[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Auburn 4-20-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 285.
Editor’s Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 268, Taxicabs, adopted 3-28-1991 by L.L. No. 2-1991 as Ch. 23 of the 1991 Code, as amended.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "City of Auburn Taxicab Ordinance."
As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- References herein shall also apply to any other member of the Police Department so designated by the Chief of Police.
- CLEAN, SANITARY AND SAFE
- The vehicle is regularly cleaned and maintained in such a manner as to render adequate and proper public service. For purpose of clarification, this definition shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following examples: clean and sanitary interiors of a vehicle; interiors that are not littered with debris, ripped, soiled or the like; and vehicles that are not otherwise unsanitary, unkempt or poorly cleaned.
- GOOD CONDITION AND APPEARANCE
- The vehicle is maintained in good mechanical working condition and meets all equipment requirements of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. In addition thereto, the taxicab shall be free from disfiguring damage to both the interior and exterior of the vehicle, including visible rust holes through the body, as well as unrepaired damage or excessive wear on the vehicle, which unduly detracts from the overall good appearance or serviceability of the vehicle. This definition shall not be intended to include minor dents, wear, scratches and the like on the vehicle. All taxicab doors, lights and safety equipment shall be maintained in operating condition.
- Any person owning or having control of the use of one or more taxicabs used for hire upon the streets of the City, or a person engaged in the business of operating a taxicab.
- Any motor vehicle engaged in the business of carrying persons for hire, except vehicles subject to the provisions of the Transportation Corporations Law, or those used by undertakers in carrying on their business.
- TAXICAB DRIVER
- Any person who drives a taxicab, whether such a person is the owner of such taxicab or is employed by a taxicab owner or operator.
- TAXICAB DRIVER'S LICENSE
- A license granted by the Chief of Police to any person to operate any licensed taxicab upon the streets of the City.
- TAXICAB LICENSE
- A license granted by the Chief of Police to any person to operate or keep for hire any taxicab in the City.
- TAXICAB STAND
- Any place alongside the curb of a street or elsewhere which is exclusively reserved by the City for the use of taxicabs.
Required. No person shall drive a taxicab within the City without a taxicab license.
Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license shall have the following qualifications. He or she must:
First have obtained a chauffeur's license from the State of New York.
Be of the age of 18 years or over.
Be able to read, write and speak the English language.
Not be addicted to the use of intoxicating liquor, or of drugs, and must be neat in dress and person.
Fill out an application to be provided by the Chief of Police stating his or her full name, residence, age, height, color of eyes, color of hair, place of birth, whether a citizen of the United States, length of time he or she has resided in Auburn, places of employment in past five years, whether married or single, whether he or she has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and, if so, such details as the Chief of Police may require, whether he or she has been previously licensed as a driver or chauffeur and, if so, whether his or her license has ever been revoked or suspended, with the reason therefor, and the number of the chauffeur's license issued to him or her by the State of New York, which statement shall be signed and sworn to by said applicant and shall be filed with the Chief of Police as a permanent record.
The Chief of Police may require of any applicant such additional information as he or she may deem necessary to clarify or more fully explain any of the statements made in the application.
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 such false statement shall be promptly reported by the Chief of Police to the District Attorney.
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.
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 chapter until the Chief of Police has indicated, in writing, approval thereof after such investigation has been completed.
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.
Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license shall be given a copy of the above noted ordinance and it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to become familiar with the provisions of this chapter, the traffic regulations of the City, the Vehicle and Traffic Law and the geography of the City, and to fully comply with said ordinance, regulations and laws.
Required. Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license will be photographed at the Auburn Police Department. The photograph shall be taken within 30 days of the date of the application. A copy of the photograph shall be filed with the application and another copy attached to the license to be issued hereunder. All taxicab licenses will remain the property of the Auburn Police Department.
Exhibition. The photograph, together with his or her driver's license, must be exhibited by each licensed driver upon demand and shall be displayed in a prominent place in the taxicab, clearly visible to passengers, at all times while he or she is operating the same.
Required. Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license shall contact the Auburn Police Department Identification Bureau for the purpose of scheduling an appointment for submission of civilian fingerprints.
The applicant's fingerprints and any applicable fees shall be forwarded to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in the form and manner as prescribed by DCJS for a complete criminal background check. Applicants are responsible for all fees associated with the fingerprint submission. Applicants may contact the Auburn Police Department I.D. Bureau for a fee schedule.
The Chief of Police or his authorized designee shall review all information provided by DCJS in connection with the applicant's criminal background check.
