[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Suffern 2-8-1971 as Ch. 46 of the 1971 Code; amended in its entirety 11-16-1992 by L.L. No. 9-1992. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Unless otherwise expressly stated, whenever used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings given them by this section:
- CALL BOX STAND
- A place where the Board of Trustees has authorized the holder of a taxicab license to install a telephone or call box for the taking of calls or the dispatching of taxicabs.
- DRIVER'S LICENSE
- Permission granted by the Board of Trustees to any person to drive a licensed taxicab upon the streets of the Village of Suffern.
- OPEN STAND
- A public place alongside the curb or a street or elsewhere which has been designated by the Board of Trustees as reserved exclusively for the use of taxicabs.
- OPERATOR AND/OR OWNER
- A person owning, controlling the use of or engaged in the business of operating one or more taxicabs for hire upon the streets of the Village.
- An individual, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association or any other legal entity.
- RATE CARD
- A rigid white sheet of paper not less than five inches by seven inches encased in a clear transparent wrapper to be securely affixed to the vehicle so as to be clearly visible to all passengers in the vehicle and clearly readable, containing information as required pursuant to § 248-9 of this chapter. No printing thereon shall be in other than black letters not less than one inch high.
- TAXICAB LICENSE
- Permission granted by the Village to any person to operate or keep for hire any taxicab in the Village for a period commencing January 1 of that year unless sooner terminated, revoked or suspended.
- TAXICAB STAND
- Any place or location which may be designated by the Village for the parking or standing of taxicabs.
- The Village of Suffern.
No person shall operate or permit to be operated a taxicab owned or controlled by him as a vehicle for hire upon the streets of the Village without having first obtained a taxicab license from the Board of Trustees.
An application for a taxicab license shall be filed with the Village Clerk upon forms provided by the Village of Suffern, and said application shall be verified under oath and shall furnish the following information:
The name, address, telephone number, date of birth and social security number of the applicant.
The financial status of the applicant, including the amounts of all unpaid judgments against the applicant and the nature or transaction or acts giving rise to said judgments.
The experience of the applicant in the taxicab business.
The number of vehicles to be operated or controlled by the applicant; a description and the license plate numbers of said vehicles.
The location of the off-street address in the Village from which said taxicabs will operate.
Upon the filing of a complete application for a taxicab license, the Village Clerk shall refer the application to the Chief of Police who shall conduct an investigation of the applicant, including verification of the accuracy of the information contained in the license application. The Chief of Police shall cause the required processing fee and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services fingerprint card containing the applicant's fingerprints to be forwarded to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for the purpose of determining the arrest and conviction record of the applicant. Upon completion of such investigation and receipt of a report from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Chief of Police shall cause a report to be made to the Board of Trustees with respect to the foregoing. The Chief of Police shall not divulge the specific information regarding an applicant's criminal history as is received from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and shall merely inform the Board of Trustees whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a crime. Upon receipt of such report, the Board of Trustees shall fix a time and place for a public hearing thereon and shall provide notice of said public hearing by publishing a notice thereof in the official newspaper of the Village at least five days in advance of such hearing and by conspicuously posting such notice in five public places at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.
[Amended 1-24-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994; 9-19-1994 by L.L. No. 11-1994]
Prior arrests and convictions, including the nature of the offense, jurisdiction, date committed and sentence, if any.
Convictions for moving violations within the last 36 months.
All accidents during the prior 36 months involving property damage or personal injury, together with a full explanation of the same.
Days and hours when the applicant intends to operate each licensed vehicle.
Any additional information which the Board of Trustees may require.
[Amended 6-21-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
No certificate shall be issued or continued in operation unless the holder thereof has paid an annual license fee as set by resolution of the Board of Trustees in the Standard Schedule of Fees. Said license fees shall be for the period March 1 to February 28 of each year and shall be in addition to any other license fees or charges established by proper authority and applicable to said holder of the vehicle or vehicles under his operation and control.
Editor's Note: A copy of the current Standard Schedule of Fees is on file in the Village offices.
Upon the filing of an application, the Board of Trustees shall fix a time and place for a public hearing thereon and shall provide notice of said hearing by publishing a notice thereof in the official newspaper of the Village at least five days in advance of such hearing and by conspicuously posting such notice in five public places at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.
