City of Ithaca, NY
Tompkins County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 7-2-1986 by Ord. No. 86-6 (Ch. 23 of the 1975 Municipal Code)]
Unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires, whenever used in this article, the following words shall have the following meanings:
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police or his/her designee.
OPERATOR
Any person owning or having control of the use of one or more taxicabs used for hire upon the streets of the City of Ithaca or engaged in the business of operating a taxicab.
OWNER
The person in whose name the New York State license is issued pursuant to the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
SAME PARTY
Where used in the rate schedule,[1] refers to parties together and with the same points of origin and destination.
STREET
Any highway, street, alley, avenue, court, bridge, lane or public highway or any other public way in the City of Ithaca.
TAXICAB
Any motor vehicle engaged in the business of carrying persons for compensation, whether the same is operated from a street stand or subject to calls from a garage or radio station or otherwise operated for compensation, except vehicles subject to the provisions of the Transportation Law or used by undertakers in carrying on their undertaking service.
TAXICAB DRIVER or DRIVER
Any such person who drives taxicabs, whether such person is the owner of such taxicab or is employed by a taxicab owner or operator.
TAXICAB DRIVER'S LICENSE
Permission granted by the City of Ithaca to any person to drive upon the streets of such City by any licensed taxicab.
TAXICAB LICENSE
Permission granted by the City of Ithaca to any person to operate or keep for hire any taxicab in such city.
TAXICAB STAND
Any place alongside the curb of a street or elsewhere which is designated for the use of taxicabs.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Taxicab Zones and Rates Schedule is located at the end of this chapter.
[Amended 2-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-03]
No person shall operate or drive a taxicab without having in force and effect a taxicab driver's license in accordance with the provisions of this article. No person shall be issued a taxicab driver's license unless such person:
A. 
Has a valid New York State chauffeur's license.
B. 
Is over the age of 18 years.
C. 
Is of sound mind and body, with good eyesight and not subject to any infirmity of mind or body which renders the applicant incapable or unfit to safely operate a taxicab. Each applicant shall produce a medical certificate signed by a licensed physician, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner dated not more than 30 days prior to the application certifying that the applicant is physically qualified to operate a motor vehicle.
D. 
Is clean in dress and person and is not addicted to either intoxicating liquor or to the use of drugs.
E. 
Meets the standards embodied in Article 23-A of the New York Correction Law if he or she has previously been convicted of one or more criminal offenses.
[Amended 8-5-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992; 3-6-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01; 2-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-03]
A. 
Contents.
(1) 
Every applicant for a taxicab driver's license shall submit a signed and sworn application upon such forms as shall be required by the Chief of Police, showing compliance with the requirements hereinabove set forth and such other information as shall be deemed necessary and reasonable by the Chief of Police in the interest of safety, health and welfare. Such information that is required by the Chief of Police shall include but not be limited to a statement giving:
(a) 
The full name and place of residence of the applicant.
(b) 
The applicant's date of birth, height, color of eyes and hair, and place of birth.
(c) 
Whether or not the applicant is a citizen of the United States.
(d) 
Places of employment for the previous five years.
(e) 
Whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
(f) 
Whether the applicant's driver's license has ever been suspended or revoked and, if so, for what cause.
(g) 
The chauffeur's license number issued by the state.
(2) 
Submit a certification of physical examination to be signed by a licensed physician, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner.
(3) 
Such statement shall be signed and sworn to by the applicant and filed with the Chief of Police.
B. 
False information; effect and action thereon. Any false statement by the applicant for a taxicab driver's license shall be cause for refusing the license or revoking the license after it is issued, and any such false statement shall be promptly reported by the Chief of Police to the District Attorney.
C. 
