[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Willingboro 2-4-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-01 (Ch. VII of the 2003 Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words and terms shall have the meanings given herein:
- The driving of an empty taxicab to and fro along a public street at a slow rate of speed for the obvious purpose of soliciting passengers.
- PUBLIC TAXICAB STAND
- A section of a public street or public place set apart for the exclusive use of a limited number of taxicabs when the section is distinctly marked as a taxicab stand by a metal sign attached to a stanchion on the curb or other conspicuous place or by clearly visible marks upon the surface of the street or public place.
- Includes any automobile or motorcar, commonly called "taxi," "auto cab," "omnibus," or by whatever name or designation it may now or hereafter be known or designated, engaging in the business of carrying passengers for hire, which is held out, announced or advertised to operate or run or which is operated to run over any of the streets or highways of the Township, and particularly accepts and discharges any person for transportation from points or places within the Township or which is hired by charter or for a particular contract or by the day or hour or other fixed period or to transport passengers to a specified place or places or which charges a fare or price agreed upon in advance between the operator and the passenger. Nothing contained in this definition shall be construed to include any motor vehicle by whatever name or designation used and employed solely in transporting schoolchildren or teachers or autobuses which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utility Commissioners.
No taxicab shall operate upon, over or along the streets or other highways of the Township of Willingboro, nor shall any taxicab stand upon any public street or other public place or on private premises within the limits of the Township of Willingboro waiting for employment, without first obtaining a license from the Township Clerk, which shall be issued to expire December 31 next succeeding the date of issuance, unless sooner suspended or revoked. The fee to be paid for a taxicab license shall be as provided in § 150-9A of the Code of the Township of Willingboro for each calendar year or part thereof for which the license is issued.
The inspection of taxicabs, the investigation of applicants for licenses to drive taxicabs and the enforcing of the provisions of this chapter shall be under the control of the Director of Public Safety. Licenses shall be issued by the Township Clerk.
Applications for licenses for taxicabs shall be made by the owner, lessee or bailee thereof upon forms to be furnished by the Township Clerk, and the application shall contain the following information:
For an individual applicant, the full name and social security number of the applicant; the street and post office address of the applicant's residence; the date and place of the applicant's birth; the places of the applicant's previous employment; whether the applicant has ever been charged with, arrested or convicted of a crime or other violation of law and, if so, what crime or offense; whether the applicant has been previously licensed to operate a taxicab and, if so, where; whether that license or any taxicab driver's license or motor vehicle operator's license issued to the applicant has ever been revoked and, if so, for what cause.
If a copartnership, the firm name, main office, branch offices, names, social security numbers and street and post office addresses of partners; the date and place of birth of each partner; place of previous employment of each partner; whether the partner was ever charged with or arrested or convicted of any crime or other violation of law and, if so, what crime or offense; whether any partner has been licensed to operate a taxicab or as a driver or chauffeur of a public vehicle and, if so, where; whether that license or any taxicab driver's license or any motor vehicle operator's license of any partner has ever been revoked and, if so, for what cause.
If a corporation, name of the corporation; main office; branch office; in what state incorporated; names, social security numbers, street and post office addresses of all officers and directors of the corporation; the date and place of birth of each officer and director; the place of previous employment of each; whether any officer or director was ever charged with, arrested or convicted of a crime or other violation of law and, if so, what crime or offense; whether previously licensed to operate or drive a taxicab; whether that license or any motor vehicle operator's license issued to that officer or director has ever been revoked and, if so, for what cause.
In addition to the foregoing, every application shall contain a statement as to whether the applicant is the owner, lessee or bailee of the taxicab sought to be licensed; the state license number of the vehicle; the year, make, model and manufacturer's identification number of the vehicle; the type of vehicle for which the license is desired; and the number of persons the vehicle is capable of carrying.
