Township of Hillside, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Hillside as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licenses — See Ch. 203.
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 228.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 288.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 291.
[Adopted 12-21-1971 as Ch. X, Sec. 10-1, of the 1971 Code]
[Amended 6-7-1995]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CRUISING
The driving of a taxi at a slow rate of speed along a public street for the purpose of soliciting passengers.
DRIVER
The operator of a taxicab licensed to operate in the Township of Hillside or the operator.
OPERATION
Transporting in a taxicab one or more persons for hire. Accepting a passenger for transportation for hire within or outside the Township shall. "Operation" of a taxicab by one other than the owner shall be deemed "operation" by the owner as if he/she was operating the taxi. Transportation of any person other than the owner or driver in any motor vehicle bearing a sign using the words "taxi," "taxicab" or "cab" shall be prima facie evidence of "operation."
OWNER
Any person in whose name title to any taxicab is registered with the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles or who appears in the Division's records or Township's records to be a conditional vendee or lessee or has any other proprietary interest in a taxicab.
TAXICAB
A motor vehicle regularly engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire, having a seating capacity of four persons and not operated on a fixed route.
[Amended 6-7-1995]
No person shall operate a taxicab within the Township unless both the owner and the driver of the taxicab are so licensed by the Township.
A. 
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 article.
B. 
Owner's license. The holder of a taxicab owner's license shall be entitled to operate a taxicab owned by him/her within the Township, provided that the person driving the cab holds a valid taxicab driver's license.
A. 
Application Information.
[Amended 9-3-1974 by Ord. No. G-50-74]
(1) 
Application for a taxicab owner's license shall be made to the Township Clerk upon forms provided by him/her and shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name and address of the applicant. If the applicant is a corporation, its name, the address of its principal place of business and the name and address of its registered agent.
(b) 
A statement as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of violating any criminal or quasi-criminal statute, including traffic laws and Township ordinances. If the applicant has been convicted, a statement as to the date and place of conviction, the nature of the offense and the punishment imposed.
(c) 
The number of vehicles to be operated or controlled by the applicant and the location of any proposed depots or terminals.
(d) 
The previous experience of the applicant in the transportation of passengers for hire, including the name of any other state or municipality where the applicant has ever been licensed to operate a taxicab, whether his/her license was ever suspended or revoked or his/her application for the issuance or renewal of a license denied and the reasons for the denial, suspension or revocation.
(e) 
Appropriate evidence as to the applicant's good character and business and financial responsibility so that an investigator will be able to properly evaluate it.
(f) 
Any other facts that the applicant believes tend to show why he/she should be granted a license.
(g) 
A full description of the proposed insignia and color scheme for the applicants' taxicabs and description of the distinctive item of apparel to be worn by taxicab drivers. Each driver must wear a badge with his/her name, picture and license number, with such badge being provided by the owner of the company.
[Amended 6-7-1995]
(h) 
Documentary evidence from an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey showing evidence of insurance for each vehicle to be license in the amount required by this article.
[Added 6-7-1995]
(i) 
Any other appropriate information which the Township Committee may by resolution require.
(2) 
Applications shall be verified by oath or affirmation. Applications by a partnership shall give the information required by this subsection for each partner and shall be verified by all partners. Applications by corporations 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.
B. 
Notice of hearing. The Township Clerk shall advise the Township Council of the filing of an application. The 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. The applicant shall cause a notice of the time and place of hearing to be published once in a newspaper circulating in the Township at least three days before the date set for the hearing.
[Amended 9-3-1974 by Ord. No. G-50-74]
C. 
Investigation. Each application shall be referred to the Police Chief or a police officer designated by him/her, who shall immediately institute an investigation of the facts stated in the application and shall evaluate the application in the light of the criteria set forth in Subsection E. A report containing the results of the investigation and evaluation, a recommendation by the Police Chief that the license be granted or denied and the reasons for his/her 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.
[Amended 9-3-1974 by Ord. No. G-50-74]
D. 
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 grant 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/herself or to present witnesses in support of his/her position, to cross-examine opposing witnesses and at his/her own expense to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings. This subsection shall not prevent the Township Committee from imposing reasonable limits on the number of witnesses appearing in favor of or against the granting of the license, the time allowed for each side to present its case or for the examination or cross-examination of any witness or from imposing any other restriction which is necessary to ensure that the hearing is conducted in an orderly, fair and expeditious manner.
