Township of West Caldwell, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1993 Code § 178-1]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CALL BOX STAND
Shall mean a place along the curb of a street or elsewhere, at which the township has authorized a holder of a taxicab operator's license to install a telephone or call box for taking calls and dispatching taxicabs.
CRUISING
Shall mean driving a taxicab on the streets or other public places of the township in search of or soliciting prospective passengers for hire.
OPEN STAND
Shall mean a public place alongside the curb of a street or elsewhere in the township, which has been designated by the township as reserved exclusively for the use of taxicabs.
OWNER
Shall mean a person owning any taxicab or holding or controlling any taxicab under a conditional sales contract, lease, chattel mortgage, formal or informal rental agreement or otherwise.
RATE CARD
Shall mean a card to be displayed in each taxicab, which contains the rates of fare in force.
TAXICAB
Shall mean a motor vehicle legally engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire, having a seating capacity of less than seven persons, not including the driver, and not operated on a fixed route.
TAXICAB DRIVER'S LICENSE
Shall mean the permission granted by the township to a person to drive a taxicab on the streets of the township.
TAXICAB LICENSE
Shall mean permission granted by the township to the owner of a taxicab to operate that vehicle or cause it to be operated as a taxicab in the township.
[1993 Code § 178-2A]
No owner of a taxicab or other person having direction or control of a taxicab shall operate it or permit it to be operated for hire or for transporting passengers for compensation upon the streets of the township unless a taxicab license has first been issued for the vehicle. The requirements of this chapter shall not, however, apply to a taxicab duly licensed by another municipality while such taxicab is being operated in the Township of West Caldwell solely for the purpose of delivering to a destination within the township a passenger picked up by the taxicab at a point outside the township.
The taxicab license required by this section shall be in addition to the taxicab driver's license required for each driver of a taxicab.
[1993 Code § 178-2B]
Every person applying for a taxicab license must be at least 21 years of age and a citizen of the United States. If a corporation, the corporation must be organized and existing under the laws of the State of New Jersey and shall maintain an office in the Township of West Caldwell or an adjoining municipality. The application for a license shall be filed with the Township Clerk/Administrator upon forms provided by the Township Clerk/Administrator. It shall be verified under oath and shall furnish the following information:
a. 
The name, address, age and citizenship of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of the partners and their respective interests in the partnership shall be given, and, if a corporation, the names and addresses of all the officers, directors and stockholders shall be given.
b. 
The year, serial number, type, model and color of the vehicle to be licensed.
c. 
The passenger capacity of the vehicle, not including the driver's seat.
d. 
The names and addresses of two responsible references who are residents of the township and neither related to the applicant nor connected with the taxicab business for which a license is sought.
e. 
A description of the applicant's experience in the transportation of passengers.
f. 
The number of vehicles to be operated or controlled by the applicant and the location of proposed depots and terminal points.
g. 
The color scheme or insignia, if any, to be used to designate the vehicle or vehicles of the applicant.
h. 
The criminal record, if any, of the applicant and if the applicant is a corporation, partnership or incorporated association, the criminal record, if any, of each person participating in the ownership or management of the applicant as stockholder, partner, officer, manager or otherwise.
i. 
Such other information as the Township Council may from time to time require.
j. 
A certificate from the Police Department of the township indicating that the taxicab has been inspected and has passed inspection shall be submitted to the Township Clerk/Administrator before a license shall be issued.
[1993 Code § 178-2C]
No taxicab license shall be issued nor shall a license once issued remain valid unless the applicant shall comply with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 to 16-22.
[1993 Code § 178-2D]
The Township Clerk/Administrator shall consider all applications for taxicab licenses. If the Township Clerk/Administrator finds that the taxicab service proposed to be furnished by the applicant is required by the public convenience and necessity and that the applicant is fit, willing and able to furnish safe, dependable, clean and sanitary taxicab service and to conform to the provisions of this chapter and the rules promulgated by the Chief of Police, the Township Clerk/Administrator shall issue a license, which shall be numbered, stating the name and address of the applicant, identifying the vehicle for which the taxicab license is to be issued and the date of issuance; otherwise no application shall be denied, however, without giving the applicant an opportunity to be heard on reasonable notice.
In determining public convenience and necessity under the terms of this section, the Township Clerk/Administrator shall take into consideration the number of taxicabs already in operation, whether existing transportation is adequate to meet the public need, the probable effect of increased service on local traffic conditions and the character, experience and responsibility of the applicant, as well as the condition, age and fitness of the vehicle for which a taxicab license is sought.
