Borough of Buena, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Buena 2-28-2011 by Ord. No. 577. Amendments noted where applicable.[1]]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public Safety Department — See Ch. 45.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 218.
[1]:
Editor's Note: This ordinance supersedes former Ch. 209, Taxicabs, adopted 12-11-1950, as amended.

§ 209-1 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, corporation or association.
STREET
Any street, avenue, park, parkway, highway or other public place.
TAXICAB
Any automobile, motor vehicle or other vehicle, commonly called "taxi," engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire, which is held out, announced or advertised to operate and run or which is operated or run over any of the streets or the public highways of this Borough and, particularly, accepts and discharges such persons as may offer themselves for transportation from points or places to points and places.
TAXIMETER
A meter instrument or device attached to a taxicab upon which the far is based, which measures mechanically the distance driven and the waiting time.
WAITING TIME
The time when a taxicab is not in motion, from the time of acceptance of a passenger to the time of discharge, but does not include any time that a taxicab is not in motion due to any cause other than the request, act or fault of a passenger.

§ 209-2 License requirements.

No person may cause a taxicab to be operated without first having obtained a taxicab owner's license from the Council of the Borough of Buena. No person may operate a taxicab without first having obtained a taxicab operator's license from the Council of the Borough of Buena.

§ 209-3 License procedure.

