City of Albany, NY
Albany County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 12-21-2017 by Ord. No. 43.112.17[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former Article I, Cabs and Omnibuses.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DRIVER
Any person who engages in the business of driving a taxicab, whether such person is the owner, an employee, or an independent contractor.
HACK LICENSE
A license given to an individual who meets the United States residency, New York State Department of Motor Vehicle licensing, New York State Department of Financial Services, New York State Tax and Finance, and agency criteria for the privilege of driving a taxicab in the State of New York. Includes both municipal and unified hack licenses.
LENS
The New York State License Event Notification system used to monitor the driving records of any person applying and holding a hack license or owner's license.
MEDALLION
A decal distributed by or on behalf of the municipality, prominently placed on a vehicle used for hire that signifies it is licensed to do business as a taxicab in the community in which it is operating. Includes both municipal and unified medallions.
MUNICIPALITY
The municipality of the City of Albany (municipality).
OPERATE A TAXICAB
Includes taxicab service that is conducted within the corporate limits of the municipality.
OWNER
Any person or corporation owning or having control of the use of one or more taxicabs used for hire upon the streets of the municipality or engaged in the business of operating a taxicab.
OWNER'S LICENSE
A license issued to a person and/or corporation owning, operating or having control of one or more taxicabs used for hire upon the streets of the municipality that meets all of the criteria established for that license, including criteria established by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the New York State Department of Financial Services and New York State Tax and Finance criteria. Includes both municipal and unified owner's licenses.
PARTICIPATING MUNICIPALITY
Any municipality that is a signatory to the Unified License Memorandum of Understanding.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, partnership or other legal entity filing for a taxicab owner's license or taxicab medallion.
TAXI STAND
Those locations specifically designated as taxi stands by the municipality.
TAXICAB
Includes any motor vehicle of a type that the General Municipal Law § 181 permits a municipality to regulate, that is engaged in the service of transporting passenger(s) for hire, when such service is available to the general public on a prearranged or demand-response basis over a nonspecified or irregular route with the point or points of pickup and discharge determined by the passenger.
TAXIMETER
An instrument or computer application that automatically calculates the fare charged to a traveler utilizing the service of a taxicab.
UNIFIED HACK LICENSE
A hack license authorizing the driver to operate a taxicab in all participating municipalities.
UNIFIED LICENSE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
The intermunicipal agreement among participating municipalities regarding unified licenses and medallions.
UNIFIED MEDALLION
A medallion authorizing the operation of a taxicab vehicle in all participating municipalities.
UNIFIED OWNER'S LICENSE
An owner's license valid in all participating municipalities.
A. 
Requirement: licenses needed to operate. No taxicab shall be operated within the municipality without first having obtained a medallion and being operated pursuant to a validly issued owner's license. No person shall operate a taxicab within the municipality without first having obtained a hack license.
B. 
Owner's license. Each application for a taxicab owner's license shall be signed and shall be made upon the appropriate common taxicab owner's license application form. Said application shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name, date of birth, and residence of the person applying for the license. In the event the applicant is a partnership or operating under an assumed name, a certified copy of the certificate of partnership or assumed name must be provided at the time of application. In the event that the applicant is a corporation, the names and addresses of all corporate officers and stockholders must be provided at the time of application.
(2) 
The number of taxicabs for which the application is being made, stating the ownership, make, type, year of manufacture, vehicle identification number, and passenger seating capacity for each of the vehicles to be licensed under the application.
(3) 
A copy of the certificate of insurance showing the year, make, model and vehicle identification number and coverage for each taxicab vehicle licensed under the application, as evidence that the taxicab is covered by New York State admitted insurer commercial automobile insurance, including bodily injury and uninsured motorist coverage in a minimum amount of $100,000 per person with a $300,000 aggregate, and verification of registration for each vehicle for use as a taxicab by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
(4) 
Whether the applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any crimes, and if so, the crime(s) along with the date(s) and jurisdiction(s) of conviction.
(5) 
Whether the applicant is or has been previously licensed as a taxicab owner or operator and, if so, in what jurisdiction(s).
(6) 
Whether the applicant currently holds or was the former holder of a taxicab owner's or operator's license which has been expired, revoked or suspended and, if so, for what reason, giving the name of the issuing municipality and the dates and reasons for the expiration, revocation and/or suspension.