Photographs of drivers. Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license must file with his/her application two unmounted, unretouched, good-likeness photographs of the applicant, full face size, two inches by two inches. The face portion shall not be less than 1 3/4 inches high, with the balance in normal perspective proportion. The photograph shall be taken within 30 days of the date of the application by means of a permanent, nonfading process. The applicant shall be hatless in the photograph. A copy of the photograph shall be filed with the application and another copy attached to the license to be issued hereunder. If the applicant does not have the means to produce such photograph, the Ithaca Police Department will make arrangements to have the photograph taken.
D. 
Fingerprinting of drivers. The applicant shall have fingerprints taken every three years. The criminal history report that is returned with the fingerprints shall be submitted to the Ithaca Police Department as part of the application.
E. 
Authorization for investigation. Accompanying each application, the applicant shall furnish to the Chief of Police, on a form provided by the Chief of Police, a signed authorization by the applicant permitting any person to divulge and report to the Chief of Police any matter which might otherwise be confidential, without limitation except as required by law.
F. 
Investigation. After receipt of an application, the Chief of Police shall institute an investigation of the applicant, including the applicant's driving record, and no license shall be issued under the provisions of this article until the Chief of Police has indicated, in writing, approval thereof after such investigation has been completed.
G. 
Refusal of license. If the results of the investigation are unsatisfactory, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, the applicant shall be refused a license, subject to the provisions hereof for hearings.
A. 
Upon the approval by the Chief of Police of the application for the taxicab driver's license in accordance with the foregoing procedures, the Chief of Police is authorized to issue a taxicab driver's license to the applicant. The license shall be in a form to be prescribed by the Chief of Police and shall contain thereon adequate identification, a photograph and the signature of the driver. The photograph shall be so attached to the license that it cannot be removed and another photograph substituted without detection. Each license shall be stamped by the Seal of the City upon a portion of the photograph. All licenses shall be numbered in the order in which they are issued and shall contain the name of the licensee and the expiration date of the license. A license shall be rendered invalid if defaced, altered or obliterated in any way or if any entry is made thereon by other than the Chief of Police.
B. 
Such license shall be for a period to expire one year from the date of issuance, unless sooner suspended or revoked.
The taxicab driver's license shall be displayed by the licensee at all times when driving or operating or while in charge of any taxicab. The driver shall not permit the license to be used by any other person.
Renewals shall be upon the same basis as a new application, provided that the application is filed not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days prior to the expiration of the current license on forms supplied by the Chief of Police.
A. 
Upon the filing of an application, as partial reimbursement to the City for the cost of investigation and processing of the license, there shall be paid $10 upon the filing of an original application and $5 for the application for renewal of an existing license. Such application fees will not be refunded in the event that the application is denied.
B. 
In the event that a license described in this article has been lost, destroyed or stolen, the Chief of Police shall cancel the particular license number on the records of the Department and, upon the payment of a replacement fee of $5, issue a new license.
It shall be unlawful for any person to use or keep for hire within the City any taxicab without first having obtained a license therefor and having the same in force and effect in accordance with the provisions of this article.
[Amended 2-4-1998 by Ord. No. 98-2; 2-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-03]
A. 
Taxicab license application. Application for taxicab licenses shall be made by the owner of each business on forms to be furnished by the Chief of Police. The completed application shall contain:
(1) 
Owner information: the name, date of birth, address, telephone number and record of all convictions of crime, if any, of:
(a) 
Owners.
(b) 
Managers having immediate charge of taxicabs.
(c) 
Beneficial holders of 25% or more of stock of corporate applicants.
(2) 
Prior license history of owner: whether the owner has been previously licensed to operate a taxicab in the City or elsewhere and, if so, the particulars thereto.
(3) 
Vehicle information required for each operating taxicab: the make of the motor vehicle, the year, the engine and body serial number, the state registration number, the length of time and mileage that the vehicle has been driven, and the seating capacity according to its trade rating.