All applications shall be duly verified by the affidavit of the individual, a partner of the copartnership, or an officer of the corporation seeking the license and shall be accompanied (on forms to be provided by the Township Clerk) by affidavits of the good moral character of the applicant, if an individual, and of each partner if a copartnership, and of each officer and director if a corporation, from two reputable citizens of the County of Burlington who have known the applicant or applicants personally for at least one year preceding the date of the application.
No license shall be granted to operate a taxicab to any person or to any partnership or corporation who is not, or the members or officers of which are not, a person of good moral character or who has, or if any of the members of the partnership or officers of such corporation have, been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude or who has been convicted of driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled dangerous substance within 10 years next preceding the date of the application for the license or who has a motor vehicle driving record which the Director of Public Safety determines to be unsafe, unless the Director of Public Safety, for good cause shown and established at a hearing held for that purpose, shall waive the disqualification.
The Township Clerk shall have the power to issue or refuse to issue a license, in pursuance of the terms of this chapter. Any license heretofore or hereafter issued may be transferred from one vehicle to another upon the payment of a transfer fee as provided in § 150-9A of the Code of the Township of Willingboro.
No taxicab shall be licensed until it has been thoroughly and carefully inspected and examined by the Director of Public Safety or the Director of Public Safety's designee and found to be in a thoroughly safe condition for the transportation of passengers. The licensed taxicabs shall be clean, fit, and of good appearance. No impediment to the clear visibility into the interior of the vehicle shall be permitted on any licensed vehicle. The Township Clerk shall refuse a license to any applicant or, if already issued, revoke or suspend the license of any vehicle found to be unsafe for the transportation of passengers. The Director of Public Safety is hereby authorized and empowered to establish such additional rules and regulations for the inspection of taxicabs and their appurtenances and condition of fitness for the safe and adequate transportation of passengers as the Director of Public Safety may deem necessary and reasonable. All reports of inspections and examinations, after having been submitted to the Director of Public Safety, shall be filed with the Township Clerk and shall become a part of the application filed for licensing.
The issuance of any license for the operation of any taxicab upon, over or along the streets or other highways of and in the Township of Willingboro shall be expressly conditioned upon the applicant's agreement and representation to make the services available within the Township of Willingboro on each and every day of the week, including Sunday, and to at all times stand ready to serve the public in accordance with this and every other provision of this chapter. The representation and agreement shall be set forth in a signed statement as part of each license application form.
If, upon inspection, a taxicab is found to be in a safe condition for the transportation of passengers and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations established hereunder, and upon payment of the license fees hereinabove set forth, the taxicab may be licensed by delivering to the applicant a card of such size and form as may be prescribed by the Township Clerk. The card, which shall be prominently displayed in a manner so that it is clearly visible to all passengers, shall contain the name of the applicant; the official license number of the taxicab; the name of the owner; the state license number thereof; the year, make, model, and manufacturer's identification number of the taxicab, together with the date of the inspection of the taxicab; and a notice that, in case of any complaint, the Director of Public Safety shall be notified, the license number of the taxicab being given. The card shall have attached thereto the signature of the Director of Public Safety and shall contain blank spaces upon which an entry shall be made of the date of every inspection of the vehicle by the person making the inspection.
The Township Clerk shall keep a register of the name of each person owning or operating a vehicle or vehicles licensed under this chapter, together with the license number and the description, year, make, model, and dimensions of each vehicle, with the date and complete record of inspections. All applications for licenses shall be filed by the Township Clerk and carefully preserved for reference. All licenses issued shall be recorded in books provided for that purpose, which shall be in such form as the Township Clerk shall prescribe. All records of taxicab licenses shall be open to the inspection of the public at all reasonable times and shall be deemed the official records of the Township of Willingboro.
The Director of Public Safety shall maintain a regular inspection program over all taxicabs to see that they are kept in a condition of safety for the transportation of passengers and, to this end, shall have the right at any and all times to inspect any and all licensed vehicles and shall maintain a record, in writing, of the report of all inspections.
