City of Poughkeepsie, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, operate, offer or keep for hire or charge within the limits of the City any for-hire vehicle without first having obtained and paid for a for-hire vehicle driver's license and a for-hire vehicle license and all other licenses and permits required by law, and causing the same to be and remain in force and effect at all times under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) 
It shall be unlawful for any for-hire vehicle to operate as a taxicab in the City of Poughkeepsie. If any for-hire vehicle driver is found to be operating a for-hire vehicle as a taxicab, such vehicle will be deemed to be operating out of class and subject to the requirements, and corresponding violations, exclusive to taxicabs contained in Section 18-16 entitled "Taxicab vehicle requirements."
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
No person shall drive a for-hire vehicle, and no person shall permit anyone to drive a for-hire vehicle, within the limits of the City without such driver having first obtained and paid for, and having in force and effect at all times, both a valid New York State driver's license of the appropriate class and certification, including, but not limited to, a chauffeur's license, and a for-hire vehicle driver's license issued under the provisions of this chapter. Any for-hire vehicle company, owner or operator who allows any driver to operate a for-hire vehicle without said licenses as required by this section shall be in violation of this section and subject to prosecution separate and aside from any driver who operates a for-hire vehicle in violation of this section. It shall be the duty of every company, owner or operator to ensure all drivers permitted to operate a for-hire vehicle possess the required licenses under this section.
(b) 
In addition to the penalty provided for in Section 18-61, when a for-hire vehicle is found to be operating in violation of this section, the operator shall be assessed a civil penalty by the City Clerk as follows:
(1) 
Per violation: $500.
(c) 
Failure to pay such fee could result in the suspension or revocation of the operator's for-hire license pursuant to Section 18-49. The operator may appeal such civil penalty pursuant to Section 18-41(b).
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Each applicant for a for-hire vehicle driver's license must comply with the following requirements and provide the required information to the satisfaction of the Chief of Police. Any incomplete application will be rejected and returned to the applicant to be refiled. If an application is rejected two times for being incomplete, the applicant will be required to begin the application process over and pay a new application fee.
(1) 
He/she must first have obtained all required state licenses, including a state chauffeur's license, if applicable. The full residence address of the applicant must be entered on the Department of Motor Vehicles driver's license. Post office box numbers are not acceptable.
(2) 
She/he shall fill out, upon a form to be provided by the City Clerk, a statement giving his full name; current residence; places of residence for the five years immediately preceding his moving to his present address; age; date of birth; height; color of eyes and hair; place of birth; whether a citizen of the United States; places of previous employment for the immediately past five years; whether married or single; whether he has ever been arrested or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or driving while intoxicated ("DWI"), or criminal charges involving illegal drugs; whether he/she has any previous violations of this chapter; whether he has been previously licensed as a driver or chauffeur and, if so, whether his license has ever been revoked and for what cause; and the number of the chauffeur's license issued by the state; and the company name, business address and telephone number from which the applicant will operate and/or drive any taxicab, which statement shall be signed and sworn to by the applicant and filed with the City Clerk as a permanent record.
(3) 
He/she shall additionally submit the following:
a. 
The results of a drug screening test performed within 10 days of the date of the applicant's submission, from a laboratory certified to perform toxicology tests and certify the results thereof by the New York State Department of Health and which performs drug abuse testing, indicating the applicant does not use amphetamines, barbituates, benzodiazepines, benzoylecgonine, ethanol, fentanyl, methadone, opiates, phencyclidine, propoxyphene, THC-cannabinoids, and tricyclic antidepressants, unless prescribed by a licensed health care provider who attests, in writing, that such drug, when consumed by the applicant, in no way impairs the applicant's ability to operate a motor vehicle. The Chief, or his designee, reserves the right to request an independent review, by a licensed health care provider, of any positive drug test accompanied by an attestation which states that such positive drug test in no way impairs the applicant's ability to operate a motor vehicle. The applicant shall be responsible for all costs associated with the test required for application and renewal, including, but not limited to, all costs associated with such testing, as may be required by the Chief of Police.
b. 
A copy of his current New York State Department of Motor Vehicles driver's license abstract and true and accurate copies of certificates of disposition for any and all arrests of such applicant.
(b) 
Each application for a driver's license shall contain the following statement: "Pursuant to the New York State Penal Law, § 210.45, it is a crime punishable as a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly make a false statement herein."
(c) 
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized and empowered to require such additional information as same shall be reasonably related to the applicant's fitness and/or eligibility as he may deem necessary from any applicant for any license required by this chapter. The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to waive the production of any information from any applicant as may otherwise be required under this chapter if, in his opinion, such requirement is unreasonable, unnecessary, inappropriate or unjust under the circumstances.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Each applicant for a for-hire vehicle driver's license shall file with his application clear images, inked prints or other impressions of the fingers of his right and left hands, to the satisfaction of the Chief of Police. Such impressions shall be placed upon forms furnished by the City Police Department, the impressions to be taken under the supervision of the Chief of Police or someone designated by him, at such place or places as may be designated by such licensing official. Each applicant shall also file two unmounted, unretouched photographs of himself, size 2 1/4 inches by 2 1/4 inches, taken within 30 days preceding the filing of the application. The filing required by this section shall be accompanied by a yearly application fee of $25 and a triannual nonrefundable administrative fee of $300, which includes the cost of a triannual fingerprinting fee. The Police Department is hereby authorized to submit such fingerprints to any agency of the State of New York or subdivision thereof for the purpose of conducting a criminal history and background check for such applicant, which shall be used to evaluate and determine the qualifications and fitness of such applicant to be issued a license hereunder.