(4) 
Vehicle inspection: Proof of New York State inspection made within 30 days of the license application shall be submitted by the applicant for each vehicle in operation. In addition, the Chief of Police, or his/her designee, shall inspect said vehicles to ensure that the interior and exterior of each vehicle is maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, and that the signage requirements of this article are complied with, and reinspection of each vehicle may be made from time to time by the Chief of Police or his/her designee. Each vehicle shall be submitted to a New York State inspection annually.
(5) 
Vehicle liability insurance: proof of insurance in accordance with the minimum amounts as specified by the City, which such minimum levels shall be updated from time to time, and shall be available for review on the City's website and/or in person at the Ithaca Police Department.
B. 
Vehicle type authorized. All taxicabs shall be of vehicle types approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for use as a taxicab.
C. 
Investigation. After receipt of an application, the Chief of Police shall institute an investigation of the applicant, including the applicant's driving record, and no license shall be issued under the provisions of this article until the Chief of Police has indicated, in writing, approval thereof after such investigation has been completed.
D. 
Issuance of license.
(1) 
Upon completion of the investigation aforesaid, the Chief of Police is authorized to issue a taxicab license upon determining:
(a) 
That there are no false statements or concealed facts in the application.
(b) 
That all application requirements have been satisfied.
(c) 
That each and every applicant, as specified in Subsection A(1) of this section, meets the standards embodied in Article 23-A of the New York Correction Law if he or she has previously been convicted of one or more criminal offenses.
(d) 
That there are no other grounds for refusal. In this regard, the license may be refused for any reason which, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, may be detrimental to the best interest of the general public both in welfare and safety, provided that, in the making of such determination, the Chief of Police shall set forth specific reasons for such disapproval. Such findings shall be subject to hearings as provided by this article.
(2) 
Such license shall be for a period of 12 months from the date of issuance, unless sooner revoked.
E. 
Renewal of taxicab license. The same procedures shall be followed as for original applications. Every person to whom an owner's license is issued shall have the right to renew said license within 30 days of the expiration date, provided that the other requirements of this article are complied with.
A. 
A fee of $25 per vehicle per 12 calendar months from date of issuance shall be levied, payable upon application. No reimbursement shall be made in the event of disapproval.
B. 
In the event that a licensed vehicle is removed from service and a substitute vehicle meets all other requirements of this article, a vehicle substitution license may be issued by the Chief of Police for a fee of $5. The term of this substitute vehicle license will coincide with that of the original taxicab license.
No taxicab license is assignable from one person, company or corporation to another person or entity.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, any holder of an existing taxicab license may be issued thirty-day temporary licenses for leased or owned taxicabs, provided that these taxicabs are otherwise in compliance with § 232-64A(3), (4), (5) and (6) above. The fee for each temporary license shall be $25.
A. 
Grounds. A taxicab license may be revoked or suspended at any time at the discretion of the Chief of Police if the vehicle is used for criminal business or purposes or if the licensed owner is convicted of a violation of this article.
B. 
Surrender of license. Whenever any taxicab license is revoked, the same shall be surrendered to the Chief of Police. If a taxicab license is suspended, the same shall be surrendered to the Chief of Police and retained by him/her until the suspension period expires.
C. 
Automatic revocation. In the event that any person to whom a taxicab license is issued has such license suspended on three occasions, such owner's license shall be revoked.
A. 
Drivers' rules. Every person operating a taxicab for business purposes licensed pursuant to this article shall:
[Amended 3-6-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01]
(1) 
Nondiscrimination: not refuse or neglect to convey any orderly person upon request in the City unless previously engaged or unable or forbidden by the provisions of this article or any other applicable law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no driver licensed under this chapter shall discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived age; creed; color; disability; domestic violence victim status; ethnicity; familial status; gender; gender identity or expression; height; immigration or citizenship status; marital status; military status; national origin; predisposing genetic characteristics; race; religion; sex; sexual orientation; socioeconomic status; weight; or location within the City of Ithaca.