If the Board of Trustees, following a public hearing, finds that the applicant for a taxicab license is of good moral character, has not been convicted of a crime, is capable of providing taxicab service in a safe and efficient manner, is able to comply with the insurance requirements of this chapter and is willing and able to comply with all the other requirements and provisions of this chapter, then the Board of Trustees shall approve the application and direct the Village Clerk to issue a taxicab license setting forth the name and address of the applicant, the number, description, license plate numbers and identity numbers for each vehicle and the date of issuance. If the Board of Trustees cannot make such findings, it shall deny the application.
[Amended 5-18-1998 by L.L. No. 8-1998]
The Clerk shall not issue a taxicab license upon approval by the Board of Trustees until the applicant provides a certificate of insurance, identifying the Village of Suffern as the certificate holder, demonstrating that every vehicle which will be operated in the Village is insured in the amount of $100,000 for bodily injury to any person, $300,000 for injuries to more than one person which are sustained in the same accident and $50,000 for property damage resulting from one accident, by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of New York. The licensee shall also provide a certificate demonstrating that a policy of workers' compensation is in full force and effect. The applicant must keep said policies of insurance in effect at all times, and the licensee shall provide a current certificate of insurance to the Village Clerk prior to the end of the policy period specified in the certificate of insurance. Said certificate of insurance shall provide for 20 days' notice of cancellation to the Village.
[Amended 5-18-1998 by L.L. No. 8-1998]
Upon the issuance of a taxicab license, the Village Clerk shall thereupon assign and designate a number for such licensed taxicab, which shall be permanently displayed on the exterior front doors, the upper quarter panel and the center of the front deck of said taxicab, in numbers at least six inches in height and one inch in width, in a color that contrasts with the background color of the taxicab, so that the same is legible at a distance of 50 yards, during the daylight hours. Said number shall also be permanently displayed in the interior of the taxicab in numbers at least two inches in height so that the same is visible to passengers in the front and rear of the taxicab.
In addition to the foregoing, all taxicabs shall be clearly identified or marked as follows on the exterior:
Each taxicab shall display, at all times, a rate card which shall contain the name and address of the owner of the taxicab and the taxicab number assigned to said taxicab. The rate card shall also contain a schedule of fare charges as determined by the Board of Trustees. In addition, there shall also be displayed, at all times, the driver's license of the driver of the taxicab issued by the Village of Suffern, containing a photograph of the driver with the driver's name, date of birth, description of driver, motorist identification number and Village driver's license number, as assigned.
Both of the above cards shall be placed on the dashboard inside said taxicab and shall be illuminated after sundown so that they are clearly readable from the rear seat by a passenger.
A notice shall be placed in each taxicab attached to the rear of the front seat, which shall read as follows: "For Complaints — If a passenger has any complaint regarding the operation of the vehicle or the conduct of the driver, call the Village of Suffern, (914) 357-2600, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and thereafter the Suffern Police Department, (914) 357-2300, giving the name of the owner, the number of the taxicab and the substance of the complaint, together with the complainant's name, address and telephone number.
The Village Clerk shall keep a register or card index of the name of each person owning or operating a taxicab licensed under this chapter, together with a license identification number and a description, make and color marking of such vehicle. Such record shall be open to the inspection of the public at all reasonable times. A copy of said license and register shall be filed with the police department.
[Amended 6-21-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
A taxicab license issued as of March 1 shall expire on the last day of February next succeeding, unless sooner suspended or revoked.
No taxicab license may be sold, mortgaged, encumbered or otherwise transferred except with the prior approval of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Suffern.
A taxicab license issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked or suspended by the Board of Trustees if the holder thereof has:
Violated any of the provisions of this chapter.
Discontinued operations for more than 60 days.
Violated any ordinances of the Village of Suffern or the laws of the United States or the State of New York, the violations of which reflect unfavorably on the fitness of the holder to offer public transportation.
Charged excessive fares.
Prior to suspension or revocation, the holder shall be given notice of the proposed action to be taken and shall have an opportunity to be heard.
Upon the death of the holder of any taxicab license under this chapter, the same shall be automatically annulled and canceled, except that the Board of Trustees may issue a temporary license without adhering to the formal requirements in the following cases:
To the executor or administrator of the estate of a licensee.
To a surviving next of kin of such deceased licensee, where no administrator of his estate has been appointed and no executor has qualified under his duly probated will.
To the surviving member or members of a firm or association which, at the time of death of a member, was such a licensee.