(b) 
Applications, with photographs, fingerprint images and/or impressions and drug tests attached, shall forthwith be sent to the Chief of Police, and no license shall be issued under the provisions of this chapter until the approval of the issuance of such license(s), in writing, from the Chief of Police has been received by the City Clerk. The Police Department shall conduct an investigation of each applicant for a for-hire vehicle driver's license, and the report of this investigation and a copy of the traffic and police record, if any, shall be attached to the application and filed with the City Clerk. The Chief of Police shall refuse to issue or renew a driver's license if the driver:
(1) 
Does not meet a qualification for a license; or
(2) 
Has made a material false statement on the application; or
(3) 
Has submitted a drug screening test with a positive result or has refused to submit to a test or has failed to provide a test result or information regarding same; or
(4) 
Has been convicted of, plead guilty to or forfeited bond or collateral upon any of the following charges, whether the conviction, plea or forfeiture occurred in the State of New York or elsewhere:
a. 
Any offense which constitutes a "serious offense" as the term is defined by § 265.00 of the Penal Law of the State of New York or any act supplementary thereof or amendment thereto; or
b. 
Any felony offense for which the conviction, plea or forfeiture occurred within seven years of the date of application; or
c. 
Any sex offense, regardless of the date of occurrence; or
d. 
Any offense involving the sale of a narcotic, controlled substance or marijuana, or driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired, or reckless driving; or
e. 
Any penal law offense committed during the course of, or in the furtherance of, employment, management or ownership of a for-hire vehicle, taxicab or a for-hire vehicle company or taxicab company; or
f. 
Unfit applicant or licensee: If the applicant, in the opinion of the Chief of Police or his designee, is not fit to be a licensee hereunder in the best interest of the general public welfare and safety or for a specific breach of one or more of the requirements of this chapter.
(5) 
Has accumulated, within the past 36 months, six or more points on his or her driver's license, as such points are determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of New York. Point reductions pursuant to any accident prevention course, driver safety course, or other similar point reduction course are inapplicable to this section if taken online or on the Internet.
(6) 
Has outstanding traffic tickets in any court of competent jurisdiction which, if convicted, would result in the applicant accumulating six or more points as such points are determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of New York.
(7) 
Has had any for-hire vehicle driver's license, taxicab driver's license or a similar license or permit revoked; or
(8) 
Has three or more violations of this chapter within the previous 24 months.
(c) 
The Chief of Police shall notify the applicant, in writing, of any refusal to approve any application and the reason therefor.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Issuance and form. Upon satisfactory fulfillment of the foregoing requirements and upon the payment of a nonrefundable driver's license fee of $50, the City Clerk shall issue to the applicant a license, which shall be in such form as to contain a photograph and signature of the licensee and blank spaces upon which a record may be made of any arrest of or such complaint(s) against him as may be required by the Chief of Police. Each license shall be stamped by the Seal of the City upon at least a portion of the photograph. All licenses shall be numbered in the order in which they are issued and shall contain the driver's name and expiration date of the license.
(b) 
Tampering. Any licensee who alters, defaces, mutilates, changes, removes or obliterates any official entry made upon his license, or any other form, format, color, content or component thereof, shall be punished by the revocation of his license, after a hearing pursuant to Section 18-41(b).
(c) 
Duration. For-hire vehicle driver's licenses shall be valid for one calendar year from the date of issue and shall remain valid, unless otherwise revoked or suspended, for the next succeeding calendar year up to the anniversary of the date of issue.
(d) 
Display. Each such license shall be placed in a transparent plaque or frame the size of four inches by six inches and shall at all times, when the driver is operating the vehicle for hire, be attached inside the vehicle on the rear of the right or passenger-side seat thereof in a position readily visible to the passengers of said taxi and to persons looking in or through the window of the rear passenger door on the right or passenger side thereof.
(e) 
The City Clerk shall promptly send copies of each license that is issued to the Clerk of the Town of Poughkeepsie and the Chief of Police of the Town of Poughkeepsie.
(f) 
Any applicant will be permitted to file a dual license application which would entitle the license holder to operate both a taxi and for-hire vehicle. The fee for such application shall be $75. Any licensee who does not possess a valid dual license shall only be permitted to operate under the authority of the license they hold.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
When applying for a renewal of a for-hire vehicle driver's license, every applicant shall make such application at least 30 days prior to its expiration upon a form to be furnished by the City Clerk, entitled "application for renewal of for-hire vehicle driver's license," 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 and such other information as the Chief of Police and other City licensing official may deem necessary. Such application for renewal shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $25 and a background check fee of $75. The driver shall submit with such application the results of a drug screening test performed within 10 days of the date of the application's submission in accordance with the requirements of Section 18-34(a)(3) above. Any incomplete application will be rejected and returned to the applicant to be refiled. If an application is rejected two times for being incomplete, the applicant will be required to begin the application process over and pay a new application fee.
(b) 
Each application for renewal of license shall contain the following statement: "Pursuant to the Penal Law § 210.45, it is a crime punishable as a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly make a false statement herein."
(c) 
Provided that the applicant for renewal submits on application more than 30 days prior to the date his/her for-hire vehicle license is set to expire, he/she may apply to the City Clerk for a temporary license, which shall remain in full force and affect until a determination is made on his/her application for renewal. If such application for renewal is denied, the applicant shall surrender such temporary license immediately to the City Clerk.