E. 
Factors considered. In determining whether to grant or deny the application, the Township Committee shall take into consideration the following factors:
(1) 
The character, business and financial responsibility and experience of the applicant and the probability that, if granted a license, the applicant will operate his/her taxicab in accordance with the provisions of this article.
(2) 
The number of taxicabs already in operation, the need of the public for additional service and any increased convenience that would result to the public if more taxicabs were placed in operation.
(3) 
Whether any increase in the number of taxicabs operating in the Township would produce or substantially increase traffic congestion, including congestion in the vicinity of railroad stations or other areas where taxicabs would frequently pick up or discharge passengers, or would otherwise inconvenience the public.
(4) 
Any other factors directly related to the grant or denial of the application which would substantially affect the public safety or convenience.
F. 
Issuance of license. The Township Committee shall, by resolution, grant or deny the application. If the application is granted, the Township Clerk shall issue the license upon receiving from the applicant satisfactory proof that he/she has complied with all laws of the State of New Jersey relating to the operation of taxicabs. The license shall state the name and address of the licensee, the number of vehicles which the licensee is authorized to operate and the date of issuance.
[Amended 9-3-1974 by Ord. No. G-50-74]
G. 
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 $75 per year or portion thereof for the right to engage in the taxicab business and $50 per year for each vehicle operated under the license issued. Said fee shall be in addition to any other license fees or charges established by proper authority. It shall also be in addition to any fees charged by the Police Department.
[Amended 6-7-1995]
H. 
Renewals. A taxicab owner's license may be renewed by the Township Committee without a hearing upon the licensee's filing with the Township Clerk a sworn statement that there have been no changes in the information contained in the issuance of the initial application and that he/she has continued to comply with all laws of the State of New Jersey relating to the operation of taxicabs and is not in violation of any provision of this article and after a report is made by the Police Chief after investigation that the statements made in connection with the application for renewal are correct.
[Amended 9-3-1974 by Ord. No. G-50-74]
[Amended 9-3-1974 by Ord. No. G-50-74; 4-17-1979 by Ord. No. G-148-79]
A. 
Application.
(1) 
Application for a taxicab driver's license shall be made to the Police Chief upon forms provided by him/her and shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name, address and age of the applicant.
(b) 
The number of the applicant's New Jersey motor vehicle operator's license.
(c) 
A statement as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of the violation of any criminal or quasi-criminal statute, including Township ordinances and traffic laws. If the applicant has been convicted, the date and place of the conviction, the nature of the offense and the punishment imposed.
(d) 
A list of all the places where the applicant has ever applied for or has been granted a license to drive a taxicab.
(e) 
A statement as to whether the applicant's license to operate a motor vehicle or his/her license to drive a taxicab has ever been suspended or revoked or his/her application for the issuance or renewal of either license denied and, if so, the date and place of the denial, suspension or revocation and the reasons for it.
(f) 
Three photographs of the applicant at least two inches by two inches clearly showing the head and shoulders of the applicant.
(g) 
The applicant shall be fingerprinted and the fingerprints immediately processed for classification and identification.
(2) 
The application shall be accompanied by a fee of $5 for the initial license period.
B. 
Investigation. The Police Chief or a police officer designated by him/her shall conduct an investigation of the facts stated in the application.
C. 
Consideration of application.
(1) 
After considering the facts contained in the application and the investigation, the Police Chief, may grant the application or he/she may deny it. If he/she denies the application, he/she shall notify the applicant of said fact in writing.
(2) 
In the event that an application is denied, the applicant may, within five days of receiving written notice of the denial, request a hearing on the matter before the Township Committee.
(3) 
At the hearing the applicant shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney, to present witnesses or to testify himself/herself on his/her own behalf, to cross-examine any opposing witnesses and, at his/her own expense, to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings. After considering the evidence, the Township Committee shall either grant or deny the application.
D. 
Issuance of license; contents. Upon approval of the application by the Police Chief, he/she 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.
E. 
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 of $5.