To a designated person, firm or corporation where the licensee has been called into the service and is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
Such temporary license may be issued for a term not exceeding 90 days from the date of death of such deceased licensee, and the Board of Trustees may, in its discretion, renew such license for an additional term or terms of 90 days each, not exceeding in the aggregate one year.
No person shall operate a taxicab for hire upon the streets of the Village of Suffern, and no person who owns or controls a taxicab shall permit it to be so driven, and no taxicab licensed by the Village of Suffern shall be so driven at any time for hire, unless the driver of said taxicab shall have first obtained and shall have then in force a taxicab driver's license issued under the provisions of this chapter.
An application for a taxicab driver's license shall be filed with the Village Clerk on forms provided by the Village of Suffern, and such application shall be verified under oath and shall contain the following information:
The names and addresses of four residents of the Village of Suffern who have known the applicant for a period of five years and who will vouch for the sobriety, honesty and general good character of the applicant.
The experience of the applicant in the transportation of passengers.
The educational background of the applicant.
A concise history of his employment.
The arrest record of the applicant.
New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services fingerprint card containing thereon the fingerprints of the applicant and the appropriate processing fee required by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
[Amended 1-24-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]
A full-face picture, passport size.
Each application shall be accompanied by a certificate from a physician licensed to practice in the State of New York certifying that, in his opinion, the applicant is not inflicted with any disease or infirmity which might make him an unsafe or unsatisfactory driver. At the time the application is filed, the applicant shall pay to the Village Clerk a sum as set by resolution of the Board of Trustees in the Standard Schedule of Fees of the Village of Suffern.
Before any application can be finally passed upon by the Board of Trustees, the applicant shall be required to pass a satisfactory examination as to his knowledge of the Village and to prove that he has a permanent motor vehicle chauffeur's license issued by the State of New York.
[Amended 1-24-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994; 9-19-1994 by L.L. No. 11-1994; 1-23-1995 by L.L. No. 1-1995]
Upon the filing of a complete application for a taxi driver's license, the Village Clerk shall refer the application to the Chief of Police who shall conduct an investigation of the applicant, including verification of the accuracy of the information contained in the license application. The Chief of Police shall cause the required processing fee and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services fingerprint card containing the applicant's fingerprints to be forwarded to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for the purpose of determining the arrest and conviction record of the applicant. Upon completion of such investigation and receipt of a report from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Chief of Police shall cause a report to be made to the Board of Trustees with respect to the foregoing. The Chief of Police shall not divulge the specific information regarding an applicant's criminal history as is received from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and shall merely inform the Board of Trustees whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a crime.
[Amended 9-19-1994 by L.L. No. 11-1994; 1-23-1995 by L.L. No. 1-1995]
If the Board of Trustees, following a public hearing, finds that the applicant for a taxicab driver's license is of good moral character, has not been convicted of a crime, is capable of providing taxi service in a safe and efficient manner and has satisfactorily provided the reports and certifications required to be attached to the application and has complied with all other requirements of this chapter, the Board of Trustees shall approve the application.
Upon approval of an application for a taxicab driver's license, the Village Clerk shall issue a license to the applicant which shall bear the name, address, color, age, signature and photograph of the applicant.
Such license shall be in effect for the remainder of the calendar year; thereafter, it shall be issued upon the payment of a fee as set by resolution of the Board of Trustees in the Standard Schedule of Fees of the Village of Suffern, unless the license for the preceding year has been revoked.
Every driver licensed under this chapter shall post his driver's license in such a place as to be in full view of all passengers while such driver is operating a taxicab, and there shall be affixed to such license in a space provided therefor a full-face picture of such licensee, said picture to be passport size.
The Chief of Police is hereby given the authority to suspend any driver's license issued under this chapter for a driver's failing or refusing to comply with the provisions of this chapter, such suspension to last for a period of not more than 90 days. The Chief of Police is also given authority to revoke any driver's license for failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter. However, a license may not be revoked unless the driver has received written notice and has had an opportunity to present evidence in his behalf.
Every driver licensed under this chapter shall comply with all Village, state and federal laws. Failure to do so will justify the Board of Trustees suspending or revoking a license.