All applications shall be in writing on forms approved by the Borough Clerk. All applications for taxicab owner's and operator's licenses shall be completed in their entirety and filed with the Borough Clerk. Any application which is deemed incomplete by the Borough Clerk or his/her designee shall be rejected. All completed applications shall have the date and time that they have been received recorded thereon.
A. 
Taxicab operator's license.
(1) 
All applications for taxicab operator's license shall contain or be accompanied with the following:
(a) 
The name, age and residence of the applicant. A post office box is not acceptable.
(b) 
The names and addresses of two references residing in the Borough of Buena.
(c) 
The full amount of the license application fee hereinafter prescribed.
(d) 
Other information deemed appropriate by the Chief of Police.
(2) 
All applicants shall have the following qualifications:
(a) 
An applicant shall be at least 18 years of age.
(b) 
An applicant shall be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
(c) 
An applicant shall have a valid New Jersey driver's license.
(d) 
An applicant shall be able to communicate in the English language.
(e) 
An applicant shall not have been convicted of any offense which has resulted in the loss or suspension of his/her driving privileges in this state or any other state within five years from the date of application.
(f) 
An applicant shall not have been convicted of any indictable offense in this state or its equivalent in any other state.
(g) 
An applicant shall not have been convicted of any drug- or alcohol-related offense.
(h) 
An applicant shall have such further qualifications that the Borough Clerk or Chief of Police may deem appropriate and necessary to determine the fitness of the applicant to operate a taxicab.
(3) 
Each applicant shall be fingerprinted by the Buena Borough Police Department prior to the issuance of an operator's license.
(4) 
An operator's license shall not be transferable.
(5) 
Upon submission of an application, the Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether the applicant meets the qualifications as set forth herein. The Chief of Police shall submit his/her report of findings to the Borough Clerk.
(6) 
The Borough Clerk shall submit his/her recommendations for the issuance of a taxicab operator's license to Borough Council for consideration. When Borough Council has determined to grant such license, it shall do so by resolution. Upon the adoption of such resolution, the Borough Clerk shall sign all licenses and issue to each approved operator an operator's license in accordance herewith.
(7) 
Each applicant who has been approved for an operator's license as prescribed herein shall be issued an operator's license which shall contain a photo identification of the operator. Said license shall be displayed conspicuously on the dashboard of the taxicab being operated in plain view of the passenger. Said license shall be presented at anytime upon the request of any police officer, the Code Enforcement Officer, the Chief of Police, any authorized Borough agent or any passenger. Every operator's license shall have affixed thereto the Borough license number, date of issue and date of expiration.
(8) 
Each taxicab operator licensed in accordance herewith shall be required to be fingerprinted under Subsection A(3) every other year, which shall be completed prior to the date of expiration of their current license.
B. 
Taxicab owner's license.
(1) 
All applications for taxicab owner's license shall contain or be accompanied by the following:
(a) 
The names, age and residence of the applicant. A post office box is not acceptable.
[1] 
If a partnership, the names, ages and residences of all partners along with the business address of the partnership.
[2] 
If a corporation, the names, ages and residences of its president, secretary and treasurer along with its certificate of incorporation, certified copy of resolution authorizing this application and a certificate of good standing issued by the State of New Jersey not more than 30 days prior to the date of application. Application of any corporation shall be signed by its president and attested by its secretary.
[3] 
If a limited liability company, the names, ages and residences of all of its members, name, age and residence of managing member, certified copy of the resolution authorizing the application, certificate of good standing issued by the State of New Jersey not more than 30 days prior to the date of the application.
(b) 
A description of the vehicle or vehicles to be licensed, including the year, make and model, seating capacity, vehicle identification number and license plate number thereof. Should the applicant not have this information at the time his/her application has been filed with the date and time of receipt recorded thereon, then, in that event, this information must be supplied to the Borough Clerk prior to the issuance of an owner's license.
(c) 
The owner of such taxicab to be licensed in accordance herewith shall file with the Clerk of the Borough of Buena for each taxicab operated an insurance policy of a company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of the State of New Jersey, conditioned for the payment of a sum of not less than $15,000 to satisfy all claims for damages by reason of bodily injury to, or the death of, any one person resulting from an accident and a sum of not less than $30,000 to satisfy all claims for damages by reason of the bodily injuries to, or the death of, all persons on account of any such accident by reason of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of such taxicab upon any public street; and conditioned for the payment of a sum not less than $5,000 to satisfy any claim for damages to property of any one person resulting from an accident and a sum not less than $5,000 to satisfy all claims for damages to property of all persons on account of any such accident by reasons of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of such taxicab upon any public street.
(d) 
The names and addresses of two references residing in the Borough of Buena.
(e) 
The full amount of the application fee herein prescribed.
(f) 
Other information deemed appropriate by the Chief of Police.
(2) 
All applicants for a taxicab owner's license shall have the following qualifications:
(a) 
An applicant shall be at least 18 years of age. All partners, corporate officers or members of the limited liability company applicant shall be at least 18 years of age.
(b) 
All applicants shall be a citizen or legal resident of the United States. All partners, corporate officers or members of a limited liability company applicant shall be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
(c) 
An applicant shall not have been convicted of any indictable offense in this state or its equivalent in any other state. All partners, corporate officer or members of a limited liability company applicant shall not have been convicted of any indictable offense in this state or its equivalent in any other state.
(d) 
An applicant shall not have been convicted of any drug- or alcohol-related offense. All partners, corporate officers or members of a limited liability company applicant shall not have been convicted of any drug- or alcohol-related offense.
(e) 
An applicant shall have such further qualifications that the Borough Clerk or Chief of Police may deem appropriate and necessary to determine the fitness of the applicant to own a taxicab.
(3) 
Upon receipt of the completed application by the Borough Clerk, and provided an owner's license is available for distribution by the Borough of Buena, the application shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police, who shall cause an investigation to be made in accordance herewith, and thereafter he/she shall provide his/her findings and recommendations to the Borough Clerk. In the event an owner's license is not available for distribution by the Borough Clerk, the application shall be placed on file with the Borough Clerk with the date and time recorded thereon in accordance herewith. As owners' licenses become available, they shall be offered to those applicants in the order of the dates and times upon which each completed application was received and filed, the earliest having the option to acquire said license in accordance herewith. Notice of availability shall be sent by certified mail and regular mail simultaneously requiring the applicant to respond in 20 days of mailing by notifying the Borough Clerk in writing of his interest to acquire the available license. Should there be no response within said time, or should notice to the address given in the application be undeliverable or returned, notice shall then go to the next applicant based upon the date and time of receipt of the completed application. It shall be the applicant's obligation to notify the Borough Clerk of any change of address. A nonrefundable police/public safety investigation fee shall be paid prior to submission to the Chief of Police for fingerprinting and investigation.
(4) 
Upon compliance with all requirements specified herein, the Borough Clerk shall issue a certificate in duplicate showing that the owner of the taxicab or taxicabs has complied with the terms and conditions of this chapter for each taxicab to be operated by the owner's license holder. The certificate shall recite the name of the insurance company, the number and date of expiration of the policy or bond, a description of the taxicab insured thereunder and the registration number of the same. Upon issuance of a certificate of compliance, Borough Council shall consider the adoption of a resolution authorizing the issuance of an owner's license. The duplicate certificate shall thereafter be filed with the Motor Vehicle Commission before any such car is licensed as a taxicab in the Borough of Buena. A certificate of compliance duly filed in accordance herewith and accompanying Council resolution is required for each taxicab being operated by the owner's license holder.
(5) 
Each applicant who has been approved for an owner's license as prescribed herein shall be issued an owner's license which shall contain a photo identification of the owner. Said license shall be displayed conspicuously on the dashboard of the taxicab being operated in plain view of the passenger in addition to the certificate of compliance. Said license shall be presented at anytime upon the request of any police officer, the Code Enforcement Officer, the Chief of Police, any authorized Borough agent or any passenger. Every owner's license shall have affixed thereto the Borough license number, date of issue and date of expiration.