[Amended 4-20-1976 by Ord. No. G-95-76; 7-19-1983 by Ord. No. G-229-83]
In order to insure the safety of the public, it shall be unlawful for the owner of any taxicab to operate or permit a taxicab to be operated nor shall any license be issued hereunder until the applicant shall have complied with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 to 48:16-12, and the acts amendatory and supplemental thereto, provided that the owner shall file with the Township Clerk an insurance policy of an insurance company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of this state in the sum of $50,000 against loss from liability imposed by law upon the owner for damages on account of bodily injury or death suffered by one person; and in the sum of $100,000 against loss from liability imposed by law upon the owner for damages on account of bodily injury or death suffered by more than one person as a result of an accident occurring by reason of the ownership, maintenance or use of the vehicle so licensed; and the sum of $25,000 against loss from liability imposed by law upon the owner for property damage suffered by any person as a result of an accident occurring by reason of the ownership, maintenance or use of the vehicle so licensed. The license shall be effective and the operation permitted only so long as the insurance shall remain in force. The insurance policy shall provide for the payment of any final judgment recovered by any person on account of the ownership, maintenance and use of such automobile, taxicab or other vehicle as above provided, or any fault in respect thereto, and it shall be for the benefit of any person suffering loss, damage or injury as aforesaid. The owner shall execute and deliver to the Township Clerk concurrently with the filing of the aforesaid policy a power of attorney appointing the Township Clerk his/her true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service of any process out of a court of competent jurisdiction to be served against the insured by virtue of the indemnity granted under the insurance policy filed with the Township Clerk. Any license may be revoked by the Township Committee granting the same after notice and hearing whenever it shall appear that a person to whom the license has been granted has failed to furnish and keep in force the insurance and power of attorney herein required or to comply with the terms or conditions imposed by the Township Committee granting the license or any law of the State of New Jersey.
A. 
Initial inspection. Before any vehicle is used as a taxicab within the Township, it shall be inspected by the Police Chief or a police officer or other person designated by him/her to ascertain that it is in a safe, clean and sanitary condition and contains all safety devices required by law.
B. 
Reinspections. All taxicabs shall be reinspected annually or more often if the Township Committee so requires by resolution. In addition, any 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.
C. 
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 immediately be taken out of service and shall remain out of service until the defect is corrected.
A. 
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 shall not be less than four nor more than eight inches in height.
B. 
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/her taxicab shall have the prior right to it.
A. 
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 following:
[Amended 3-16-1976 by Ord. No. G-94-76]
(1) 
For conveying one or more passengers up to the first mile: $1.50.
(2) 
For each one-fourth (1/4) mile thereafter: $0.15.
(3) 
The maximum rate for conveying one to four persons from one place to any other destination within the Township of Hillside shall be $3, plus any waiting time charge.
(4) 
For each two minutes waiting time or fraction thereof: $0.20.
(5) 
Luggage.
(a) 
Briefcases, attache cases, handbags and similar small luggage which normally accompanies the passenger: no charge.
(b) 
Suitcases, overnight bags and similar luggage in excess of one piece per passenger: $0.25 for each piece.
(c) 
Trunks: $0.50 for delivery to the door.
B. 
Display of rates. Every taxicab shall have displayed in it, in a manner so as to be easily read by all passengers, a card giving the maximum permissible rates of fare.
C. 
Receipts. The driver of a taxicab upon request of the passenger 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.
D. 
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.
E. 
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 article.
A. 
Additional passengers. No driver shall permit any additional person to ride in his/her taxicab as a passenger unless the person first employing the taxicab consents to the acceptance of the additional passenger.
B. 
Number of passengers. Every taxicab shall have in it a card displayed within plain view of all passengers stating its maximum permissible seating capacity. This capacity shall be determined by the Police Chief or a police officer designated by him/her at the time that the vehicle is initially inspected as provided by § 274-7A. No driver shall permit more persons to be carried in his/her taxicab as passengers than the number stated as the maximum permissible seating capacity.
C. 
Refusal to carry passengers. No driver shall refuse to carry any orderly person to any destination within the Township unless previously engaged or unable or forbidden by the provisions of this article to do so.
D. 
Soliciting for hotels. It shall be a violation of this article for any taxicab driver to solicit business for any hotel or to attempt to divert patrons from one hotel to another.