Grounds for denial of license. No license shall be granted to a person who has been convicted of a felony. Where the felony conviction is a crime against property, at the discretion of the Chief of Police, a probationary license may be issued. In addition, at the discretion of the Chief of Police, persons convicted of misdemeanors involving crimes against persons and/or crimes which are alcohol or drug-related may be denied a license. Any denial of license is subject to Article 23 and 23-A of the New York State Correction Law.
Issuance. Upon complying with the foregoing requirements to the satisfaction of the Chief of Police, and upon the conclusion by the Chief that the applicant is a proper person to be given a license to operate a taxicab in the City, there shall be issued to the applicant a license, which shall be in such form as to contain the photograph and signature of the licensee and blank spaces upon which a record may be made of any arrest or serious complaint against him or her or of any accident in which he or she is involved.
Contents. All licenses shall be numbered in the order in which they are issued and shall contain the name and place of residence of the licensee and the dates of issuance and expiration of the license.
Suspension or revocation for defacing. Any licensee who defaces, removes or obliterates any official entry made upon his or her license may have his or her license suspended or revoked as provided in Chapter 200, Licensing, of this Municipal Code.
Term. Each taxicab driver's license shall be valid for a period of 12 months, unless suspended or revoked.
Newly licensed taxicab drivers will be subject to a six-month probationary period.
The Chief of Police may renew a taxicab driver's license from year to year by the appropriate endorsement thereon. A taxicab driver shall make application for a renewal not less than 30 days before its expiration date. For purposes of this section, each license shall be for a period of 12 months from the date issued.
The renewal form, titled "Application for Renewal of License," shall be filled out with the full name and address of the applicant, together with a statement of the date on which his or her original license was granted, the number thereon and such other information as the Chief of Police shall deem necessary. The failure of an applicant to submit an application for renewal of license by the end of business on the date of expiration of the subsequent year shall result in denial of the renewal and in the requirement that the applicant follow the process for application and issuance of a new original license.
A fee of $35 shall be paid upon the filing of an original application and a fee of $20 for the application for renewal of an existing license. Such application fees shall not be refunded in the event that the application is denied.
In the event that a license described in this section 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 $10, issue a new license.
Upon arrest for a crime or a violation of any local or state law or ordinance governing the operation of taxicabs or motor vehicles, a taxicab driver's license may at any time be suspended for cause, pending the disposition of such crime or violation. Upon conviction, said taxicab driver's license may be revoked. When a license is so suspended or revoked, the taxicab driver's license shall be delivered forthwith to the Chief of Police, and, in the case of suspension, the license shall be returned to the taxicab driver upon the expiration of the period of suspension. No taxicab driver whose license has been revoked shall be again licensed as a taxicab driver in the City of Auburn unless, after a special hearing upon such application held before the Chief of Police, he or she determines that such license should again be granted.
The Chief of Police shall have the authority to suspend or revoke any taxicab driver's license for a driver's failing or refusing to comply with the provisions of this chapter, or if he/she finds in his/her judgment the licensee is unfit, undesirable, incapable of performing as a holder of a license, or not fit to be a licensee in the best interest of the public welfare and safety.
Any taxicab driver who has his/her license suspended or revoked shall be so notified by mail or, when necessary, in person. Such taxicab driver whose license has been suspended or revoked shall have 10 days after such notification to request a hearing before the Chief of Police to present evidence on his/her behalf.
A complete record of each license issued to a driver, including all renewals, suspensions and revocations thereof, shall be kept in the Auburn Police Department Records Bureau, which record shall be kept on file with the original application of the taxicab driver for his or her license.
It is unlawful for any person to operate a taxicab upon the streets of the City without a taxicab license and a taxicab business license, both issued by the Chief of Police. Such licenses shall be issued for the calendar year. The application for a taxicab license and taxicab business license shall be made by the owner upon forms furnished by the Chief, and such application shall contain:
The name, age and residence of the person, if a natural person or persons, or the same information for officers, if a corporation (and the place of business), applying for the license and what, if any, previous experience he or she has had in the taxicab business.
The name, age and residence of the person to be in immediate charge of any such taxicab or taxicabs.
The type of motor vehicle to be used, the type of motor, the factory number, the state plate number and license number, the number of years the vehicle has been driven and the seating capacity according to its trade rating.
Whether previously licensed to operate a taxicab and, if so, where.
Whether a license to operate a taxicab has ever been revoked and, if so, for what cause.
