Unless otherwise expressly stated, whenever used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings given to them by this section:
- A certificate issued by the Police Department for the City, licensing the operation of taxicabs.
- Any person properly licensed to drive a taxicab, whether such person is the owner of such vehicle or employed by such owner or 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 Schenectady.
- Includes an individual, a partnership, any unincorporated association, a corporation and any other legal entity.
- RATE CARD
- A card on which is printed the tariff rates in the City as provided by this chapter.
- Any street, alley, avenue, court, bridge, lane or public place in the City.
- SUPPLEMENTAL TAXICAB DRIVER'S LICENSE
- An identification card issued to the holder of a taxicab driver's license by the Police Department to be displayed in full view of any passengers in the taxicab operated by the license holder.
- A motor vehicle other than a bus, used to carry passengers for hire and operated in such business under a license or permit issued by a local authority and registered for such use pursuant to the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York. This definition specifically excludes vehicles used for the delivery of parcels, mail or other goods, except those goods which are traveling incidentally along with a passenger.
- TAXICAB DRIVER'S LICENSE
- Permission granted by the City to any person to drive a duly licensed taxicab upon the streets of the City.
- TAXICAB STAND
- Any place designated by the Police Commissioner of Public Safety or Police Chief and the Department of Engineering along the curb of a street or elsewhere which is exclusively reserved for the use of taxicabs.
- A mechanical instrument or device by which the charge for hire of a taxicab is mechanically calculated on the basis of the mileage traveled, plus waiting time, and upon which the exact amount to be paid by the passenger or passengers is plainly indicated by means of figures.
Any operator or driver of a vehicle not licensed or equipped in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or of a vehicle, the certificate of which has been suspended or revoked, who engages in the business of operating a taxicab, as defined herein, or attempts to engage in such business or solicits passengers or otherwise violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or by a term of imprisonment of not less than five days nor more than 60 days, or both, or the violator shall be rendered liable for the payment to the City of a civil penalty, recoverable in a civil action, for each such violation or by civil compromise after a hearing on the violation.
In addition to the fine or imprisonment, or both, authorized by this chapter, any licensee or certificate holder shall be subject to the suspension or revocation of his license or certificate upon conviction for any violation of this chapter. The Commissioner of Public Safety or Police Chief may, after a hearing, in its or his discretion, suspend or revoke a license or certificate granted under any provision of this chapter pending or in advance of the criminal or civil prosecution of this licensee.
The operator of any City-certified taxicab shall be held liable for each and every violation of this chapter committed by any driver operating a taxicab at the direction of the operator.
All persons engaged in the taxicab business in the City, operating under the provisions of this chapter, shall render an overall service to the public desiring to use taxicabs.
Certificate holders shall maintain a central place of business and keep the same open 24 hours a day for the purpose of receiving calls and dispatching cabs. They shall answer all calls received by them for services inside the corporate limits of the City as soon as they can do so, and if such services cannot be rendered within a reasonable time, they shall then notify the prospective passengers how long it will be before the call can be answered and give the reason therefor.
Any operator who shall refuse to accept a call anywhere in the corporate limits of the City at any time when such operator has available cabs or who shall fail or refuse to give overall service shall be deemed a violator of this chapter and the violation shall be punishable under § 236-2, Penalties for offenses.
The driver of any taxicab shall, upon demand by the passenger, render to such passenger a receipt for the amount charged, either by a mechanically printed receipt or by a specially prepared receipt on which shall be the name of the operator, license number or motor number, amount of meter reading or charges and the date of the transaction.
Any driver employed to carry any passenger to a definite point shall take the most direct route which will carry the passenger safely and expeditiously to the point of destination.
No driver shall permit more persons to be carried in a taxicab as passengers than the rated seating capacity of his taxicab, as stated in the permit for such vehicle. A child in arms shall not be counted as a passenger.
Every driver shall, at all times, keep the inside of the cab operated by him in a clean and sanitary condition and must carefully search such taxicab for any property lost or left therein after termination of a fare. Any such property must be held, maintained and disposed of according to law.
No driver shall solicit business for any hotel/motel nor attempt to divert patronage from one motel to another.
A prospective passenger shall have the right to choose whichever taxicab he desires regardless of the position of the taxicab in the taxi stand. As one cab leaves, another will advance in order.
Each taxicab licensed under this chapter shall have conspicuously and permanently affixed on the exterior roof thereof a light which shall be illuminated during transportation of passengers. Each taxicab shall be properly equipped for winter travel from November 1 through April 15.
Changes of the name, address or DBA of a taxicab operator or driver shall be reported to the Police Department, in writing, within three days of such change.
The Police Department may initiate monthly inspections of all licensed taxicabs, as well as organize quarterly meetings with any taxicab companies. Such inspection shall include but shall not be limited to inspecting the registration and cleanliness of the cabs, as well as ensuring overall compliance with the rules and regulations of this chapter. The failure of an operator to make his/her cabs available for monthly inspections may result in any of the penalties set forth in this chapter.
Notwithstanding a monthly inspection, the Police Department shall have the right to inspect or cause to be inspected all taxicabs from time to time or on complaint of any citizen for the purpose of determining the condition and fitness of the same for public use. A vehicle shall not pass a physical inspection unless it is free of excessive paint damage, clean, uniform in color, of good appearance and in a thoroughly safe condition. A physical inspection shall include, but not be limited to, a review of the following items: interior upholstery, floorboards, door handles, windows, locks, lights, tires, body damage, rust, paint, spare tire, jack, lugs, lug wrench, directional signals, and safety flares.
[Amended 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-16]
Only taxicabs in such numbers as are set forth on the sign may remain at a stand while waiting for employment and only in single file, pointed in accordance with the traffic regulations. No taxicab shall stand within 10 feet of any crosswalk.
The City Engineer is authorized to designate taxicab stands, along with the number of taxicabs that shall be allowed to park or stand at each location.
A prospective passenger may select any taxicab without regard to the order in which the taxicab is standing.
No driver or operator shall refuse, directly or indirectly, to transport any orderly person, including any physically handicapped individual, upon that person's request to any reasonable destination.
A driver or operator may refuse to convey a child under five years of age who is not accompanied by an adult.
The fare charged for transporting a person to a destination outside the City of Schenectady shall be agreed upon in advance by the driver or operator and the passenger. The quoting of an excessive fare by the driver or operator may be considered as evidence of a refusal to convey prohibited by Subsection A above.