[Amended 2-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-03; 1-4-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-02]
(2) 
Multiple passengers: not carry any other person than the first person employing the taxicab unless the person first employing the taxicab shall not object to the acceptance of each additional passenger.
(3) 
Trip records: keep a written record in ink of all trips on a form approved by the Chief of Police. Entries on such forms shall be made as each trip is completed.
(4) 
Lost articles: examine the interior of the vehicle after the termination of each trip for any articles left or lost in the vehicle and immediately take such property to the desk officer at the Police Department, in compliance with Article 7-B of the Personal Property Law.
(5) 
Accident reports: report all accidents as required by the Vehicle and Traffic Law to the Police Department. The Chief of Police may require that a taxicab be reinspected prior to its return to service.
(6) 
Change of residence: report each change of residence within 10 days after such change to the Chief of Police.
(7) 
Smoking or drinking on duty: not smoke while the vehicle is carrying passengers, unless smoking is permitted by the passenger, and not drink alcoholic beverages during any tour or shift of duty.
(8) 
Rate cards for passengers: at all times while on duty have available in the taxicab a supply of rate cards issued pursuant to this article, which rate cards shall be furnished to any passenger requesting the same and be displayed in a place designated by the Chief of Police.
(9) 
Work schedule: not operate any vehicle:
(a) 
For longer than 12 hours of any twenty-four-hour period.
(b) 
For longer than 12 hours in any one tour or shift of duty.
(c) 
With less than eight hours' relief from duty after working 12 hours of the twenty-four-hour period preceding the commencement of such relief from duty.
(10) 
Cooperation with police: not conceal any evidence of crime nor voluntarily aid violators to escape arrest. A driver shall report as soon as possible to the police any unlawful act connected with such driver's vehicle or any attempt to use that vehicle to commit a crime or escape from the scene of a crime.
(11) 
Receipts to passengers: upon request of a passenger, issue a receipt for fares paid by the passenger.
(12) 
Nonpaying passengers: not permit any passengers in a taxicab except a paying-fare passenger during such time as the taxi is being used for business purposes or is being made available for the carrying of paying passengers.
(13) 
Locked doors: not operate a taxicab in which the doors in each compartment cannot be unlocked from the inside.
B. 
Duties of owner. The owner of every vehicle license under the provisions of this article shall:
(1) 
Vehicle cleanliness: maintain the interior and exterior of the taxicab in a clean and sanitary condition.
(2) 
Safety inspection: inspect the vehicle and its equipment at least daily and make such repairs as may be required by the condition of the vehicle and not allow any vehicle to be operated until repairs are made to maintain safety of passengers and the public in general.
(3) 
Authorized driver employees: employ only drivers who present and have with them during the time of employment a currently valid City of Ithaca taxi driver's license.
(4) 
Work shift limitation: prohibit any taxi driver from operating any vehicle:
(a) 
For longer than 12 hours of any twenty-four-hour period.
(b) 
For longer than 12 hours in any one tour or shift of duty.
(c) 
With less than eight hours' relief from duty after working 12 hours of the twenty-four-hour period preceding the commencement of such relief from duty.
(5) 
Report on driver: report any driver to the Chief of Police who would, in the opinion of the owner, not be qualified to hold a driver's license, stating the reason therefor.
(6) 
Municipal inspections: submit vehicles for inspection whenever required by the Chief of Police.
(7) 
Rate cards for passengers: maintain a supply of City taxicab rate cards to be furnished to drivers in such owner's employ in sufficient quantities so that the driver of a taxicab may be able to deliver a rate card to each passenger that requests the same.
(8) 
Operation records:
(a) 
Provide each driver with a manifest and require the following entries to be recorded thereon in ink during the course of daily operation:
[1] 
The make, year and vehicle registration number.
[2] 
The name of the driver.
[3] 
The time the vehicle commenced operation.
[4] 
A record of all trips made in chronological order, showing the destination, the time dispatch, the time returned and the amount of the fare.