(7) 
As a condition to the issuance of a taxicab owner's license, the applicant agrees to require all drivers of the owner's taxicabs obtain hack licenses, maintain a valid New York State driver's license of Class E or CDL which is neither expired, revoked, suspended, or has any conditionality attached to it by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles which would prohibit said driver from safely driving or operating a taxicab, and to register with and be subject to the New York State LENS program, and further agrees that the municipality (or designee) shall have the authority to communicate with and receive reports relating to the New York State LENS program.
(8) 
All persons applying for a taxicab owner's license agree to fully investigate and resolve complaints regarding taxicabs operated pursuant to the owner's license, and shall remediate all complaints and issues in a timely manner.
(9) 
All persons applying for a taxicab owner's license shall agree to equip each taxicab with a taximeter or equivalent metering application, and shall accept customer payment in cash or by credit/debit card.
C. 
Medallions required. Each taxicab operated within the municipality shall require a medallion, which shall be prominently displayed on each licensed taxicab at all times. The application for a medallion shall be made upon the common medallion application form, and must include the following information:
(1) 
The owner's license pursuant to which the taxicabs will be operated.
(2) 
Whether the applicant is seeking municipal or unified medallion(s).
(3) 
The specific taxicab vehicles, providing year, make, model and vehicle identification number of each vehicle for which the medallions are being requested.
(4) 
Details regarding the particular taximeter installed on the taxicab vehicles, or the details of the equivalent metering application the owner proposes to utilize including make, model and serial number of the metering application and/or device as applicable.
D. 
Hack license required. Each driver of a taxicab operating within the municipality must have and be in possession of a current and validly issued hack license. Applications for a hack license or for renewal of a hack license shall be signed and sworn to in person and shall be made upon the appropriate common hack license application form. The applicant shall:
(1) 
Be the holder of a duly valid New York State driver's license of the appropriate class for operation of a taxicab as prescribed by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, but not less than a valid New York State Class E Livery or CDL (commercial driver's license).
(2) 
Be able to clearly communicate in the English language.
(3) 
Agree to continually be neat and clean in dress and person and have no conditions that impair the ability to safely operate a taxicab.
(4) 
Meet the standards as embodied in Article 23-A of the Correction Law of the State of New York.
(5) 
Be at least 18 years of age.
(6) 
Consent, in writing, to enrollment in the NYS LENS program for the period his/her license is in effect as a Taxicab Driver.
(7) 
Have fingerprints taken by the municipality or designee in which the medallion will be issued.
(8) 
Provide three recent unretouched photographs, two inches by two inches, with no hat or sunglasses.
(9) 
Provide the information requested on the form, giving his/her full name, residence, places of residence for five years previous to moving to his/her present address, age, height, color of eyes and hair, place of birth, United States residency, places of previous employment, whether he or she has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and if so, the date and jurisdiction of same, whether he or she has been previously licensed as a taxicab driver or chauffeur, and if so, whether his/her license has ever been revoked and/or suspended in which municipality, the year of the revocation and/or suspension, and for what cause.
(10) 
Have no physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a taxicab, and be free from the use of drugs (prescription or otherwise) that would interfere with the safe operation of a taxicab.
E. 
Applications/issuance.
(1) 
Application for licenses. All applications for licenses issued pursuant to this chapter shall be made by the applicant upon the appropriate common application forms, available online at www.cdta.org and at the Capital District Transportation Authority offices located at 85 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, NY, or such other location as may be designated by the municipality. Application forms must be submitted in person at the aforementioned location during normal business hours.
(2) 
Common application forms and requirements. All license applications shall be made upon the appropriate common license application forms, accompanied by all required information and applicable fees. Incomplete license applications will not be accepted.
(3) 
Owner's license. Applications for an owner's license shall be made upon the common owner's license application form. The application must designate whether the applicant is seeking a municipal or unified owner's license. The application shall be filled out in its entirety, and shall include the following:
(a) 
Proof of insurance covering the specific taxicab vehicles to be used, including year, make, model and vehicle identification numbers of all the vehicles to be covered under the applicant's license.
(b) 
Company information, as requested on the application form.
(c) 
A nonrefundable owner's license application fee, as specified herein.
(4) 
Medallion. Applications for taxicab vehicle medallions shall be made upon the common medallion application form. The application must specify the particular vehicles including year, make, model and vehicle identification numbers of the vehicles to be covered under the applicant's license and whether the applicant is seeking municipal or unified medallions. The application shall be filled out in its entirety, and shall include the following:
(a) 
Proof of insurance covering the specific taxicab vehicles for which medallions are being requested, including year, make, model and vehicle identification numbers of all the vehicles to be covered under the applicant's license; and
(b) 
A nonrefundable medallion fee for each taxicab vehicle, as specified herein.