(d) 
Applications for a renewal of a for-hire vehicle driver's license submitted less than 30 days after the expiration date of same shall be treated as a new application according to the requirements of this chapter.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
Such licenses shall not be transferable. No license fee shall be prorated or refunded. Each fee in its entirety shall accompany each application.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, operate or permit to be operated a for-hire vehicle upon the streets of the City or to pick up for-hire vehicle passengers within the City without first having paid a nonrefundable fee as provided for herein for each such vehicle so licensed and without first having obtained for each such vehicle a for-hire vehicle license under the provisions of this chapter from the City Clerk. Such license shall be valid for one calendar year from the date of issue and shall expire on the anniversary of the date of issue of the next-succeeding calendar year, unless sooner suspended or revoked. The calendar year for "for-hire vehicle" licenses shall be June 1 to May 31. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, operate or keep for hire or pay within the limits of the City any for-hire vehicle not equipped as required by Section 18-45 or which has not been inspected as required by Section 18-45 or which does not display the inspection sticker as required by Section 18-45. The fee for each vehicle so licensed shall be $350, until further amended by the City Council.
(b) 
The acceptance by an owner or operator of a license issued under this chapter is conditioned upon and shall be sufficient evidence of the continuing consent of such owner or operator and of the driver of each and every for-hire vehicle to display the public notice as required by and described in Section 18-46(b)(20) of this chapter and to consent to any such stop and visual inspection by any police officer as described in such public notice as provided by the City of Poughkeepsie Police For-Hire Vehicle Inspection Safety Program.
(c) 
The City shall issue new stickers as described in this section annually or at such other times as the City shall determine to be appropriate and necessary.
(d) 
There shall be a statement from the Building Inspector or a certificate of occupancy for the location in which the for-hire vehicle operator is located and vehicles are to be stored that said location(s) and premises are in compliance with the municipality's Building and Zoning Ordinance[1] and that such location is of sufficient size to accommodate the operator's vehicle fleet.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 6, Building and Utility Codes, and Ch. 19, Zoning and Land Use Regulations.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
One application for each for-hire vehicle license shall be made by the owner or other person with legal authority over same upon forms furnished by the City Clerk. Any incomplete application will be rejected and returned to the applicant to be refiled. If an application is rejected two times for being incomplete, the applicant will be required to begin the application process over and pay a new application fee.
(b) 
Such application shall contain:
(1) 
The name, age and residence of the person applying for the license, proof of his ownership and/or legal authority over each such vehicle, and what, if any, previous experience he has had in the business of owning, furnishing, leasing, operating, driving, repairing or other enterprises in connection with providing transportation or related services for hire or charge.
(2) 
For each such vehicle, the type of motor vehicle to be used, the horsepower, the vehicle identification number, the state license and registration numbers, any periods during which the vehicle has been used as a taxicab or vehicle for hire, and the seating capacity according to its trade rating.
(3) 
Whether and when the vehicle has ever been previously licensed to operate as a vehicle for hire and, if so, where.
(4) 
Whether such vehicle's license to operate as a taxicab or vehicle for hire has ever been revoked or suspended, when, and for what cause.
(5) 
Such other information as the Chief of Police may deem necessary, including, but not limited to, any and all information concerning the current and former state and history of repairs to such vehicle.
(6) 
A copy of the New York State vehicle registration and the expiration date of the current New York State motor vehicle inspection and the sticker number. The full address of the registered owner must be on the Department of Motor Vehicles registration. Post office box numbers are not acceptable.
(7) 
Miscellaneous.
a. 
Each for-hire vehicle license application shall contain the following statement: "Pursuant to the Penal Law § 210.45, it is a crime punishable as a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly make a false statement herein."
b. 
Any false statements by the owner, applicant, operator and/or driver for a for-hire vehicle license shall be reported to the Police Department. The City Clerk is hereby authorized and empowered to require such additional information as may be deemed necessary by the City Clerk and/or by the Chief of Police.
c. 
The application must include the approved, assigned, unique, official for-hire vehicle number assigned by the Police Department, which shall be added to such application by the applicant, City Clerk or Chief of Police when such application is approved.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Reasons. The Chief of Police or his designee may suspend, cancel or revoke any license issued pursuant to this chapter and may refuse to approve an application or renewal for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Conviction: The conviction of the applicant or licensee of a felony or any crime or offense involving violence, dishonesty, deceit, indecency, degeneracy, moral turpitude, gambling, frequent public intoxication, or illegal use, sale or possession of drugs. The Chief of Police shall, nevertheless, apply the standards of licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses embodied in Article 23-a of the Correction Law.
(2) 
False application: If the licensee or applicant has made a material false statement or concealed a material fact in connection with the application for a license or the renewal thereof.
(3) 
Violations: If the licensee, principal(s) of any entity owning or operating a for-hire vehicle, company, or any driver operating a for-hire vehicle licensed to such licensee has violated any provision of this chapter:
a. 
Five or more times in the 24 months prior to the date of application when the taxicab company owns or operates no more than six for-hire vehicles;
b. 
Ten or more times in the 24 months prior to the date of application when the taxicab company owns or operates seven to 12 for-hire vehicles;
c. 
Fifteen or more times in the 24 months prior to the date of application when the taxicab company owns or operates 13 or more for-hire vehicles.
(4) 
Prior revocation or suspension: If the applicant, any officer, director, stockholder, or partner or any other person directly or indirectly interested in the application for a taxicab or for-hire vehicle license was the former holder, or was an officer, director, or partner or stockholder in a corporation or a partnership which was the former holder, of a taxicab or for-hire vehicle license which had been revoked or suspended.
(5) 
True ownership requirement: If the applicant is not the true owner of the vehicle or the business.