[5] 
A statement of the licensee whether or not the vehicle is clean and in safe operating condition at the start and end of each work tour.
[6] 
A record of all accidents and any other incident, such as lost property or assistance to police, including all times and places.
(b) 
These records shall be retained by the owner for at least three years and shall be furnished to the Chief of Police within five working days after written request.
(9) 
Color schemes and trademarks: maintain a licensed taxicab with the colors with which it is registered at the time of issuing of the license for the taxicab and avoid the use of any colors which may tend to confuse the public as to the identity of the taxicab or which might tend to cause unfair competition.
(10) 
Interior light: provide each taxicab with sufficient interior light so that when any door of the taxicab is open the light shall automatically operate.
(11) 
Seat belts: provide each taxicab with seat belts in a number sufficient for each passenger therein.
(12) 
Driver employees list: furnish current lists of driver employees with the Chief of Police upon demand.
(13) 
Driver delinquency reports: furnish reports to the Chief of Police upon the discharge of any driver where the discharge is based on the conduct of the driver in violation of this article.
(14) 
Driver hiring procedure: inquire at the office of the Chief of Police prior to hiring any driver in order to ascertain that the driver has a current Ithaca taxi driver's license.
(15) 
Vehicle transfer: promptly report to the Chief of Police the transfer of ownership of any vehicle licensed hereunder and concurrently turn in to the Chief of Police the taxicab license issued for the use of such vehicle.
(16) 
Supervisory responsibility: be responsible for diligently supervising all employees to assure compliance by them with this article. The failure to do so may be cause for revocation or suspension of the owner's taxicab license or licenses.
[Amended 3-5-1997 by Ord. No. 97-3; 2-4-1998 by Ord. No. 98-2; 5-3-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-5; 8-6-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-14; 4-5-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-8; 9-6-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12; 2-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-03]
A. 
The rate for taxicab fares that originate and terminate within the City of Ithaca between the daytime hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. shall be $7.50. The rate for taxicab fares that originate and terminate within the City of Ithaca between the nighttime hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. shall be $8.
B. 
Except as otherwise provided in Subsection D below, the prices that may be charged by the owners or drivers of taxicabs for the transportation of a passenger within the City shall not exceed the cumulative, applicable amounts. Taxicab rates shall be reviewed by Common Council at the request of an owner of a licensed taxicab company but not more than once every calendar year. The following notice shall be conspicuously posted in full view of passengers: "Rate maps and schedules for fares that originate in the City of Ithaca are available upon request from the driver of this taxicab, according to City ordinance."
C. 
Rates for trips outside of the City of Ithaca. The taxicab rate for standard fares that originate within the City but terminate outside of the City shall be as follows:
(1) 
East Hill Plaza: $11.
(2) 
Cayuga Medical Center: $11.
(3) 
Malls/Triphammer area: $12.
(4) 
Convenient Care: $15.
(5) 
Ithaca College: $11.
(6) 
Tompkins County Airport: $17.50.
(7) 
TC3: $31.
(8) 
Trumansburg: $30.
D. 
Rate rules.
(1) 
Children. One child five years of age or under shall ride free if accompanied by an adult passenger. No driver shall be required to convey any child under the age of five years unaccompanied by an adult.
(2) 
Seniors. Passengers 65 years of age or older shall be granted a discount of $1.50.
(3) 
Additional passengers. A taxicab driver may charge a fare of $1.50 for each additional passenger of the same party and same destination.
(4) 
Baggage. A surcharge of $3 will be charged for oversized luggage and trunks that weigh 50 pounds or more.
(5) 
Tip solicitation. No driver shall solicit tips, gratuities or any additional charges other than those authorized by this article. However, nonsolicited voluntary tipping is permitted.
(6) 
Out-of-town flat rates. If the taxicab is engaged for an out-of-town trip originating or terminating in the City of Ithaca, the taxicab driver shall agree with the passenger prior to the commencement of the trip for the rate to be charged, which shall include all tolls required to be paid.