(5) 
Hack license. Applications for hack licenses shall be made upon the common hack license application form. The application must designate whether the applicant is seeking a municipal or unified hack license. The application shall be filled out in its entirety, and shall include the following:
(a) 
Three recent unretouched photographs, two inches by two inches, with no hat or sunglasses;
(b) 
The impressions of the fingers of the applicant's right and left hands, for the purpose of obtaining criminal history records from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the impressions to be taken under the supervision of the Chief of Police or his/her designee. At the municipality's discretion, fingerprints may be taken by an authorized business entity;
(c) 
Authorization for a criminal history background check, the results of which are authorized to be transmitted to the municipality or the Capital District Transportation Authority;
(d) 
The fee required by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, as specified herein;
(e) 
A nonrefundable hack license application fee, in the amount designated herein;
(f) 
Authorization to register the applicant with the New York State LENS program, including the applicant's New York State driver's license information, and authorizing the receipt of reports relating to the applicant's driver's license by the municipality or designee; and
(g) 
A copy of a certificate of completion for a recognized defensive driving course, dated within the prior 12 months.
F. 
Issuance or denial of licenses and medallions. Completed applications will be forwarded to the municipality's designated departments for their review. Applications for unified licenses and medallions will be forwarded to each participating municipality.
(1) 
The municipality may deny the issuance of a license or medallion if the application is incomplete, if the applicant fails to meet the standards required for issuance of said license, or if the results of their investigation reveal a criminal history which, in their opinion, renders the applicant unfit pursuant to Article 23-A of the New York State Corrections Law.
(2) 
Unified licenses and medallions shall not be issued unless and until approved by each participating municipality.
(3) 
Upon satisfactory fulfillment of the requirements of this article, there shall be issued to the applicant a license which shall be in such form as designated by the municipality.
(4) 
Licenses may be issued on any day of the year, and shall be valid until the end of the calendar year, unless suspended or revoked prior to the end of the calendar year.
(5) 
All taxicabs shall be inspected by the municipality (or designee) prior to issuance of a medallion.
G. 
Renewal. Applications for renewal of licenses and medallions shall be submitted no later than 45 days prior to expiration of the current license. Applications shall be submitted upon the appropriate common license renewal form, filled out in its entirety, and shall be accompanied by the appropriate documentation and fees, as detailed on the common license renewal form.
A. 
Driver code of conduct. The following rules shall govern the conduct of all taxicab drivers operating pursuant to a hack license issued by the municipality:
(1) 
The driver shall obey all applicable traffic laws and municipal ordinances.
(2) 
The driver shall be courteous to passengers and comply with all reasonable requests of the passengers.
(3) 
The driver shall be clean and neat in dress and person, physically and mentally fit to operate a taxicab and free from the use of intoxicating substances.
(4) 
The driver shall keep the inside of his/her taxicab in a clean and sanitary condition and shall ensure that all required postings are maintained and visible to passengers.
(5) 
The driver shall keep the inside of his/her taxicab free from smoke, and no one riding in the vehicle shall engage in smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes or any other smoking paraphernalia.
(6) 
The driver shall take passengers to their destinations by the shortest reasonable route, unless requested otherwise.
(7) 
The driver shall not permit other people to occupy or ride in the taxicab while customers are being transported.
(8) 
The driver shall be required to transport service animals.
(9) 
The driver shall be required to disclose the applicable taxicab rate, including any fees or tolls, to the passenger prior to the commencement of the trip, and shall utilize the taximeter or approved equivalent metering application during the course of the trip. In the event the exact fare is unknown in advance, the taxicab driver shall provide a reasonable estimate of the expected fare, and disclose the method of fare calculation.
(10) 
The driver shall be required to issue a receipt, upon passenger request.
B. 
Vehicle requirements. Each taxicab shall comply with the following:
(1) 
No taxicab shall be older than seven years old.
(2) 
All taxicabs shall be clearly identified or marked on the exterior as follows:
(a) 
A light on the roof, with the legend "TAXI", to be lit at night.
(b) 
Functioning taxicab trouble lights on the front and rear of the taxicab.