§ 209-4 License term.

Any new license issued hereunder shall be valid from its date of issuance until December 31 of the same year. Thereafter, a renewal license shall be valid for one year from January 1 to December 31.

§ 209-5 Fees.

The nonrefundable fees shall be as follows:
A. 
New owner's license application fee: $100 for each taxicab per year.
B. 
New owner's license public safety investigation fee: $200 per applicant.
C. 
Renewal of owner's license and taxicab inspection fee: $50 per taxicab.
D. 
Transfer of owner's license: $200.
E. 
New operator's license: $100.
F. 
Renewal of operator's license: $100.
G. 
Replacement operator's or owner's license: $20.
H. 
Fingerprinting per person per renewal: cost to be paid by applicant.

§ 209-6 Insurance or bond.

A. 
No owner's license shall be issued until the owner of such taxicab shall have filed with the Borough Clerk an insurance policy in accordance with this chapter.
B. 
An owner's license shall become effective and operation thereunder shall be permitted only so long as the insurance policy shall remain in force to the full and collectible amounts as aforesaid.
C. 
If an owner's license holder operates more than one taxicab, he/she shall file with the Borough Clerk an insurance policy of a company duly licensed to transact business under the an insurance laws of this state in the sum of $15,000/$30,000/$50,000 covering each taxicabs operated by the owner's license holder, which shall provide for the payment of any final judgment involved by any person on account of the ownership, maintenance and use of any such taxicabs or any fault with respect thereto, and shall be for the benefit of any person suffering loss, damage or injury as aforesaid.
D. 
Where a taxicab operator has a principal place of business other than the Borough of Buena, said taxicab owner shall, prior to operating in the Borough of Buena, file with the Borough Clerk the required insurance policy as well as the certificate of compliance required by N.J.S.A. 48:16-6.
E. 
The insurance policy shall provide for the payment of any final judgment recovered by any person on account of the ownership, maintenance or use of the taxicab or any fault in respect thereto and shall be for the benefit of every person suffering loss, damage or injury as aforesaid.

§ 209-7 Power of attorney.

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:16-5, every owner shall execute and deliver to the Borough Clerk, concurrently with the filing of a policy or bond aforesaid, a power of attorney, wherein and whereby the owner shall appoint the Borough of Buena Chief Fiscal Officer his/her true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service of any process out of a court of competent jurisdiction to be served against the insured by virtue of the indemnity granted under the insurance policy or bond filed.

§ 209-8 Owner's office.

Every owner, before obtaining a license hereunder, shall have and maintain in the Borough of Buena an office with telephone service for the purpose of receiving telephone calls from prospective passengers and from where said taxicab may be dispatched to provide taxicab service to a prospective passenger. The owner's license shall be maintained in said office, and said license shall be conspicuously displayed.

§ 209-9 Taxicab inspection; identification signs.