(6) 
Unfit applicant or licensee: If the applicant, in the opinion of the Chief of Police or his designee, is not fit to be a licensee hereunder in the best interest of the general public welfare and safety or for a specific breach of one or more of the requirements of this chapter.
(7) 
Any for-hire vehicle owner found to be operating a for-hire vehicle, or causing a for-hire vehicle to be operated, with a revoked or suspended right to operate a for-hire vehicle shall be assessed a civil penalty by the City Clerk as follows:
a. 
Per violation: $2,000.
(b) 
Hearings.
(1) 
Notice. Any suspension, cancellation or refusal to issue a license or to renew a license made hereunder shall be by written notice issued by the Police Chief, or his designee, to the applicant or licensee, with a copy to the Clerk of the Town of Poughkeepsie and a copy to the Chief of Police of the Town of Poughkeepsie. Said notice shall include a statement that the applicant or licensee is entitled to demand a hearing, provided that such demand is made, in writing, to the Police Chief, and such hearing shall be conducted within 14 business days after the applicant or licensee's request for a hearing is received by the Chief of Police or his designee.
(2) 
Demand for hearing. Any demand for a hearing must be made within seven days after mailing of the notice of the suspension, revocation or refusal to issue a license.
(c) 
Surrender of license. In the event of a suspension or cancellation as provided for herein of a for-hire vehicle operator's or owner's license, the holder thereof shall deliver the license and any badge issued in conjunction therewith to the Commissioner of Public Safety.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
There shall be kept in the office of the City Clerk a complete record of each license or permit issued to a driver and of all renewals, suspensions and revocations thereof, which record shall be kept on file with the original application of the driver for a for-hire vehicle driver's license.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
No vehicle shall be licensed as a for-hire vehicle hereunder unless it has a "for hire" insurance policy in effect. No vehicle shall be licensed as a for-hire vehicle hereunder unless it is insured by a public policy for damages for death or injuries to persons in the amount provided in the laws, rules and regulations established by the State of New York as the minimum required of any vehicle operated as a for-hire vehicle.
(b) 
The Chief of Police shall refuse a for-hire vehicle license or, if already issued, shall revoke or suspend a license if the vehicle is unsuitable for public patronage by virtue of being unclean, unsafe, or out of compliance with any applicable law, rule or regulation or if, in the discretion of the Chief of Police, the design, capacity or other specifications of such vehicle render it unsuitable for use as a for-hire vehicle.
(c) 
Any owner of a for-hire vehicle company must provide proof of workers' compensation insurance to the City of Poughkeepsie and the City must be named as a certificate holder.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
If, upon inspection, a vehicle is found to be in proper condition and in compliance in accordance with the provisions of all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and upon the approval of the application for a for-hire vehicle license and the payment of the license fee hereinafter set forth, such vehicle shall be licensed by delivering to the owner a card of such size and form as may be prescribed by the Chief of Police. The card shall contain the official license number of the for-hire vehicle and a statement to the effect that, in case of any complaints, the Chief of Police shall be notified, giving the license number of the for-hire vehicle and the telephone number and address via which such complaints may be made. Such card shall be signed by the Chief of Police. The for-hire vehicle license number assigned hereunder shall, in each case, be the same as that assigned to the vehicle for that year pursuant to law. For-hire vehicle license cards must be displayed in a prominent place visible to all passengers in the vehicle for which the license card is issued. For each such vehicle, the license number shall correspond to the number appearing on the sticker required to be affixed to the left rear bumper of each such vehicle as required by this chapter.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
No vehicle shall be licensed as a for-hire vehicle pursuant to this chapter until it has been inspected and examined and found to be in a thoroughly safe condition for the transportation of passengers, clean, fit, of good appearance, well painted in accordance with this chapter, and in complete compliance with all requirements of the Code of the City of Poughkeepsie and with all other applicable laws, codes and regulations, including that each such vehicle shall bear "livery" license plates issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
(b) 
For-hire vehicles are to be inspected by the City of Poughkeepsie central garage or other facility designated by the Police Chief. There shall be an inspection fee of $100 paid to the City Clerk for each vehicle inspected.
(c) 
Such inspection shall occur prior to licensing of such vehicle as a for-hire vehicle and thereafter once per year.
(d) 
A copy of the inspection report shall be given to the vehicle owner and/or operator and/or driver and the Chief of Police at the completion of the inspection.
(e) 
The inspection of the vehicle shall include, but not be limited to, a review of those conditions set forth in § 18-46 below.
(f) 
Upon passing inspection, the City of Poughkeepsie central garage or other inspection facility designated by the Police Chief shall notify the City Clerk, who shall provide a sticker to be placed on the rear of the for-hire vehicle, and shall notify the City Clerk, in writing, that such vehicle has passed inspection.
(g) 
Upon receipt of a report from any designated inspection station which finds a for-hire vehicle to be unfit or unsuited for public patronage or which shall fail to comply with the requirements of this chapter, the licensing official shall refuse a license or shall revoke or suspend the license previously issued.
(h) 
It shall be unlawful to possess or display a forged, altered or unauthorized City of Poughkeepsie inspection sticker.
(i) 
The Chief of Police may additionally inspect or cause to be inspected all for-hire vehicles from time to time, as often as he may deem necessary for the public health, safety and welfare. Said inspections shall not be evidence to be used against the City with respect to any claim of liability, and the City assumes no special duty or obligation to any person with respect to same, but they shall be evidence merely that the licensee has had inspections made as required by this chapter.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Vehicle identification/condition.
(1) 
The City Clerk shall issue a for-hire vehicle license to each such vehicle, which shall assign a unique for-hire vehicle number as described in this chapter to each vehicle so licensed.