In order to ensure the safety of the public, it shall be unlawful for the owner, lessee or bailee of any taxicab to operate or cause or permit the taxicab to be operated, nor shall any license be issued hereunder, until and unless the applicant shall have complied with all laws relating to the filing of an insurance policy covering the owner or operator of the vehicle for damages to persons for which the owner or operator may become liable by reason of the ownership, maintenance or use of the vehicles. All insurance policies shall be issued to expire December 31 next succeeding the date of issuance.
Licenses granted under this chapter may be revoked or suspended at any time after notice and hearing by the Township Manager if the vehicle shall not be maintained in a safe condition for the transportation of passengers or not kept in conformity with the terms of this chapter or if used or its use is permitted for any improper, immoral or illegal business or purpose or for the violation of any statute or law of the State of New Jersey or of the United States or for the violation of any ordinance of the Township of Willingboro or any of the rules and regulations made by the Director of Public Safety. The Director of Public Safety may temporarily suspend a license for violation of this chapter for a period of not more than 15 days, pending the hearing before the Township Manager.
No person shall drive a taxicab until that person shall have made application upon a form provided by the Township Clerk for a taxicab driver's license and shall have procured a license from the Township Clerk. Every person applying for a license to drive a taxicab must furnish satisfactory evidence that such person has received a driver's license issued by the State of New Jersey. Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license, under the terms of this chapter, must conform to the following regulations:
Have had a valid driver's license for at least the previous 18 months, during which time the applicant has not had any moving violations; have a currently valid New Jersey driver's license and shall not have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude or of driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled dangerous substance within 10 years next preceding the date of the application for the license and shall not have a motor vehicle driving record which the Director of Public Safety determines to be unsafe, unless the Director of Public Safety, for good cause shown and established at a hearing held for that purpose, shall waive the disqualification.
Present the certificate of a reputable physician showing that the applicant has been examined within 60 days and that the applicant is of sound physique, with good eyesight, and not subject to any infirmity of body or mind which might render the applicant unfit for the safe operation of a taxicab. The Township Clerk may, at any time after a taxicab driver's license has been issued, require the holder of the license to submit to a physical examination in the manner herein set forth and to present a certificate of a physician showing the nonexistence of the conditions above mentioned. No renewal of a license shall be issued where the physical and eye examination certification is more than four years old.
Be able to read and write the English language.
Be clean in dress and person, and not under the influence of narcotics or intoxicating liquors.
State the name of the licensed owner by whom the applicant will be employed.
Produce, on forms provided by the Township Clerk, the names and residence addresses of at least two reputable citizens of the County of Burlington who have personally known the applicant.
Fill out, in the applicant's own handwriting, upon a form to be provided by the Township Clerk, a statement giving the applicant's full name; residence; places of residence for the preceding five years; all identifying information required in order to obtain a police record search; date and place of birth; places of previous employment; whether the applicant has ever been charged with or arrested or convicted of a crime or other violation of law or of a violation of this chapter and, if so, what; whether previously licensed as a driver or chauffeur and, if so, whether the license has ever been revoked and for what cause, which statement shall be signed and sworn to by the applicant and filed with the application as a permanent record.
Each applicant for a taxicab driver's license must file with the application three unmounted, unretouched photographs of the applicant showing a full facial view, taken within the 30 days preceding the filing of the application. Photographs are to be of a size which may easily be attached to the license, one of which shall be attached to the license when issued, and another shall be filed with the application. The photograph shall be attached to the license so that it cannot be removed and another photograph substituted without detection. Each licensed driver shall, upon demand, exhibit such driver's license and photograph for inspection. Each applicant shall also furnish a complete set of fingerprints, which shall be attached to the application, the fingerprints to be taken by such persons as the Director of Public Safety may direct.
