided that such taxicab operator shall not cruise, park, or stand at any point within the Town of Wells for the purpose of soliciting passengers within the Town. Any other requirements of this article, including but not limited to the provisions of §§ 150-126 and 150-127, shall apply to such taxicabs and taxicab operators. A copy of the taxicab license and of the ordinance providing for reciprocity shall be filed with the Town Clerk before the taxicab operator begins operations within the Town.
Taxicab operator license. An application for a taxicab operator license shall be filed with the Town Clerk on forms provided by the Town Clerk. The application shall be verified under oath and shall provide at least the following information:
The name, age, and address of the applicant.
Any prior experience in the transportation of passengers by the applicant.
Proof of a valid motor vehicle operator's license.
The applicant's prior traffic and police record, if any.
The vehicle identification number and license plate number of each vehicle to be used as a taxicab in the Town.
A release form authorizing the Wells Police Department to investigate and verify the information submitted in the application, including such follow-up as the Police Chief deems necessary.
Proof of the insurance coverage required by this article.
Application for a taxicab business license. An application for a taxicab business license shall be filed with the Town Clerk on forms provided by the Town Clerk. The application shall be verified under oath and shall provide at least the following information:
The name, age, and address of all the owner(s) of the taxicab company together with the name and address of the business, any dispatch center or garage, the business office or principal place of business to be maintained by the owner(s) within the Town.
Any prior experience in the transportation of passengers.
The number of vehicles to be used as taxicabs in the Town and their vehicle identification numbers and license plate numbers.
A list identifying each taxicab driver employed or otherwise authorized to operate a taxicab for the taxicab company.
Proof of insurance for the taxicab company as well as each taxicab and taxicab operator driving for the company as required by this article.
A detailed description of the company logo, design, insignia, wording and coloring that will appear on any vehicles licensed under the applicant’s name.
Evidence that the applicant (if a corporation, business, partnership or other legal entity) is in good standing to operate within the State of Maine.
A listing of all rates to be charged, including a maximum rate, and the method of computation of such rates.
Taxicab operator license. Upon receipt of a completed application for a taxicab operator license, the Town Clerk shall forthwith refer the same to the Chief to verify the information set forth therein and to report on the same, together with the Chief's recommendation, to the Town Clerk concerning the fitness of the applicant to hold a taxicab operator license. The report shall issue to the Town Clerk by the Chief within seven days, unless the period is extended because of difficulty verifying the information submitted on the application. Unless the Chief determines from his/her investigation that the applicant would not be qualified to hold a taxicab operator license or cannot verify the application information, the Chief shall recommend approval. Upon receipt of a completed application and pending receipt of the Chief's report and recommendation, the Town Clerk shall issue a temporary taxicab operator license as provided by Subsection D of this section, which shall allow the applicant to operate a taxicab until the Town Clerk takes final action to approve or disprove the application. Upon receipt of the report and recommendation from the Chief, the Town Clerk shall approve or deny the application. If approved, the Town Clerk shall issue a taxicab operator license for the current year. The initial application fee for each license shall constitute the first year's license fee and said license shall be in effect for the remainder of the calendar year in which the license is issued. If the application is denied, the applicant shall have a right to appeal to the Board of Selectmen, provided a notice of appeal is filed with the Town Clerk within five business days of the date of denial. A timely filed appeal shall be heard by the Board of Selectmen within 30 days of the date the appeal is filed with the Town Clerk. The applicant shall be given at least seven days' notice of the hearing date, and shall be allowed to present relevant evidence or testimony and to question any evidence or witnesses presented in support of the Town Clerk's denial of the application. Within 10 days after the hearing, the Board of Selectmen shall grant or dismiss the appeal and shall make written findings of fact and state the reason for the decision. If the appeal is granted, the Town Clerk shall be directed to issue the appropriate license.
Taxicab business license. Upon receipt of a completed application for a taxicab business license, the Town Clerk shall refer the same to the Board of Selectmen who shall hold a hearing to consider the application within 20 days after its receipt by the Town Clerk. The Board of Selectmen shall give at least seven days' prior notice of the hearing to the applicant and shall post notice of the hearing at least six days before the hearing. The applicant shall be permitted to present any relevant evidence or testimony, and any other interested persons, including but not limited to the Town Clerk, the Police Chief and members of the public may present relevant evidence as well. In deciding to grant or deny the pending application, the Board of Selectmen shall consider the number of taxicabs already in operation, whether existing taxicab transportation is adequate to meet the public need, the probable effect of increased service on local road conditions, and the character, experience and responsibility of the applicant, its owners, principals, and of the drivers who will operate the taxicabs. If the Board of Selectmen finds that further taxicab service in the Town is required by the public convenience and necessity and that the applicant is fit, willing and able to perform such transportation and conform to all other provisions of this article and any regulations promulgated by the Board of Selectmen hereunder, then the Board shall direct the Town Clerk to issue the taxicab business license under consideration, together with any conditions it deems to be reasonable and necessary to promote the general welfare and enhance public safety. If the Board denies the application, then the Board shall make written findings of fact and state the reasons for the denial with 10 days of the date of denial. The applicant shall have all rights of appeal to the Superior Court as may be provided by law.