A. 
No owner's license shall be issued until the Code Enforcement Officer:
(1) 
Determines that such owner has adequately provided for the safety of children under the age of five years who are taxicab passengers. The owner shall provide a written policy and posted notice, at the owner's base of operation and in each taxicab, conspicuous to operators, stating that, prior to operating a taxicab, a child 18 months of age or younger shall be a rear seat passenger secured in a state or federally approved child passenger restraint system, and a child over the age of 18 months but less than five years shall be a rear seat passenger secured in either a state or federally approved child passenger restraint system or secured in a lap belt or lap belt and shoulder harness. Each owner shall keep and maintain a state or federally approved child passenger restraint system in the passenger compartment or trunk of the taxicab for use pursuant to this ordinance.
(2) 
Directs a thorough inspection ensuring that each taxicab:
(a) 
Is safe, clean and sanitary to transport passengers.
(b) 
Is properly equipped with an approved child passenger restraint system as described in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213.
(c) 
Carries, in such position viewable from the outside, an electric sign not less than five inches by nine inches nor more than six inches by 10 inches which shall be illuminated at night and shall plainly show the work "Taxi" and the number of the owner's license in legible letters and figures.
(d) 
Has painted on each side thereof, in letters at least three inches high, the word "taxi" or "cab" or the name of the operating owner containing the word "taxi," "cab" or "taxicab."
(e) 
Does not have any visual structural or mechanical deficiencies for which a motor vehicle registration would be denied.
(f) 
Complies with any and all other provisions of this chapter.
B. 
If the inspection concludes that there is no violation of this section, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a letter of approval.
C. 
The Police Department shall also have inspection power under this section to assist code enforcement.
D. 
Each taxicab licensed in accordance herewith shall have affixed in a conspicuous location within the taxicab so that any passenger may read the same a sign or sticker indication: "If you have any complaints regarding this taxicab or taxi operator, you may lodge your complaints by filing a written notice with the Borough Clerk of the Borough of Buena, 616 Central Avenue, Minotola, New Jersey 08341."

§ 209-10 Maximum number of owners' licenses; transfers.

A. 
The maximum number of owners' licenses issued hereunder shall be three, and no new license shall be issued to exceed this number; provided, however, that this limitation shall not prevent renewals or person-to-person transfer of owners' licenses issued and outstanding.
B. 
No owner's license shall be transferred from one owner to another unless said prospective owner has complied with all of the terms and conditions contained herein and required for the issuance of an owner's license.

§ 209-11 Renewals; change of residence.

A. 
Any taxicab owner's and/or operator's license may be renewed for a succeeding license term to replace a license which expired or is due to expire on the last day of the immediately preceding license term; provided, however, that said license is for the same owner or operator as the expired or expiring license, covers the same taxicab, is issued to the holder of the expired or expiring license and is issued pursuant to an application therefore which shall have been filed with the Borough Clerk prior to the commencement of said new license term or not later than 30 days after the commencement thereof. Taxicab owner's and/or operator's licenses issued otherwise than aforesaid shall be deemed new licenses.
B. 
A change or residence by any owner or operator shall be reported in writing to the Borough Clerk within 30 days after such change.

§ 209-12 Taxi stands.

A. 
Borough Council may designate by ordinance certain locations within the Borough for use as taxi stands as it deems necessary for public convenience.
B. 
Only taxicabs licensed hereunder shall occupy any part of said taxi stands.
C. 
All taxi stands shall be used by operators on a first-come-first-served basis. An operator entering a taxi stand in a taxicab shall join behind any waiting taxicabs and advance forward as the preceding taxicabs depart.
D. 
Taxicab owners shall maintain the sanitary condition of taxi stands and shall provide properly screened refuse storage areas for the use of operators and customers on lands other than the Borough-owned miniparks and adjacent drives and walkways. An owner's right to use taxi stands shall be subject to revocation by Borough Council upon submission of documented evidence of litter/trash ordinance violations.

§ 209-13 Operation requirements.

A. 
Any taxicab occupying a taxi stand shall be immediately available for hire. Upon request, no owner or operator, unless previously engaged, shall refuse or neglect to carry any orderly person anywhere within the Borough. No owner or operator shall leave a vehicle unattended or in any other manner render said vehicle unready for immediate use while occupying any taxi stand.
B. 
No owner or operator shall permit any person, other than a passenger being transported for hire, in or about such taxicab when in service as a taxicab.
C. 
No operator shall cruise on streets of this Borough with any taxicab at any time for the purpose of soliciting passengers or to bring the presence of the taxicab to the attention of prospective passengers. A taxicab being driven along the Borough streets for any purpose other than transporting a passenger, going to a specified destination by the most direct route in response to a call for a taxicab by a prospective passenger or returning by the most direct route to the taxicab's home terminus after discharging a passenger, or going to or from said terminus to the operator's home by the most direct route, shall be prima facie evidence of cruising.
D. 
No owner or operator shall induce any person to employ him by knowingly misinforming or misleading any such person, either as to the time or place of arrival or departure of any train or bus or as to the location of any hotel, public or private place, nor shall any such owner or operator deceive any person, make false representations to him or convey any passenger to any other place or over any other route than that indicated by the passenger.
E. 
No owner or operator who has accepted an order to call at any point in the Borough of Buena for the purpose of conveying any person to any other point in said Borough or the surrounding community shall neglect or unreasonably delay to execute the order. Any order delivered to and accepted by a person in charge of the garage, office or home of the operator shall be considered as having been delivered to and accepted by the owner or operator.
F. 
Transport of children.
(1) 
Every taxicab operator hereunder who transports a child under the age of five years shall be responsible for the protection of the child by properly using a state or federally approved child passenger restraint system.
(2) 
No operator shall transport a child five years of age or younger unless a child 18 months of age or younger is a rear seat passenger secured in a state or federally approved child passenger restraint system and a child over 18 months of age but less than five years is a rear seat passenger secured in either a state or federally approved child passenger restraint system or secured in a lap belt or lap belt and shoulder harness.
G. 
If for any safety reason an operator believes that a customer should not be served, said operator shall not be required to provide service to said customer.