(7) 
Prepayment. A taxicab driver shall have the right to demand payment of the legal fare in advance and may refuse employment unless so prepaid.
(8) 
Exclusive rides. A passenger may request an exclusive ride through dispatch when arranging for transportation. If a passenger is not willing to share a ride with others, a surcharge of $3 will be applied to the regular fare.
(9) 
Waiting time. After a person has hired a taxicab, there shall be no charge for up to five minutes during which the taxicab waits for the passenger at the passenger's request. There shall be a charge of $2.50 for each additional five minutes or any portion thereof. The taxicab driver shall inform the passenger of the charge for waiting time at the time of request.
(10) 
Disputed fares. In the event that there is a dispute between the taxicab driver and a passenger with respect to a fare, the taxicab driver shall notify a police dispatcher so that a police officer can respond to help mediate the dispute. If the passenger then makes payment according to the amount determined by said police officer, the passenger shall be given a receipt by the taxicab driver of the amount paid, which shall be witnessed by the police officer. If the passenger pays under protest, such fact shall be recorded by the police officer, who shall make a memorandum of the dispute and the disposition made. The disposition of the dispute shall not be binding in a court.
(11) 
Taxicab owners shall furnish each driver with a copy of the rate rules, supplied by the City Clerk, and shall instruct their drivers to apply the rules fairly and consistently, advising them that charges must not be exceeded under any circumstances.
(12) 
Fuel surcharge. In the event of an energy/gasoline crisis or when gasoline prices exceed $4 per gallon for a period of 30 days or longer, a fuel surcharge may be implemented by Common Council. This surcharge will be added to the base fare.
A. 
Generally. It shall be unlawful for any taxicab not licensed to operate in the City of Ithaca pursuant to this article to occupy any portion of a taxicab stand in the City of Ithaca. No taxicab shall stand within 10 feet of any crosswalk or remain unattended at any taxicab stand.
B. 
Number and location. The City Traffic Engineer and the Chief of Police shall designate the location of taxicab stands in the City using metal signs. They shall specify whether or not the stands are for exclusive use by taxicabs.
[Amended 2-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-03]
A. 
Reasons. The Chief of Police may suspend, cancel or revoke a taxicab driver's or taxicab license and may refuse to approve an application or a renewal thereof for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Violations: The applicant or licensee has not satisfied or has violated any of the provisions of this article.
(2) 
Prior revocation or suspension: The applicant, any officer, director, stockholder or partner or any other person directly or indirectly interested in the application for a taxicab license was the former holder or was an officer, director, partner or stockholder in a corporation or a partnership which was the former holder of a taxicab license which had been revoked or suspended.
(3) 
Unfit applicant or licensee: The Chief of Police finds the applicant or licensee not fit to be a licensee in the best interest of the public welfare and safety.
(4) 
If the vehicle is used for criminal business or purposes, the licensee is convicted of a violation of this article, or the licensee is convicted of a criminal offense such that he or she fails to meet the standards as embodied in Article 23-A of the New York Correction Law.
(5) 
In the event that any licensee has such license suspended on three occasions, the license shall be revoked automatically.
B. 
Surrender of license. Whenever a license is revoked, it shall be surrendered to the Chief of Police. If a license is suspended, it shall be surrendered to the Chief of Police and retained by him/her until the suspension period expires.
C. 
Hearing. Any taxicab driver or taxicab owner whose license has been suspended or revoked or who has had a renewal refused or any individual to whom an initial license has been refused shall be granted a hearing before the Community Police Board within 30 days after written request therefor has been made to the Chief of Police. At the hearing, such person shall have an opportunity to rebut by evidence or testimony such suspension, revocation or refusal. The Community Police Board is authorized to affirm, reverse or modify in any respect the action of the Chief of Police.
Any violation of any provision of this article shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Penalties, of this Code.