Upon satisfactory fulfillment of the foregoing requirements, there shall be issued to the applicant a license to drive for the licensed owner named in the application. No licensed driver shall operate a taxicab owned by a person other than the person named in the application and license, unless the driver shall have first obtained a transfer of the license from the Township Clerk. The fee for any transfer of the license shall be as provided in § 150-9A of the Code of the Township of Willingboro, and no individual shall receive more than three transfers in any single calendar year. The license shall contain the photograph and signature of the licensee. Any person who defaces, removes or obliterates any official entry made upon a license shall be subject to the penalty set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, of the Code of the Township of Willingboro, together with the revocation of such license. Drivers' licenses shall be issued as of January 1 in each and every year and shall be valid to and including December 31 next succeeding, unless previously revoked.
There shall be delivered annually to each licensed driver an identification badge, in such form and style as the Township Clerk may prescribe, with the license number and the word "operator" clearly appearing thereon, which must be constantly and conspicuously displayed on the right breast of the driver's outer garment when the driver is working. No vehicle shall be operated except by a duly licensed person wearing the identification badge conspicuously displayed. A fee as provided in § 150-9A of the Code of the Township of Willingboro shall be paid by every licensed driver to the Township Clerk for the identification badge.
Taxicab driver's licenses may be renewed from year to year by the Township Clerk. A driver, in applying for a renewal of the license, shall make application, upon a form to be furnished by the Township Clerk, which shall be filled out with the full name and address of the applicant, together with a statement of the date upon which the original license was granted and the number thereof. Applications shall be filed not less than 30 days next preceding the expiration date of the existing license, which requirement can be waived or the period extended, for good cause, by the Township Clerk.
The license fee for the taxicab driver's license, or for each renewal thereof, shall be as provided in § 150-9A of the Code of the Township of Willingboro. The fee hereby affixed is imposed for regulation.
The Township Clerk is hereby authorized to issue temporary permits for the operators of taxicabs. Temporary permits, when issued, shall be upon such terms and conditions as the Township Clerk shall provide, but temporary permits shall in no event be granted for a longer period than 30 days and may be renewable for one additional period of 30 days. The fees for the issuance of annual licenses shall be applicable to temporary licenses, without adjustment.
Any change of address of any owner or driver licensed under the provisions of this chapter must be reported, in writing, to the Township Clerk's office within 72 hours of the change. The loss of the license, badge or any other book or document required to be kept by any licensed owner or driver must be reported to the Township Clerk's office, in writing, within 24 hours of the loss. In the event of any licensed driver terminating employment as a taxicab driver, the license, badge or any other paper or documents furnished by the Township shall be returned to the Township Clerk's office within 72 hours of the termination. A lost license may be replaced by the Township Clerk upon the filing of a sworn statement setting forth the manner in which the license has been lost and the payment of a fee as provided in § 150-9A of the Code of the Township of Willingboro.
The Township Manager, after notice and hearing, may suspend or revoke the license of any taxicab driver who shall violate any state or federal statute or any ordinance of the Township of Willingboro or any of the rules and regulations made by the Director of Public Safety or whenever the Township Manager shall determine that the promotion of the public life, health, morals or safety will be advanced by the suspension or revocation. Any suspension shall be noted on the license application record, together with a statement of the reasons therefor. The Township Clerk shall notify the Director of Public Safety whenever a license is suspended or revoked.
Nothing herein contained shall limit the power of the Director of Public Safety or any officer authorized by the Director, in writing, to immediately suspend a license for probable cause for a period not exceeding five days, pending the giving of notice and holding of a hearing, whenever in the opinion and discretion of the Director of Public Safety or the authorized officer the action is in the public interest; provided, however, that in the event of a temporary suspension, where the notice and hearing of alleged violations or charges are not given and held prior to the expiration of the five-day period, the proposed charges and violations shall be deemed dismissed.
These suspension and revocation provisions are in addition to any other penalties for violation of this chapter.
The Township Manager is hereby authorized to designate places within the Township of Willingboro as public taxicab stands.