E. 
Misrepresentation. No driver of a taxicab shall induce any person to employ him/her by knowingly misinforming that person as to the time or place of the arrival or departure of any train or bus, or as to the location of any hotel, public place or private residence within the Township, or as to the distance between any two points, nor shall any driver convey a passenger to any other place or over any other route than that which the passenger may have instructed him/her to take. Unless otherwise ordered, a passenger shall be conveyed only over the most direct, practical route to his/her destination.
F. 
Obstruction of streets. No taxicab while waiting for employment by passengers shall stand on any public street or space other than at the place designated as a taxicab stand, which stands shall be designated by the Township Committee, nor shall any driver of a taxicab seek employment by repeatedly driving his/her taxicab to and fro in a short space in front of any theater, hall, hotel, public resort, railroad station or other place of public gathering or by otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly access to or egress from such places. No taxicab driver shall engage in the practice commonly known as "cruising."
A. 
Transfer of licenses. Every license issued under this article shall apply only to the person to whom it is issued and shall not be transferable.
B. 
Display of license. Every driver's licensed under this article shall display his/her driver's license in such a manner than it can be seen by all persons riding in his/her taxicab as passengers. No license shall be displayed in a taxicab which does not belong to the person actually driving at the time.
C. 
Record. Every driver shall maintain a daily record which shall indicate, with respect to each trip he/she makes, the time and place of origin, the time and place of destination and the amount of fare charged. All completed records shall be returned to the owner by the driver at the conclusion of his/her tour of duty. The form on which the record is kept shall be furnished to the driver by the owner and shall be approved by the Police Chief.
D. 
Lost property. Every driver of a taxicab at the beginning and end of his/her tour of duty shall carefully search the cab for any property lost or left in it. Any lost property not claimed by or delivered to the owner within 24 hours shall be reported, in writing, to the Police Chief by the driver or owner of the taxicab. The report shall give brief particulars and a description of the property.
A. 
Generally. In addition to the causes for revocation of a license set forth in § 203-9 of this article, any license issued under this article may be revoked or suspended or any application for the issuance or renewal of a license denied for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Failure to render reasonable, prompt, safe and adequate taxicab service.
(2) 
The existence of a judgment unsatisfied of record against the licensee or applicant in any suit arising over the operation of a motor vehicle.
(3) 
Permitting any taxicab owned or driven by the licensee to become unsafe, unsanitary or dirty.
(4) 
Failure to comply with all applicable laws of the State of New Jersey.
B. 
Drivers. If the licensee is a driver, his/her license may also be revoked or suspended for the following reasons:
(1) 
Revocation or suspension of his/her New Jersey motor vehicle operator's license.
(2) 
Contraction by the licensee of a communicable or contagious disease.
(3) 
Operating a taxicab in a reckless or grossly negligent manner or habitually operating a taxicab in a negligent manner.
C. 
Additional penalties under this section. Any owner who fails to register a vehicle operated under this article with the appropriate local authorities shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $150. Furthermore, the Police Department may cause any vehicle in violation of this article to be impounded.
[Added 6-7-1995; amended 10-26-2010 by Ord. No. O-10-026; 8-20-2013 by Ord. No. O-13-010]
[Added 1-28-2003]
A. 
Any taxicab as defined in this article shall be garaged whether or not the person or persons parking same in driveways or on the street are licensed within or without of the Township to operate said taxicabs.
B. 
Violations and penalties. Any person failing to comply with this section shall be subject to the following:
[Amended 8-20-2013 by Ord. No. O-13-010]
(1) 
First offense, a fine of $150, plus court costs, with no court appearance required.
(2) 
Second offense, and all subsequent offenses, a fine of no less than $250 and no more than $500, plus court costs, with a mandatory court appearance; or imprisonment up to 90 days and/or community service at the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge.
[Adopted 12-21-1971 as Ch. X, Sec. 10-13, of the 1971 Code; amended 6-7-1995; amended in its entirety 6-11-2002]
No person shall drive an omnibus or limousine, other than an omnibus licensed by the Public Utility Commissioner of the State of New Jersey or livery, as so licensed under this article, for the transportation of passengers in the Township without having obtained a proper permit.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AUTOCAB
Any automobile with a carrying capacity of not more than nine passengers, not including the driver, used in the business of carrying passengers for hire which is held out, announced or advertised to operate or run or which is operated or run over any streets or public highways of this state; and which is hired by charter or for a particular contract, or by the day or hour or other fixed period or to transport passengers to a specified place or places, or which charges a fare or price agreed upon in advance between the operator and the passenger.