Proof of motor vehicle liability insurance in the minimum amount established by the State of New York.
Such other information as the Chief of Police may deem necessary to clarify or more fully explain the above information.
Investigation. After receipt of an application, the Chief of Police shall institute an investigation of the applicant, 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.
No taxicab license shall be issued unless the taxicab has passed a New York State inspection and been found to be in compliance with state regulations, performed by licensed New York State inspectors designated by the Chief of Police, and approved.
In addition thereto, approval shall also include compliance with the requirements of this chapter governing the maintenance, appearance and condition of taxicabs in the City of Auburn. Such inspections shall be valid for a period of six months, and the costs of such inspections shall be borne by the taxicab licensee. This semiannual inspection will be performed by the City of Auburn, Public Works Garage.
Vehicles which pass inspection. Upon passing a New York State inspection and a City of Auburn inspection, the inspection station shall place upon the windshield of such vehicle both a New York State inspection sticker and a City of Auburn inspection sticker. Each taxicab shall be inspected at a minimum of every six months. The state inspection sticker shall be recertified at that time, whereas the City inspection sticker shall be replaced at that time.
Vehicles which fail inspection. If a violation is considered to be a safety hazard, the taxicab will not be licensed. If the violation is not considered a safety hazard, the taxicab company will be given 10 days to make the required repairs.
Taxicabs. If the taxicab and the application are both approved by the Chief of Police, upon the payment of the license fee, the taxicab license shall be issued by delivering to the owner a license which shall be affixed in a conspicuous place within the taxicab, visible to any passenger, showing the number assigned to such taxicab for the license year.
Business license. After the taxicab and application are both approved by the Chief of Police, upon payment of the license fee, a taxicab business license shall be issued to the taxicab company to be displayed at the company's headquarters.
It is the duty of each licensee to report to the Chief of Police any change in the New York State plate or license number of any taxicab during the period for which his or her license is issued under this chapter.
The annual fee for a taxicab license shall be set forth in the City of Auburn Fee Schedule, which is on file in the City offices. No license fee shall be prorated for a period of less than three months.
Any taxicab license issued as herein provided may be revoked by the Chief of Police at any time upon a showing of sufficient cause that:
Licenses may be suspended temporarily during the investigation. Conviction of a violation of this chapter or of any law regulating vehicles or traffic shall be considered sufficient cause therefor.
A third suspension, other than suspension during investigation, shall be cause for revocation.
The Chief of Police shall keep a register of the name of each person owning or operating a taxicab licensed hereunder, together with the license number, make and description of such vehicle, and the date it was inspected, and such record shall be open to inspection by the public at all reasonable times.
The Chief of Police may locate, change and designate taxicab stands in such streets in the City as he or she shall deem to be in the best interests of the general public.
No owner or driver of a taxicab shall charge a sum for the use of a taxicab which is less than the minimum allowable rate or which exceeds the maximum.
The rate of fare shall apply to any trip from the point of initiation to any agreed-upon destination within the corporate limits of the City of Auburn.
In addition, an operator may choose to charge the following additional rates; provided, however, that such rates are clearly posted within the taxicab:
A charge of $1 is permitted for each additional passenger to a destination, except that one child under the age of 10 shall ride free if accompanied by an adult passenger.
Baggage. No charge shall be made for two suitcases or similar packages. A charge of $1 for each additional piece of luggage or package shall be permitted.
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 submit the dispute to the desk officer in charge at police headquarters. 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 desk officer, who shall make a memorandum of the dispute and the disposition made. The disposition of the dispute shall not be binding in court.
Display required. A copy of the rates under which each taxicab is operating shall be permanently and conspicuously displayed in each vehicle in a manner so as to be clearly visible to any passenger at all times.
Payment in advance. Fares may be payable in advance at the option of the operator; however, a receipt must be given to the passenger if so requested.
Discontinuing use. Every person to whom a taxicab license has been issued shall, upon discontinuing the operation of driving of a taxicab, return such license, unless the same has been lost, stolen or destroyed. Such license shall not be assigned or transferred to any other person or be applicable to any vehicle other than the one specified therein.
Use by another prohibited. No licensee shall permit his or her license to be used by any other person, and no person shall use any license issued or granted to any other person. Any license issued hereunder shall not be assigned.
Lost, stolen or destroyed. Whenever a license is lost, stolen or destroyed, without fault on the part of the licensee, a duplicate may be issued by the Chief of Police upon filing with him or her of an affidavit stating the facts and upon payment to him or her of the cost of such duplicate, which shall be $10.