(2) 
The for-hire vehicle number must also be permanently displayed above the inspection sticker on the driver's side windshield.
(3) 
For-hire vehicles shall each be numbered with a unique four-digit number. Companies will be assigned a two-digit number (for example, Company A = 20, Company B = 30, etc.). Each taxicab, vehicle will be assigned a two-digit number within each company. Thus each vehicle shall have a unique four-digit number, the first two indicating the company and the second two indicating the vehicle within the company fleet. Numerical assignments are to be approved by the Chief of Police or his designee.
(4) 
The City Clerk shall issue a sticker for each vehicle so licensed, which shall be affixed to the left rear of the subject vehicle. Each such sticker shall display the unique four-digit number assigned to such vehicle.
(b) 
In addition to any requirements otherwise imposed by the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York or by this chapter, each licensed for-hire vehicle operating within the City of Poughkeepsie shall at all times remain in compliance with each of the following vehicle requirements:
(1) 
No vehicle shall be licensed as a for-hire vehicle if it was manufactured five years or more prior to the date of registration or has more than 100,000 miles.
(2) 
Every vehicle shall be kept mechanically fit, the interior and exterior kept in a clean and sanitary condition, and shall at all times bear a current New York State inspection sticker and a City of Poughkeepsie inspection sticker.
(3) 
Only sedans shall be licensed as for-hire vehicles. Under no circumstances shall any two-door vehicle be licensed as a for-hire vehicle.
(4) 
Every vehicle shall be equipped with an adequate heater of a type which will not permit exhaust gases to enter the interior of the vehicle.
(5) 
Every vehicle shall be equipped with at least three adjustable rear-view mirrors, one in the driver's compartment and two exterior mirrors installed on the exterior of the vehicle, one on the driver's side door and one on the passenger-side door.
(6) 
Every vehicle shall be equipped with a standard speedometer properly installed and maintained in good working order. No licensed vehicle shall be operated in public while such speedometer is inoperative or disconnected.
(7) 
Every vehicle shall have either acceptable snow tires, all-weather radial tires or tire chains on the drive wheels of such vehicle when pavement conditions are such as to require said use for the safety of the driver, passenger and the general public.
(8) 
Every vehicle shall be equipped with dual windshield wipers properly installed and maintained in good working order, which shall be operated whenever weather conditions require. This shall include windshield washers in proper working condition. In addition, each licensed vehicle shall at all times remain in compliance with New York State regulations requiring that headlights be turned on at any time windshield wipers are in operation.
(9) 
Every vehicle shall contain original or replacement upholstery and floor mats in good and suitable condition for satisfactory use by the public. In the event that original upholstery or floor mats are found to be worn or otherwise deteriorated, such upholstery or floor mats must be replaced prior to the use of the licensed vehicle for conveyance of the public.
(10) 
Every for-hire vehicle shall be equipped with an interior light capable of illuminating the entire interior of the vehicle after sundown. The light shall be so arranged as to be automatically turned on by the opening of any door to the vehicle and shall also have a switch easily accessible to passengers.
(11) 
Wherever glass is used in the construction of any licensed vehicle, such glass shall be safety glass, clearly and permanently marked as such and of a type approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the State of New York. All glass in said licensed vehicle shall be in good condition and shall not contain air bubbles, cracks or fractures. Glass shall not be tinted; however, vehicles licensed prior to the enactment of this chapter shall be permitted to have manufacturer-installed tint only.
(12) 
The fenders, bumpers and body of each licensed vehicle must be rigidly and tightly fastened to said vehicle, free from significant or extensive dents or mutilation, and shall be so constructed as to allow the full opening of all doors of the vehicle. The exterior of the vehicle shall be properly maintained, painted and the finish in good condition. This includes all exterior light lenses to be free from cracks and to be the proper color.
(13) 
The vehicle must be equipped with both front and rear window defroster/defoggers. They are to be in proper working condition.
(14) 
Every vehicle shall be equipped with hubcaps on all four wheels or shall have uniformly painted wheels in lieu thereof.
(15) 
Shades, window tinting of any degree or curtains are prohibited on any for-hire vehicle unless permitted by New York State Law.
(16) 
New York State license plates, a City inspection sticker and any other licensing and inspection identification shall be placed and maintained in such manner as to be clearly visible and unobstructed at all times.
(17) 
No licensed vehicle shall be equipped with any equipment which is not reasonably useful or necessary to furnish safe, adequate and convenient service to the public.
(18) 
Each vehicle used as a for-hire vehicle shall comply with all applicable federal, state and other laws, rules and regulations pertaining to its use by and accessibility to persons with disabilities.
(19) 
Each for-hire vehicle shall display upon the inside of both the right and left passenger doors a sticker stating the following in both the English and Spanish language in no smaller than 18-point type in capital letters:
"PUBLIC NOTICE/A VISO PUBLICO
THIS VEHICLE MAY BE STOPPED AND VISUALLY INSPECTED BY ANY POLICE OFFICER AT ANY TIME TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THE DRIVER AND THE OCCUPANTS AND COMPLIANCE WITH THIS CHAPTER
ESTE VEHICULO PUEDE SER DETENIDO E INSPECCIONADO VISUALMENTE POR LOS AGENTES DE POLICIA EN CUALQUIER MOMENTO PARA GARANTIZAR LA SEGURIDAD DEL CONDUCTOR Y LOS OCUPANTES Y EL CUMPLIMIENTO DE ESTE CAPITULO
POUGHKEEPSIE POLICE TAXI INSPECTION SAFETY PROGRAM/PROGRAMMA DE INSPECCION DE SEGURIDAD DE TAXI DE LA POLICIA DE POUGHKEEPSIE"
(20) 
Each for-hire vehicle shall prominently display in the interior thereof visible to all passengers a sign or sticker written in both English and Spanish language in no less than 18-point type advising that seat belts are available and should be used by all passengers.