No taxicab shall occupy a public stand or a stand on private premises waiting for employment, with the exception of those designated as open stands, unless a permit therefor has been issued by the Township Manager. Applications for permits to occupy a public stand shall designate the stand by reference to its specific location.
Only taxicabs in the numbers and kinds as are set forth on the sign, as hereinafter provided, shall remain at a public taxicab stand while waiting for employment, and only in single file, pointed in accordance with traffic regulations.
No taxicab operator, owner, dispatcher or employee shall refuse to carry any orderly person to any destination within a fifty-mile radius of the Township of Willingboro, provided that such person agrees to pay the legally authorized rate of fare, and this regulation shall apply regardless of whether the request for transportation shall be made directly or by telephone and whether made at a taxicab stand or at any other place, provided that compliance with the request would not result in a violation of any other provision of this chapter.
When a taxicab leaves an approved stand with passengers or to answer a call, those vehicles behind it shall move up in an orderly progression, and any taxicab seeking a place on any stand shall approach the stand only from the rear of the stand and shall stop as closely as possible, with due regard to normal safety rules, to the last public taxicab already in line. No taxicab shall stand within 20 feet of any crosswalk. No taxicab shall stand at the curb within 15 feet of the entrance to any public place, and it shall not stand within 25 feet of any fire hydrant. No taxicab shall stand at any place on the streets of the Township of Willingboro awaiting employment for hire except upon taxicab stands.
No taxicab driver shall stand in front of the entrance to any building within the prohibited space after the driver's passengers desiring to leave have alighted.
No driver of a taxicab shall suffer or permit persons to loiter in or about the driver's taxicab.
No vehicle other than a licensed taxicab shall stop on any public taxicab stand except while loading or unloading goods, wares or merchandise, or receiving or discharging passengers.
Each taxicab stand shall be marked with a suitable stanchion which shall bear the legend that it is a stand reserved for public licensees only and shall designate the number of taxicabs which may occupy it.
No taxicab shall occupy any public taxicab stand other than the stand designated in the permit, with the exception of those occupying open stands as provided for herein.
Any taxicab licensee may install and maintain telephones at any and all public taxicab stands which the licensee is authorized to occupy. The telephones shall be erected upon poles or standards inside of and close to the curblines at points approved by the Township Manager, or upon existing poles, structures, or the exterior of buildings adjacent thereto, with the consent of the owners of the poles, structures or buildings. The Township Manager may give consent with respect to poles or structures or buildings owned by the Township of Willingboro. Every licensed owner or driver of a taxicab, whether operating from public stands or private premises, must answer all calls received on telephones, if vehicles are available.
In addition to the foregoing, the Township Manager may make those rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, prescribing the manner in which taxicabs shall stand at designated public taxicab stands as the Township Manager shall determine are necessary and proper.
The Township Manager is hereby further authorized to designate places within the Township of Willingboro as open public taxicab stands, as may be required. The stands shall be subject to all the provisions, regulations and requirements as provided and set forth above; provided, however, that no applications for and no permits to occupy shall be required. Any taxicab licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall have the right and privilege to occupy open stands upon equal terms with any other licensed taxicabs, not exceeding the number of taxicabs designated. On open stands, any passenger desiring the service of a taxicab must accept the one first in line, after which the others shall move up.
Any individual, copartnership or corporation duly licensed under this chapter to operate one or more taxicabs in the Township of Willingboro shall use taxicab meters as a basis for the maximum charge of carrying passengers from one point to another within the Township of Willingboro. The maximum charges on the meters shall be computed as follows:
For any trip, the meter shall begin at $1.75; for each tenth of a mile or portion thereof thereafter, an additional $0.175 up to the first mile; for each mile or portion of a mile after the first mile, an additional $1.75.
For each minute of waiting time: $0.35 per minute.