Every taxicab shall have the name of the taxicab licensee and the license number of such vehicle plainly painted in figures at least two inches in height, with at least a one-fourth-inch stroke, in clear and distinct colors on both sides of such taxicab so that they may be easily legible in quickly identifying such taxicab.
Required. All vehicles licensed pursuant hereto shall be subject to inspection in accordance with § 268-13B and/or by the Chief of Police or his/her designee at any time. If said vehicles are not in good condition and appearance or are not clean and safe, the license therefor may be revoked or suspended.
Conduct of inspection; frequency. All vehicles licensed pursuant hereto shall be inspected by a certified New York State inspector upon request by the Chief of Police or his/her designee for reasonable cause.
Certification. A written certificate of the inspector shall be filed with the Chief of Police showing the vehicle to be in a safe operating condition.
It shall be unlawful to operate any vehicle for hire, licensed as a taxicab in the City of Auburn, without the appropriate inspection sticker.
Drivers shall adhere to the following rules:
Soliciting passengers. No taxicab driver shall solicit passengers on any streets.
Use of intoxicating liquors or illegal drugs by a driver is prohibited. No taxicab driver shall drink intoxicating liquor or take illegal drugs while on duty.
Occupancy restrictions. No person shall occupy a licensed taxicab while at the taxicab stand or while on a call, except the licensed taxicab driver thereof or a fare-paying passenger, and no person other than the passenger first employing the taxicab shall be carried without the consent of such passenger.
Articles left in taxicabs. Every taxicab driver, immediately after the termination of any hiring or employment, must search the taxicab for any property lost or left therein and must leave the same with the officer in charge at the police station within 24 hours in compliance with Article 7-B of the Personal Property Law, unless sooner claimed by the owner.
The smoking of tobacco products within a taxicab is prohibited.
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 hereof so to do.
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.
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.
Change of residence: report each change of residence within 10 days after such change to the Chief of Police.
Rate cards for passengers: at all times while on duty have available in the taxicab a supply of rate cards issued pursuant to this chapter, which rate cards shall be furnished to any passenger requesting the same and be displayed in a place designated by the Chief of Police.
Work schedule: not operate any vehicle:
Examination and testing: submit, upon reasonable notice, at the request of the Chief of Police, to a physical examination during any license year, to be conducted by a City-appointed physician at City expense, and submit to the taking of a practical test to demonstrate capacity to operate a taxicab, which test shall be supervised by the Chief of Police.
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.
Receipts to passengers: upon request of a passenger, issue a receipt for fares paid by the passenger.
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.
Locked doors: not operate a taxicab in which the doors in each compartment cannot be unlocked from the inside.
The owner of every vehicle licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall adhere to the following rules:
Vehicle cleanliness: maintain the interior and exterior of the taxicab in a clean and sanitary condition.
Safety inspections: 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.
Authorized driver employees: employ only drivers who present and have with them during the time of employment a currently valid City of Auburn taxi driver's license.
Work shift limitation: prohibit any taxi driver from operating any vehicle:
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.
Municipal inspections: submit vehicles for inspection whenever required by the Chief of Police.
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.
Provide each driver with a manifest and require the following entries to be recorded thereon in ink during the course of daily operation:
The make, year and vehicle registration number.
The name of the driver.
The time the vehicle commenced operation.
A record of all trips made in chronological order, showing the destination, the time of dispatch, the time returned and the amount of the fare.
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.
A record of all accidents and any other incident, such as lost property or assistance to police, including all times and places.
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.
Interior light: provide each taxicab with sufficient interior light so that when any door of the taxicab is open the light shall automatically operate.
Seat belts: provide each taxicab with seat belts in a number sufficient for each passenger therein.
Driver employees list: furnish current lists of driver employees with the Chief of Police upon demand.
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 chapter.
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 City of Auburn taxi driver's license.
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.
Supervisory responsibility: be responsible for diligently supervising all employees to assure compliance by them with this chapter. The failure to do so may be cause for revocation or suspension of the owner's taxicab license or licenses.
Punishment. Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine to be set of not more than $500, but no less than $50, or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
Suspension or revocation. In addition to the fine or imprisonment, any licensee shall be liable to the suspension or revocation of his or her license upon conviction for a violation of this chapter.
Action by Chief of Police. The Chief of Police may, in his or her discretion, for cause, suspend or revoke any license hereunder pending the criminal prosecution of the charge.