(c) 
For-hire vehicles licensed in accordance with this chapter may be equipped with a partition or shield made of plexiglass or other shatterproof material located between and effectively separating the front and rear seats.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Every company operating any for-hire vehicle shall designate an employee such as a dispatcher or other such person who shall be responsible to keep and maintain a for hire contract at all times during the operation of such vehicle(s). In addition, every for-hire vehicle operator shall keep and maintain a contract, on a template approved by the City of Poughkeepsie, at all times during the operation of such taxicab. Such for-hire vehicle contract shall record at a minimum the following information:
(1) 
The name, driver's license number, for-hire vehicle driver's license number and expiration date of each and every driver operating such vehicle for the trips recorded on the contract sheet;
(2) 
The date, commencement time in hour and minute(s) and origin point of each trip for each passenger;
(3) 
The date, dropoff or termination time in hour and minute(s) and destination or termination location of each trip for each passenger;
(4) 
The fare charged and collected for each trip for each passenger;
(b) 
The operator of any for-hire vehicle business shall produce any and all such contracts for any and all for-hire vehicles operated, owned or controlled by such persons upon demand therefor by any police officer, Chief of Police or City Clerk.
(c) 
All such contracts shall be retained and kept on file and made available for audit, examination and inspection by any City law enforcement or code enforcement officer at all reasonable times for a minimum period of two years by every owner, operator and/or proprietor of every for-hire vehicle and company operating and/or owning same.
(d) 
In addition to any requirements otherwise imposed by the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York or by this chapter, each licensed for-hire vehicle operating within the City of Poughkeepsie shall at all times remain in compliance with each of the following requirements applicable to all owners and operators thereof:
(1) 
Must maintain and furnish a current list of drivers and employees to the City Clerk.
(2) 
Must provide a letter to the City Clerk upon the discharge or termination for any reason of a driver and/or employee, giving the reason for such discharge or termination.
(3) 
Must promptly report to the City Clerk the transfer of ownership of any vehicle licensed by the City and concurrently turn in to the Chief of Police the for-hire vehicle license of such vehicle.
(4) 
Must report, in writing, changes of address of the owner, operator or driver of a for-hire vehicle to the City Clerk within three days of said change.
(5) 
Must maintain proper vehicle insurance for all owned or operated for-hire vehicles in accordance with New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law or other laws, rules or regulations and report a revocation or cancellation of insurance immediately to the City Clerk. Proof that the vehicle is covered by a current liability insurance policy shall be attached to the application in the form of a certificate of insurance. Any owner of a for-hire vehicle company must provide proof of workers' compensation insurance to the City of Poughkeepsie and the City must be named as a certificate holder.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
In addition to any requirements otherwise imposed by the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York or by this chapter, each licensed for-hire vehicle driver operating within the City of Poughkeepsie shall at all times remain in compliance with each of the following driver requirements:
(1) 
Shall keep the interior and exterior of the for-hire vehicle in a clean and sanitary condition and shall at all times maintain the vehicle in compliance with this chapter.
(2) 
Shall not smoke while the vehicle is carrying passengers.
(3) 
Shall, at all times, while on duty, have displayed in the interior of the vehicle which he/she is operating, his/her for-hire vehicle driver's license. The license shall be displayed as required by Section 18-36(d).
(4) 
In the event a driver's appearance changes substantially, he shall provide the Chief of Police with a new photograph and shall accompany such photograph with an application fee of $2. The fee charged for a replacement license shall be $15.
(5) 
Shall report to the police any unlawful act committed in, with or in connection with his vehicle or any attempt to use his vehicle to commit a crime or escape from the scene of a crime.
(6) 
Shall not permit any passenger in the for-hire vehicle except a paying fare during such time as the vehicle is being used for business purposes.
(7) 
Shall not operate a for-hire vehicle when there is snow or ice on the pavement unless there are chains, all-weather radial tires or snow tires on the drive wheels.
(8) 
While on duty, the driver shall state his/her name and employer's name to any passenger or police officer on request. Also, it shall be unlawful for any driver of any for-hire vehicle to misrepresent or withhold the name of his employer or the business address and business telephone of the same.
(9) 
Shall not cruise within the City seeking passengers nor make any personal solicitation on any street or other public place for passengers to ride or hire any particular for-hire vehicle. For-hire vehicles shall not stand on any public street or place, including any taxicab stand designated by the City.
(10) 
No vehicle licensed as a for-hire vehicle shall be used for the carrying of any freight, goods or merchandise of any nature whatsoever while carrying a fare unless such goods or merchandise are owned by the fare riding with same.
(11) 
Carriage of infected persons. Should it be found by the owner, operator or driver that a for-hire vehicle has been used to convey any person infected with a contagious disease or if any blood or bodily fluids or discharges have contaminated the passenger area of the vehicle, such vehicle shall not be used until it has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations related to public health.
(12) 
Any owner or operator shall not permit any one driver to operate a for-hire vehicle more than 12 hours in any continuous twenty-four-hour period, except the driver of a taxicab exclusively hired or engaged for special trips or excursions.
(13) 
Shall not be permitted to carry more than five passengers, including children, in a four-door sedan vehicle.
(14) 
Shall not operate a for-hire vehicle if the vehicle has any equipment violations as defined in this chapter or in the Vehicle and Traffic Law § 375, or other laws, rules and regulations.