Vehicles must be licensed prior to the use and operation of any vehicle under the provisions of this chapter. Vehicles must be inspected by an inspection facility licensed by the State of New York for compliance with the standards promulgated by the State of New York for taxicabs and the rules and regulations which may be promulgated by the Chief of Police. The Board of Trustees hereby delegates to the Chief of Police the authority to promulgate rules and regulations and standards for the inspection of taxicabs to provide for safe transportation, safety equipment and regulatory devices. The Chief of Police is also delegated authority to promulgate an inspection form which must be completed by such licensed inspection facility prior to the licensing of a vehicle and upon semiannual inspection required pursuant to § 248-29C.
[Amended 1-24-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]
When the Board of Trustees finds that a vehicle has met the standards, rules and regulations established by the Board of Trustees, it shall direct the Village Clerk to issue a license to that effect, which shall also state the authorized seating capacity of said vehicle.
Every vehicle operating pursuant to a license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be inspected for mechanical safety, operating efficiency and cleanliness by an inspection facility licensed by the State of New York at least twice a year to ensure continued maintenance, safety and cleanliness of such vehicles.
[Amended 1-24-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]
Each taxicab shall bear a sign or insignia readily identifying it as a public taxicab, and said sign or insignia so carried upon each taxicab shall be first submitted and approved as to size and method of attachment by the Board of Trustees.
[Amended 5-18-1998 by L.L. No. 8-1998; 11-17-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003; 8-7-2006 by L.L. No. 8-2006]
Every taxicab operated under this chapter shall have a rate card setting forth the authorized rates of fare displayed in such a place as to be in view of all passengers. No owner or driver of a taxicab shall charge more than $6 for travel to and from a location in the Village of Suffern. There shall be an additional charge of $2 for additional passengers. There shall be no additional charges for handling packages or baggage.
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 owner, license number or motor number, amount of meter reading or charges and the date of transaction.
It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to pay the legal fare of any of the vehicles mentioned in this chapter after having hired the same, and it shall be unlawful for any person to hire any vehicle herein defined with intent to defraud the person from whom it is hired of the value of such service.
Solicitation of passengers by driver. No driver shall solicit passengers of a taxicab except when sitting in the driver's compartment of such taxicab or while standing immediately adjacent to the curbside thereof. The driver of any taxicab shall remain in the driver's compartment or immediately adjacent to his vehicle at all times when such vehicle is upon the public streets, except that, when necessary, a driver may be absent from his taxicab for no more than 15 consecutive minutes, and provided further that nothing herein contained shall be held to prohibit any driver from alighting to the street or sidewalk for the purpose of assisting passengers into or out of such vehicle.
Prohibited solicitation. No driver shall solicit patronage in a loud or annoying tone of voice or by sign or in any manner annoy any person or obstruct the movement of any persons or follow any person for the purpose of soliciting patronage. Drivers shall not congregate in groups away from their cabs on public sidewalks or streets to solicit patronage.
Receipt and discharge of passengers on sidewalk only. Drivers of taxicabs shall not receive or discharge passengers in the roadway but shall pull up to the right-hand sidewalk as nearly as possible or, in the absence of a sidewalk, to the extreme right-hand side of the road and there receive or discharge passengers, except upon one-way streets, where passengers may be discharged at either the right- or left-hand sidewalk or side of the roadway in the absence of a sidewalk.
Additional passengers. No driver shall permit any other person to occupy or ride in said taxicab unless the person or persons first employing the taxicab shall consent to the acceptance of the additional passenger or passengers.
Restriction on number of passengers. 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 license for said vehicle issued by the Police Department. A child in arms shall not be counted as a passenger.
Refusal to carry orderly passengers prohibited. No driver shall refuse or neglect to convey any orderly person or persons upon request, unless previously engaged or unable or forbidden by the provisions of this chapter to do so.
Solicitation for hotels. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any driver of a taxicab to solicit business for any hotel or to attempt to deliver patrons from one hotel to another, neither shall such driver engage in selling intoxicating liquor or solicit business for any houses of ill-repute or use his vehicle for any purpose other than the transporting of passengers.
Uniform to be worn. All drivers shall at all times while soliciting patronage and while operating their vehicles be neat and clean and shall wear a cap and blouse. There shall be affixed to both cap and blouse the name of the taxicab company by whom the driver is employed.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Suffern is hereby authorized and empowered to establish open stands in such place or places upon the streets of the Village of Suffern as it deems necessary for the use of taxicabs situated in the Village. Said Board of Trustees shall not create an open stand without taking into consideration the need for such stands by the companies and the convenience to the general public. The Board of Trustees shall prescribe the number of cabs that shall occupy such open stands. The Board of Trustees shall not create an open stand in front of any place of business where the abutting property owners object to the same or where such stand would tend to create a traffic hazard.