§ 209-14 Discontinued service; surrender of license.

An owner who discontinues taxicab service or fails, without good cause, to operate and maintain the taxicab for more than 90 consecutive days shall immediately surrender his taxicab license to the Borough Clerk for cancellation. Failure to do so shall be sufficient cause for suspension or revocation of said taxicab license.

§ 209-15 Taximeters.

A. 
All taxicabs shall be equipped with taximeters fastened in front of the passengers, visible to them at all times, day and night. After sundown, the face of the taximeter shall be illuminated. Said taximeter shall be operated mechanically by a mechanism of standard design and construction, driven either from the transmission or from one of the front wheels by a flexible and permanently attached driving mechanism. They shall be sealed at all points and connections which, if manipulated, would affect their correct reading. Each taximeter shall have thereon a flag to denote when the vehicle is employed and when it is not employed, and it shall be the duty of the operator to throw the flag of such taximeter into a nonrecording position at the termination of each trip. The Chief of Police or any Police Officer is authorized, either on complaint of any person or without such complaint, to inspect any taximeter and, upon discovering any inaccuracy therein, to notify the taxicab operator to cease operation. Thereupon, said taxicab shall be kept off the highways until the taximeter is repaired and in required working condition.
B. 
All taximeters required in accordance herewith shall have been properly inspected and have affixed thereto proof of compliance with the State of New Jersey, Department of Weights and Measures. No taxicab owner's license shall issue nor shall any taxicab operate without the prior compliance with this section.

§ 209-16 Fares.

No owner or operator of a taxicab or other vehicle for hire shall charge a sum greater than the following fares for the use of said vehicle:
A. 
A minimum fee of $3 is established.
B. 
Mileage rates: $1.60 shall be charged upon entering the taxicab, also known as the "drop fare," and $2 for each additional meter mile. Fractions of each mile shall be calculated at the rate of $0.20 per 1/10 of a mile.
C. 
Plus $0.50 each article of luggage or baggage for each passenger.
D. 
Waiting time at the rate of $0.40 for each minute.
E. 
Ten cent per 1/10 mile for each additional passenger plus drop fare.
F. 
Every taxicab operated hereunder shall have a rate card setting forth the authorized rates of fare displayed in plain view of all passengers.

§ 209-17 Issuance of receipts.

An operator shall, upon demand by a passenger, provide 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 charges and date of transaction.

§ 209-18 Authority to adopt rules and regulations.

A. 
Borough Council reserves the right to make such rules and regulations for the operation of taxicabs and the conduct of the operators thereof as it may determine to be necessary and proper in the best interests of the citizens of the Borough. Any violation of said rules and regulations shall constitute a violation of this chapter, punishable as provided hereunder.
B. 
The Chief of Police may, with the approval of Borough Council, make reasonable regulations and inconsistent herewith for the conduct of owners and operators hereunder.

§ 209-19 Denial, suspension or revocation; hearing.

Any owner's or operator's license may be denied, revoked or suspended at any time for cause for the violation of any provision hereunder or any other Borough ordinance. The licensee may make a written request for a hearing within 10 days from date of denial, revocation or suspension. The hearing shall be held before the Chief of Police. Such denial, suspension or revocation may be in addition to or instead of penalties prescribed hereunder. A suspended or revoked license shall not be reissued except for good and sufficient reasons shown.

§ 209-20 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable as provided in penalties section of the Code of the Borough of Buena.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III, Enforcement.
B. 
Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day the same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.
C. 
Unless another law is stated to the contrary, the Buena Municipal Court shall have jurisdiction over the violations and penalties set forth in this section.