LIMOUSINE OR LIVERIES QUALIFYING AS LIMOUSINES
A vehicle propelled by mechanical power, rented for hire to the public or held out or advertised to be rented for hire, with a chauffeur in attendance, to individuals, whether or not said hire be from public or private property and where said vehicle is used in connection with social functions, shopping tours, pleasure trips, funerals, weddings and similar work, the enumeration of the above purposes herein being for the purpose of example only, which said vehicles are not equipped with a taxi meter and are not operated for hire at established or other public places of congregation and which are not used in short haul or trip work at standard fees.
A. 
The license or permit shall be authorized by the Township Council and signed by the Township Clerk. The Township Council may designate the streets or highways on which the licensee named therein or his/her authorized agents shall be permitted to operate.
B. 
The fee shall be $50 per annum for each limousine or livery operated in the Township and an applicant fee of $25.
It shall be the duty of the Township Clerk to keep records of all licenses granted, the number granted and the name of the person obtaining the license. All licenses shall be liable to suspension or revocation for any violation of this article or the laws of the State of New Jersey.
Omnibuses, limousines and liveries shall be carefully operated and consistent with all motor vehicle laws of the State of New Jersey and Township of Hillside ordinances.
Any operated vehicle falling under the purview of the definitions as set forth above must be owned by the registered owner in order to operate under the license issued.
Any livery or limousine vehicle or autocab 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 the rejection are corrected.
The Police Department shall have the right to see to it that all vehicles falling under the scope of this article are kept in a condition of safety and sanitation and to that end shall have the right at any and all times to inspect or cause to be inspected such licensed vehicles and shall maintain a record, in writing, of the report of all such inspections.
All applicants must provide a copy of the municipal license or certificate issued by the municipality where the service is principally located and a power of attorney appointing the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles their true and lawful attorney for the acceptance of service of process. The copy of the municipal license, or an attached insurance certification, shall include the name of the insurance company, the number and date of expiration of the policy, and a description of all vehicles covered under the policy. Liability coverage must be for $1.5 million.
The license shall remain in effect so long as a valid policy of insurance remains in effect which adequately covers the passengers and the vehicle being licensed. Cancellation of said policy or the appointment of a receiver or liquidation of any insurance company issuing the policy shall be cause for immediate cancellation and invalidation of any license. The owner is under an affirmative duty to immediately notify the Township if any of the above events occur regarding the insurance coverage. His/her policy must provide that it will not be canceled except upon five days' advance written notice to the Township of Hillside.
All limousines licensed pursuant to this article, including liveries, shall be garaged and shall not be parked on the street or in any driveway.
A. 
Any person, persons, firm, corporation or other entity found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this article where no specific monetary penalty is enumerated shall, upon conviction thereof in Municipal Court, pay a fine of not less than $150 nor more than $200 for a first offense; and for each subsequent offense shall, upon conviction, pay a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $500. Upon failure to pay such fine, such person shall be liable for imprisonment for a term not to exceed 10 days.
[Amended 10-26-2010 by Ord. No. O-10-027]
B. 
In addition, upon recommendation of the appropriate officials, the Township Council may suspend or revoke any license for violating any provision under this article after a hearing. Upon revocation or suspension, the owner or driver, as may be the case, shall immediately suspend his/her license to the Township. This includes:
(1) 
Submission of false data in an application;
(2) 
Failure to pay the licensing fee;
(3) 
Repeated violations of the traffic laws;
(4) 
Violation of any statutory requirements for taxicab and limousine operations, as set forth in N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 et seq.;
(5) 
Operation of a vehicle which is unsafe or in any other respect is in violation of the traffic laws; and
(6) 
Other conduct of a serious nature warranting revocation of such license.
C. 
The Chief of Police, in the interest of the public's safety, may temporarily suspend any license pending a hearing before the Township Council. Such suspension shall be promptly reported to the Township Council.