(15) 
Must not consume alcohol or intoxicating drugs prior to or during the driving or other operation of a taxicab. This excludes prescription and over-the-counter medications which do not cause drowsiness, fatigue, blurred speech or vision or other conditions which may impair the ability to drive safely.
(16) 
Except when authorized in the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the driver shall not use the horn or otherwise make or create loud or unnecessary noise, such as for announcing arrival or alerting potential patrons.
(17) 
Shall not obstruct traffic. The driver shall pull to the curb to pick up and discharge passengers. The driver shall not intrude upon or obstruct pedestrian crossings, bus stops, loading zones, driveways, intersections or other areas requiring the free and unobstructed flow of traffic when stopped to pick up or discharge passengers.
(18) 
Shall provide a carbon copy of the for-hire vehicle contract in triplicate accurately stating the exact fare paid by any passenger.
(19) 
Each and every operator and driver of a for-hire vehicle operating as such in the City of Poughkeepsie is required to accept as a paying fare every orderly adult person and shall not refuse to accept as a paying fare any adult person on the basis of any disability or on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, sexual preference or other discriminatory basis or criteria prohibited by law.
(20) 
Shall not illegally use, consume, possess or deal in intoxicating liquors or drugs.
(21) 
Shall notify the City Clerk of the loss or theft of any City/Town for-hire license within 24 hours of its loss, exclusive of holidays and weekends.
(22) 
Shall not alter, deface, or otherwise change or tamper with any portion of the for-hire vehicle license.
(23) 
Shall immediately surrender any for-hire vehicle license issued by the City/Town upon the suspension, expiration, restriction or revocation of the driver's New York State Class A, B, C or E driver's license, or equivalent license issued by a similar agency.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
For-hire vehicle and/or driver's licenses may be revoked or suspended at any time for cause after a hearing by the Chief of Police. Cause includes, but is not limited to: violation of any sections of this chapter; conviction of a violation, misdemeanor or felony pursuant to the laws of the State of New York; transporting, soliciting or procuring any person to ride in a licensed for-hire vehicle for the purpose of commission of a crime. Licenses shall be revoked if the vehicle shall be used for immoral or illegal purposes. Licenses and permits may be suspended or revoked for failing to be and remain in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. When the license is suspended or revoked, the for-hire vehicle driver's and/or vehicle license card hereinbefore provided for shall be retained by the Chief of Police and shall be returned only after the expiration of the suspension period, with suitable entry being made thereon by the Chief of Police or his authorized designee as to the reason for and duration of the suspension. The Chief of Police, upon determination to revoke or suspend a license, shall notify the holder of his decision, in writing, by certified mail and state the reasons for his action. The hearing provisions of Section 18-41 shall apply to this subsection.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
The City Clerk shall keep a register of the name of each person owning or operating or otherwise legally responsible for a for-hire vehicle licensed under this chapter, together with the license numbers of vehicles and drivers. Such record shall be open to the inspection of the public at all reasonable times.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
Every person to whom a license card, license or permit has been issued under the provisions of this chapter shall, upon discontinuing or abandoning the ownership, operation or driving of a for-hire vehicle, return such license card, license or permit to the City Clerk unless such card, license or permit has been lost or for other reason cannot be restored. Such card, license or permit shall not be assigned or transferred to any other person or be applicable to any motor vehicle other than the one specified therein. Any licensee who permits his license, permit or card to be used by any other person or for any vehicle other than the one for which same was issued and any person who uses such license, permit or card granted or given to any other person or who uses such permit or license for a vehicle other than the one for which it was issued shall each be guilty of a violation of this chapter. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the owner or operator of a vehicle licensed as a for-hire vehicle under this chapter may take such vehicle out of service as a for-hire vehicle for any reasonable cause, such as damage, wear and tear, sale of the vehicle, age of the vehicle or other. In such case, such owner or operator may apply to the Chief of Police for permission to transfer the license issued to such vehicle to another vehicle to be put in service as a for-hire vehicle to replace the vehicle originally licensed. Such application shall include all the information pertaining to the replacement vehicle required for a for-hire vehicle license, and such replacement vehicle shall meet all the requirements applicable to for-hire vehicles, as required by this chapter. Such application to transfer such for-hire vehicle license shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable transfer application fee of $200.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
Whenever a license, permit, badge or card shall be lost, stolen or destroyed, without fault on the part of the holder, his agent or employee, a duplicate in lieu thereof, under the original application, may be issued by the City Clerk upon the filing of a sworn affidavit containing the facts of such loss or theft and upon the payment of the cost of such duplicate license, permit, card, badge or tag. The replacement fee for a lost, stolen or destroyed license, permit, badge or card shall be $25. Notice of the issuance of such duplicate with a copy thereof and a copy of the affidavit required hereunder shall be provided by the City Clerk to the Chief of Police.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
Under no circumstances shall a taxicab stand be utilized by a for-hire vehicle.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
No for-hire vehicle, while awaiting employment, shall stand or travel on any public street. For-hire vehicles shall not cruise or operate on the streets of the City of Poughkeepsie, without a fare under hire, for the purpose of soliciting business. No for-hire vehicle owner, operator or driver shall employ radios, telephones, or other methods or means of remote communicating in order or so as to preempt, intercept, precede or otherwise interfere with any other driver or operator of a taxicab which has lawfully been called, appointed or retained to serve a fare.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Owners, operators and drivers must advise a potential passenger or fare of the rate of the trip prior to executing a for hire contract.
(b) 
The soliciting of tips, gratuities or any charges in addition to those authorized herein is prohibited. This clause shall not prohibit the voluntary offer or acceptance of a tip or gratuity.