Temporary license pending application. The Town Clerk shall issue up to three temporary taxicab operator licenses to any taxicab business duly licensed under the terms of this article. This license shall allow the holder thereof to operate a taxicab under the terms of this article for a period not to exceed 14 consecutive days. In the interim, the taxicab operator holding the temporary license shall apply for an operator's license. The purpose of this temporary license is to allow the operation of a taxicab on a temporary basis until the operator can apply for a permanent taxicab operator's license pursuant to this article.
A nonrefundable application fee shall accompany each application for a taxicab business license. A nonrefundable application fee shall accompany each application for a taxicab operator license.
The initial application fee for each license shall constitute the first year's license fee, and said license shall be in effect for the remainder of the calendar year in which the license is issued.
Once a taxicab operator license has been issued by the Town Clerk, a new license for each calendar year thereafter shall be issued by the Town Clerk upon submittal of an updated application and payment of the fees established by Subsection F of this section, unless the license for the preceding year has been revoked or suspended or the background investigation provides a reason for the Police Chief to recommend denial of the license. If the licensee engaged in conduct identified in § 150-128 as justifying the suspension or revocation of a licensee, such conduct may also be considered as a reason for denying the renewal of a license. The Town Clerk shall submit the updated application to the Police Chief for investigation and approval in accordance with the provisions of Subsection A hereof. Said renewal application and renewal fee must be received by the Town Clerk no later than the 15th day of December of each year immediately preceding the effective year of the renewed license.
The Board of Selectmen following the same procedure required for and applying the same standards as an original taxicab business license shall consider the renewal of a taxicab business license on a yearly basis. The Board of Selectmen may consider the conduct of the taxicab company owners and that of its employees or drivers in considering whether the standards will be met. A nonrefundable application fee shall accompany the application, which shall be filed no later than December 1 of each year for the next calendar year.
Fees. The Board of Selectmen shall set fees for initial license applications and renewal applications after notice and a public hearing.
No taxicab operator's license or taxicab business license shall be issued until proof of liability insurance coverage in an amount at least equal to the minimum insurance requirements required by the State of Maine for the operation of a taxicab vehicle has been submitted to the Town Clerk. Said insurance shall apply to every vehicle identified as a taxicab in the operator's license or in the business license and shall name the Town of Wells as an additional insured. A taxicab company shall have such additional insurance as the Town Manager or Board of Selectmen shall require. The insurance certificate shall contain an endorsement specifying that the insurance may not be revoked or the coverage revised without prior notice to the Town of Wells.
Inspection. Each taxicab operated in the Town shall have a current State of Maine inspection sticker at all times when operating in the Town.
Vehicle information on file with Town Clerk. Each licensed taxicab operator who operates his or her own taxicab and each licensed taxicab company shall file with the Town Clerk annually the following information pertaining to each vehicle operated as a taxicab in the Town:
Evidence that the vehicle is currently registered as a taxicab by the State of Maine.
The license plate number of the vehicle and the vehicle identification number.
A description of the vehicle, including the year, make and model of the vehicle and the number of passengers the vehicle can legally carry.
Identification of vehicle and posting of fares. Each vehicle operated as a taxicab within the Town shall be identified on the exterior of the vehicle as a taxicab and shall post a copy of the fares charged in the vehicle so that the fares are visible from the passenger section of the vehicle. Each vehicle shall also contain a card stating the phone number of the Town Clerk's Office and a statement that the Clerk should be contacted in writing with any complaints.
All taxicabs operated in the Town shall comply with all signs and regulations regarding designated taxi-stands.
A license issued under the provisions of this article may be revoked or suspended by the Board of Selectmen if the holder thereof has violated any of the provisions of this chapter; violated any ordinances of the Town, or laws of the United States or of the State of Maine, the violations of which reflect unfavorably on the fitness of the operator to offer public transportation; made any material misstatements, false statements or omissions of information in the application documents, during a hearing before the Board of Selectmen or in any document filed with the Town; used abusive or profane language to or in the presence of a member of the public, the driver of another taxicab, a passenger or Town official, including a police officer; kept a taxicab in an unsafe, unclean or unsanitary condition; harassed or interfered with the operation of any other licensed taxicab operator or taxicab operator authorized to operate in Wells pursuant to § 150-123B hereof; deceived or attempted to deceive any person with respect to the amount of a fare; knowingly took a longer route to his or her destination than was necessary, unless so requested by the passenger; failed to provide a certified child safety seat for use when transporting children required to be placed in such a seat; or engaged in conduct detrimental to the public health or safety. The Board of Selectmen may attribute the conduct of taxicab operators driving for a taxicab company or under the auspices of a taxicab company to the taxicab company if the Board finds that the taxicab company fails to take action to correct or otherwise stop drivers engaging in conduct that constitutes grounds for suspension or revocation of a license, if the taxicab company knows or should have known of the conduct.
Prior to suspension or revocation, the holder shall be given notice of the proposed action to be taken and shall have an opportunity to be heard before the Board of Selectmen at a hearing to consider suspension and/or revocation.
When notice is required to be given to an applicant or holder of a license issued pursuant to this chapter and notice is given by mail, the Town Clerk shall use the address set forth in the application on file.
The Board of Selectmen and the Police Department shall have the primary duty to enforce this article. Any person violating any provisions of this article shall pay a civil penalty not to exceed $50 for the first such offense in any calendar year and $100 for each subsequent offense in the same calendar year; and any person who violates any of the provisions of this article shall, in addition to said penalty, become subject to suspension or revocation of any license issued under this chapter or the right to operate a taxicab within the Town pursuant to § 150-3 of this article.