Open stands shall be used by the different drivers on a first-come-first-served basis. The driver shall pull onto the open stand from the rear and shall advance forward as the cabs ahead pull off. Drivers shall be required to stay within a reasonable distance of their cabs, but in no event beyond a distance of 50 feet, and within full view of the cab. They shall not solicit passengers or engage in loud or boisterous talk while at an open stand. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as preventing a passenger from boarding the cab of his choice that is parked at open stands.
The Board of Trustees is hereby authorized and empowered to establish call box stands upon the streets of the Village of Suffern in such places as in its discretion it deems proper. A holder desiring to establish a call box stand shall make written application to the Board of Trustees. The applicant must attach to the application the written approval of the abutting property owners of said space, consenting to the creation of such stand. Upon filing of the application, the Police Department shall make an investigation of the traffic conditions at each place and shall thereafter file its written recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall then either grant or refuse the application. When a call box stand has been established as herein provided, it shall be used solely by the holder to whom the same was granted and his agents and servants, and no other holder shall be permitted to use the same; provided, however, that no holder shall obtain permits for more than one such closed stand within the downtown business area.
A holder operating a call box stand as provided for in this chapter shall be allowed to have on duty at such stand a starter or other employee for the purpose of assisting in the loading or unloading of passengers from cabs, for receiving calls and dispatching cabs and for soliciting passengers at such stand. The words "at such stand" shall mean that part of the sidewalk immediately adjacent to and of equal length with such call box stand. It shall be unlawful for any such starter or other employee to go beyond the area herein designated for the purpose of soliciting passengers or assisting them in boarding such cabs.
Private or other vehicles for hire shall not at any time occupy the space upon the streets that has been established as either open stands or call box stands.
All persons engaged in the taxicab business in the Village of Suffern operating under the provisions of this chapter shall render an overall service to the public desiring to use taxicabs. Holders of certificates of public conveyance and necessity shall maintain a central place of business or telephone for the purpose of receiving calls and dispatching cabs. They shall answer all calls received by them for service inside the corporate limits of the Village of Suffern as soon as they can do so; and if said services cannot be rendered within a reasonable time, they shall then notify the prospective passengers how long it will be before said call can be answered and give the reason therefor. Any holder who shall refuse to accept a call anywhere in the corporate limits of the Village of Suffern at any time when such holder has available cabs or who shall fail or refuse to give overall service shall be deemed a violator of this chapter, and the certificate granted to such holder shall be revoked at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.
Every holder shall keep accurate records of receipts from operations, operating and other expenses, capital expenditures and such other operations information as may be required by the Board of Trustees. Every holder shall maintain such information and other data required by this chapter at a place readily accessible for examination by the Board of Trustees.
Every holder shall submit reports of receipts, expenses and statistics of operation to the Board of Trustees for each calendar year. Said reports shall reach the Village Clerk on or before the 28th day of February on the year following the calendar year for which such reports are filed. Every person who comes within the scope of this subsection may be required to submit to examination under oath by the Board of Trustees or as its designee in relation to matters covered by said subsection.
All accidents arising from or in connection with the operation of taxicabs which result in death or injury to any person or in damage to any vehicle or to any property in an amount exceeding $50 shall be reported within 24 hours from the time of occurrence to the Police Department in a form of report to be furnished by such Department.
Service contract reports. It shall be mandatory for all holders to file with the Village Clerk copies of all contracts, agreements, arrangements, memoranda or other writings relating to the furnishing of taxicab service to any hotel, theater, hall, public resort, railway station or other place of public gathering, whether such arrangement is made with the holder or any corporate firm or association with which the holder may be interested or connected. Failure to file such copies within seven days shall be sufficient cause for the revocation of a certificate of any offending holder or the cancellation of any cab-stand privileges.
Subject to the rules and regulations of the Board of Trustees, it shall be lawful for any person owning or operating a taxicab or motor vehicle for hire to permit advertising matter to be affixed to or installed in or on such taxicabs or motor vehicles for hire.
The Police Department of the Village of Suffern is hereby given the authority and is instructed to watch and observe the conduct of holders and drivers operating under this chapter. Upon discovering a violation of the provisions of this chapter, the Police Department shall report the same to the Board of Trustees, which will order or take appropriate action.