(c) 
No person shall charge or attempt to charge any passenger a greater fare than that to which the for-hire vehicle driver is entitled to collect under the provisions of the fully executed for hire contract. In addition to the penalty provisions provided below in Section 18-61, any person who charges any passenger a greater fare than to which the taxicab driver is entitled to collect shall be liable to pay restitution to the person so overcharged.
(d) 
Transport of animals.
(1) 
There is no additional charge for carrying a guide dog accompanying a blind person or a hearing-impaired person or other person whose physical or medical condition requires the assistance of such animal; and no driver shall refuse or decline to carry a passenger or fare for the reason that such person is accompanied by such an animal.
(2) 
Drivers may refuse to transport any other animal unless the animal is securely enclosed in a kennel case which can be reasonably accommodated by such vehicle or is otherwise reasonably secured in accordance with the size, kind and nature of such animal.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
Prepayment. Every driver of a for-hire vehicle shall have the right to demand payment of the legal fare in advance and may refuse employment unless so prepaid, but no driver of a for-hire vehicle shall otherwise refuse or neglect to convey any orderly person or persons upon request to any lawful destination anywhere in the City, unless previously engaged, off duty or otherwise lawfully unable to do so.
(b) 
Disputed fares. All complaints as to fares shall be submitted, in writing, to the City Clerk on a form provided by the City. The complaint shall provide a brief description of the nature of the facts, the date, time and place of the incident, the name of the for-hire vehicle company and operator if known, and the name, address and telephone number of the person making the complaint. The same will be forwarded to the Chief of Police or his designee for review and investigation. The for-hire vehicle owner or operator shall have an affirmative obligation to provide the relevant for hire contract to the Chief of Police or his designee in furtherance of his investigation. Failure to provide said contract to the Chief of Police or his designee shall result in an automatic finding in favor of the complainant. Within 30 days from the date the complaint form is submitted to the City Clerk, the Chief of Police or his designee shall issue a written finding, which shall be provided to the complainant and company and/or operator.
(c) 
Penalties. When a for-hire vehicle owner or operator is found to be in violation of the fare provision, the owner or operator shall be assessed a civil penalty by the City Clerk in the amount of $250 per violation. In addition to the civil penalty assessed, any for-hire vehicle owner or operator found to be in violation of the fare provision shall be required to reimburse the complainant in the amount found to have been overcharged by the Chief of Police or his designee after his investigation. Said reimbursement funds shall be collected by the City Clerk in the form of a check or money order made payable to the complainant. The City Clerk shall notify the complainant of the receipt of reimbursed funds using the contact information provided by the complainant in the form described in Subsection (b). The City Clerk shall make reasonable efforts, including telephone contact and/or regular mail correspondence, to locate the complainant and provide said funds. In addition to the amount to be reimbursed to the complainant, any outstanding civil penalty shall be reassessed at the time of the owner or operator's license renewal. No license pursuant to this chapter shall be issued if any civil penalty is unpaid at the time of renewal. Any operator found in violation of the fare provision three or more times may have their for-hire vehicle driver's license, vehicle license or license to operate suspended or revoked by the Chief of Police or his designee.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
No person shall be allowed to ride on the front seat of any for-hire vehicle next to the driver except paying passengers, and any driver who shall permit this may be deprived of his license via suspension or revocation of same by the Chief of Police. It shall be the duty of all police officers to issue violations to offenders and notify the Chief of Police of any violation of this provision.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
Every driver of a for-hire vehicle shall at all times comply with the ordinances of the City of Poughkeepsie, and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations, prohibiting loud or unnecessary noise in disturbance of peace and quiet. At no time shall a for-hire vehicle driver sound the horn or otherwise make noise to notify another person of his presence or to notify, attract or solicit a customer or passenger. For-hire vehicle drivers violating this section are subject to any and all penalties provided for violations of this chapter, including, but not limited to, suspension and/or revocation of said driver's for-hire vehicle driver's license and/or the for-hire vehicle permit or license issued to such vehicle. This shall be in addition to and not instead of subjecting such offender to other penalties prescribed by the City Code and any other law for violating such other laws or ordinances prohibiting loud or unnecessary noise and/or cruising.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
Every driver of a for-hire vehicle, immediately after the termination of any hiring or employment, must carefully search such vehicle for any property lost or left therein, and any such property, unless sooner claimed or delivered to the owner, must be taken to the police station and deposited with the officer in charge within 24 hours after the finding thereof.
[Ord. No. O-17-3, 4-19-2017]
(a) 
It shall be unlawful for any licensed driver of any for-hire vehicle to misrepresent his own name and/or the name of his employer or knowingly to receive or transport any person or persons who intend any unlawful act in such vehicle, during the voyage or at the termination thereof, whether within such vehicle or not. It shall be unlawful for any such driver to solicit or procure or to aid or assist in soliciting or procuring any person to ride in a licensed for-hire vehicle with the intent of the driver or of any or all passengers to commit any unlawful act therein or at any time during the voyage or immediately following the termination thereof, whether within the vehicle or not.
(b) 
It shall be unlawful for any licensed driver of any for-hire vehicle to solicit and/or procure the sale or distribution of controlled substances. It shall be unlawful for any licensed driver of any for-hire vehicle to solicit and/or procure any person to ride in a licensed for-hire vehicle for the purpose of sale or distribution of controlled substances.
(c) 
Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance shall be grounds for immediate suspension and revocation of a driver's license. The Chief of Police may require a licensee to submit to drug and alcohol screening tests upon reasonable cause. Refusal to submit to such screening test or a positive test result shall constitute grounds for revocation of a license.