(c) 
The name of the company, owner or operator of the taxicab, the phone number, and the company's hours of operation, displayed in a manner that is legible and visible from a reasonable distance.
(d) 
The unique identifying number of the particular taxicab vehicle, marked on the sides and rear of the vehicle, displayed in a manner that is visible from a reasonable distance.
(e) 
The taxicab medallion, as directed by the municipality.
(3) 
All taxicabs shall display, in the interior of the taxicab, and in a manner that is clearly visible to passengers, the following:
(a) 
The owner's license and medallion pursuant to which the taxicab is being operated.
(b) 
The hack license of the taxicab driver, with accompanying photo.
(c) 
The customer bill of rights.
(d) 
The schedule of all applicable fares, rates and fees.
(e) 
The customer complaint statement.
C. 
Compliance with rules. All taxicab owners and taxicab drivers shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the law. Taxicab owners and taxicab drivers shall be required to investigate and resolve any complaints or matters relating to the operation of taxicabs in the municipality.
D. 
Travel log. All taxicab drivers and taxicab owners shall be responsible for maintaining records of all trips, including: the time dispatched, date and time of the trip, the pickup and dropoff locations, the duration of the trip, the vehicle utilized for the trip, the number of passengers, and the fare charged. The trip record shall be maintained for a period of at least one year, and shall be submitted to the municipality for review upon request.
E. 
Accident protocol.
(1) 
A motor vehicle accident report shall be immediately filed with the municipality or its designee for any accident arising from or in connection with the operation of a taxicab.
(2) 
Taxicabs involved in accidents may be inspected at the discretion of the municipality for safety and cleanliness prior to returning to service.
A. 
No taxicab shall be included on an owner's license, nor shall a taxicab medallion be issued, reissued or renewed, and no taxicab shall be operated within the municipality unless and until proof has been submitted with the application for issuance, reissuance or renewal that it has undergone both a mechanical and physical inspection in compliance with the requirements of this chapter and New York State inspection laws.
B. 
Mechanical inspection. All taxicabs must conform to the New York State Vehicle Inspection Law requirements at all times.
C. 
Preventative maintenance. Taxicabs shall be well maintained and shall undergo regular preventive maintenance services. Maintenance and inspection records for each vehicle licensed as a taxicab must be kept for the life of the vehicle.
D. 
Physical inspection.
(1) 
The municipality and designees shall have the authority to inspect all licensed and medallioned taxicabs upon notice or demand. The municipality shall perform inspections upon all medallioned taxicabs under its authority at least once per year. This inspection must occur before a taxicab may receive a medallion.
(2) 
All Taxicabs shall be safe and well maintained, and all systems shall be fully operational. Each taxicab shall have functioning heat and air conditioning.
(3) 
Medallions issued for each taxicab shall be prominently displayed and be registered to the vehicle to which it is affixed.
(4) 
The exterior of each taxicab shall be clean and in good repair, without obvious major body damage.
E. 
Thereafter, upon good cause, including customer complaint and in the interest of safety, the municipality and designee shall have the authority to inspect medallioned taxicabs for compliance with this chapter.
F. 
Taxicabs not conforming to New York State vehicle inspection requirements, or which are otherwise deemed to be unsafe or not in compliance with this chapter, shall be taken out of service immediately. The taxicab must be reinspected prior to being entered back into service.
A. 
License fees (detailed here, at the discretion of the municipality). The license fees shall be as follows:
(1) 
Owner's license: $50.
(2) 
Medallion: $650 plus $25 application fee, $25 replacement fee for lost or stolen medallion.
(3) 
Hack license: $75 initial application, $100 renewal, $25 replacement fee for lost or stolen license.
(4) 
Unified owner's license.
(5) 
Unified medallion.
(6) 
Unified hack license.
B. 
Other fees.
(1) 
Division of Criminal Justice Services fingerprinting: $75 ($25 to City of Albany and $50 to New York State).
C. 
Penalties. Any person violating any provision of this article may, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or by a fine of:
(1) 
First offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $125, but no more than $650.
(2) 
Second offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $325, but not more than $1,000, and/or suspension of license for up to one year.
(3) 
Third and subsequent offenses shall be subject to a fine of not less than $750, but not more than $2,000, and/or suspension of license for up to one year.
A. 
Municipal authority. All powers related to licensing, enforcement, and compliance shall be exercised by the municipality from which the license or medallion has been requested or for which the license or medallion has been issued.
B. 