For senior citizens, the maximum charge, as computed, shall be reduced by 35%. For purposes of this subsection, the term "senior citizens" shall be defined as individuals who are 60 years of age or older and can prove that fact by a showing of documentation properly issued by a governmental agency.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude or prohibit charges less than those set forth above, and reduced rates may be charged in the discretion of the licensee.
A copy of the foregoing maximum rates of fare shall be furnished by the Township Clerk to each taxicab and shall at all times be posted in a conspicuous place inside the taxicab. The owner shall provide each taxicab with a printed receipt pad to be approved by the Township Clerk. Each driver shall keep on hand a supply thereof and shall, when requested, give a passenger a receipt on the official form for the fare paid.
There shall also be posted in a conspicuous place on the inside of the taxicab the name and address of the owner and the name and address and photograph of the driver, together with the license number of the taxicab and the number of the taxicab driver's license, the same to be provided by the owner in a manner to be approved by the Township Clerk.
No person shall charge or attempt to charge any passenger a greater rate of fare than that to which the operator is entitled under the provisions of this chapter.
All disputes as to the local rate of fare shall, upon request of the driver or passenger, be determined by the senior police officer on duty. Failure to comply with the determination shall subject the offender to a charge of disorderly conduct.
No driver of a taxicab shall induce any person to employ the driver by knowingly misinforming or misleading the person either as to the time or place of the arrival or departure of any bus, airplane, train or boat or as to the location of any place within the Township or as to the distance between any two points, nor shall any driver deceive any person or make any false representation or convey any passenger to any other place or over any other route than that to which the passenger may have instructed the driver to go. Unless otherwise ordered, passengers shall be conveyed only over the most practical direct route to their destination.
No taxicab, while waiting for employment by passengers, shall stand on any public street or space other than at a taxicab stand designated or established in accordance with this chapter, nor shall any driver of a taxicab seek employment by repeatedly and persistently driving the taxicab to and fro in a short space before, or by otherwise interfering with, the proper and orderly access to or egress from any place of public gathering, and no driver shall solicit passengers for a taxicab except when sitting upon the driver's seat thereof, nor shall any driver of a taxicab solicit employment in the transportation of passengers by driving in or through any public street or public place at a slow rate of speed, commonly designated as "cruising."
Every driver of a taxicab, immediately after the termination of any hiring or employment, must carefully search the taxicab for any property lost or left therein, and any property, unless sooner claimed or delivered to the owner, must be reported, in writing, by the driver or owner of the taxicab to the Director of Public Safety, with brief particulars and description of the property, within 24 hours after the finding thereof.
Each and every licensed owner shall record, in a book kept solely for that purpose, the time of departure from the garage or stand of every licensed vehicle, giving the name, address and license number of the driver; the license number of the vehicle; and the time of the return to the garage or stand of the vehicle, which book and every other record of the acceptance and discharge of passengers kept by any licensed owner or driver shall be kept open for inspection at all times to a duly authorized representative of the Director of Public Safety.
No vehicle covered by the terms of this chapter shall imitate any color scheme, name, monogram or insignia used by any other person, firm or corporation operating a taxicab or taxicabs in a manner as to be misleading or to tend to deceive or defraud the public, and provided further that if after a scheme, name, monogram or insignia thereof is changed so as to be in conflict with or which, in the opinion of the Director of Public Safety, imitates any color scheme, name, monogram or insignia used by any other person, firm or corporation operating a taxicab or taxicabs in a manner as to be misleading or tending to deceive or defraud the public, the license of the taxicab or taxicabs shall be suspended or revoked.
Every honorably discharged soldier, sailor or marine who has served in the Army or Navy of the United States in any war in which the United States has been engaged, upon furnishing satisfactory proof of that service and discharge and complying with the terms and conditions of this chapter, shall receive a taxicab driver's license without the payment of any fee.
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the general penalty provisions set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, of the Code of the Township of Willingboro, and each day any violation shall be continued shall be deemed to be a separate and district offense.