Suspension and revocation of licenses.
(1) 
A taxicab owner's license issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked for the following reasons:
(a) 
The licensee fails to meet the criteria for the issuance of such license;
(b) 
The licensee permits the operation of a taxicab by a person not licensed under the provisions of this article;
(c) 
A vehicle registered to the licensee has been used for an illegal purpose or business;
(d) 
The licensee engages in any other conduct which evidences his/her inability to safely engage in the business of operating a taxicab or which evidences a disregard for public safety;
(e) 
The licensee provides information that is found to be false, illegal and/or a misrepresentation of the facts materially related to the issuance of this license; and/or
(f) 
The licensee fails to maintain the insurance required of this license.
C. 
A hack license issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked for the following reasons:
(1) 
Failure to properly maintain a vehicle and/or equipment;
(2) 
Physical disability of a driver that renders him/her temporarily or permanently unfit for the safe operation of a taxicab;
(3) 
Knowingly filing a false application;
(4) 
Any conviction of a criminal offense committed during or in relation to taxicab operations. In addition, conviction of a criminal offense which might impair, impede or endanger the efficiency, effectiveness or safety of the public;
(5) 
Any driver who operates with an expired, conditional, suspended or revoked hack license or owner's license;
(6) 
The suspension or revocation of a driver's New York State driver's license by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles; and/or
(7) 
Commission of two or more moving traffic violations and/or accidents while driving a taxicab.
D. 
A medallion issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked for the failure to comply with any provisions of this chapter.
E. 
For uniform licenses and medallions, each participating municipality shall retain all powers relating to licensing, enforcement and compliance regarding the operation of taxicabs within the boundaries of the participating municipality only.
F. 
Notice. Notice of revocation or suspension of license and the reason(s) thereof as well as the applicant's right to be heard shall be served by the municipality or their designee upon the person named in the license or by mailing the same to the address given in the license and by filing a copy of such notice in the office of the municipality's clerk with an affidavit of service or mailing. If a license is revoked or suspended, no refund of any unearned portion of the license fee shall be made. The municipality, upon good cause, may issue an immediate suspension of the license.
G. 
Term of suspension. A suspension of a license by the municipality shall be effective for 30 days, running from the date of notification upon the license holder. Any two suspensions within any twelve-month period shall automatically result in a revocation.
H. 
Review of denial, suspension or revocation. Any applicant who shall have been refused a license, or a license holder whose license shall have been revoked or suspended, may appeal to the municipality's Hearing Officer for review of such denial, revocation or suspension. The aggrieved party may, within 30 business days after receiving written notice, file a written request upon the Hearing Officer for review of said decision.
I. 
Hearing officer. A Hearing Officer may be appointed by municipality to hear and decide appeals taken from any determination made which denied, revoked or suspended such taxicab owner's license, hack license, and/or medallion.
J. 
Hearings. Upon receipt of a request for a hearing as provided above, the Hearing Officer shall set a time and place for a hearing and notify the appellant at least seven days prior to the hearing. The aggrieved party shall have the option of whether such hearing shall be public or private. The hearing shall commence no later than 30 days after the date on which the request was filed. Failure by the Hearing Officer to commence a hearing within 30 days shall not be deemed to constitute approval of such request, if good and sufficient reason exists.
K. 
Findings. The aggrieved party shall be given an opportunity to show cause why such denial of application or such suspension or revocation of license shall be modified or withdrawn. Upon consideration of the evidence presented at the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall sustain, modify or withdraw the decision of the municipality by issuing the result in writing.
A. 
Taximeters or equivalent application required.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or keep for hire or pay within the municipality any taxicab without first having each taxicab equipped with a taximeter or equivalent application.
(2) 
Every taxicab shall be equipped with a single-traffic taximeter of a type approved by the New York State Bureau of Weights and Measures and inspected by the County Department of Weights and Measures for accuracy. Equivalent applications may not be used unless approved by the municipality or, in the case of taxicabs operating pursuant to a uniform medallion, by each participating municipality.
B. 
Rates of fare. The rates of fare to be charged for taxicab service shall be as follows, and no other rates of fare may be charged by any owner or driver other than the rates established by this section:
First half mile
$4
Each additional 1/10 mile
$0.20
Waiting time in slow traffic (per minute)
$0.30
Each additional passenger 18 or over
$1
Surcharge, evenings after 6:00 p.m.
$1
All legal holidays
$1