[1993 Code § 178-2E]
No taxicab license shall be sold, assigned or otherwise transferred without the consent of the Township Clerk/Administrator, given in writing. With such consent, which shall be granted only upon the filing of an application by the prospective transferee and a finding that he would be qualified to receive a license in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the license may be transferred, provided that it is to be used by the transferee in a bona fide operation of a taxicab business. No taxicab license shall be assigned, mortgaged, pledged or otherwise transferred to secure a debt, loan, advance or other financing transaction.
[1993 Code § 178-2F]
There shall be a fee of $30 to be paid with each original and renewal of a taxicab owner's license. Fees shall not be refunded because of denial of license.
Each license shall expire on March 31 next following its effective date. In the event that an application is filed later than March 15, the applicant shall assume the risk that his application may not have been acted upon by April 1.
[1993 Code § 178-3A]
No person shall drive a taxicab for hire upon the streets of the township, and no owner of a taxicab shall permit it to be so driven, unless the driver of the taxicab shall have first obtained and have then in force a taxicab driver's license. The provisions of this section shall not apply, however, to the drivers of duly licensed taxicabs of other municipalities which are being operated within the township pursuant to subsection 10-2.1.
[1993 Code § 178-3B]
Every applicant for a taxicab driver's license shall possess qualifications, in addition to such others as may be required by any other applicable law, as follows:
a. 
He shall be at least 21 years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of New Jersey for at least one year.
b. 
He shall be able to read and write the English language.
c. 
He shall hold a valid New Jersey driver's license and shall have been licensed to operate an automobile for at least three years preceding his application without intervening suspension or revocation for any cause.
d. 
He shall be in good health, with vision of not less than 20/30 (Snellen) and shall not have any mental, nervous, organic or functional disease likely to interfere with safe driving nor be addicted to the use of narcotics or other habit-forming drugs or the excessive use of alcoholic beverages.
e. 
He shall be generally of good character and repute.
[1993 Code § 178-3C]
An application for a taxicab driver's license shall be filed with the Township Clerk/Administrator on forms provided by him. The application shall be verified under oath and shall contain the following:
a. 
The full name and address of the applicant, the place of his birth and all places of residence for the preceding five years.
b. 
Age, height, color of eyes and hair.
c. 
Marital status.
d. 
Whether any taxicab driver's or automobile operator's license issued to him has ever been suspended or revoked and the cause thereof.
e. 
A record of the applicant's employment for the preceding five years.
f. 
Whether he has ever been convicted of any crime, disorderly persons offense or reckless driving or driving while intoxicated.
g. 
The names and addresses of two responsible references who are residents of the township.
h. 
Such other information bearing upon the applicant's fitness to drive a taxicab as the Township Clerk/Administrator may require.
i. 
Each application must be accompanied by four passport-type photographs of the applicant in front view, taken within 30 days of the date of the application, two inches by two inches, and a certificate from a licensed and practicing physician of the State of New Jersey that the applicant has been examined on a date not earlier than 60 days prior to the filing of the application and in his opinion is of sound physical condition, within the requirements of this chapter.
[1993 Code § 178-3D]
The Police Department shall fingerprint the applicant for a taxicab driver's license and conduct an investigation of his qualifications, including a test of his knowledge of the traffic laws and regulations applicable in and the geography of the township. A report of the investigation, with a copy of the applicant's traffic and police record attached, shall be furnished to the Township Clerk/Administrator for consideration in connection with the application.
[1993 Code 178-3E]
The Township Clerk/Administrator shall approve an application for a taxicab driver's license whenever it shall find that all of the requirements in this section have been fulfilled and concludes that the applicant is a fit person to drive a licensed taxicab. A license shall be issued by the Township Clerk/Administrator, which shall be numbered, bear the applicant's name and photograph and shall be signed by him. An application for renewal shall be made annually thereafter. No application shall be denied unless the applicant is first given an opportunity, on reasonable notice, to appear before the Township Clerk/Administrator and be heard in support of his application.
[1993 Code § 178-3F]
Each licensed taxicab driver shall, at all times while on duty, wear in a conspicuous place on his person a badge bearing the inscription "The Township of West Caldwell, License No._____" (inserting the number of his taxicab driver's license), which badge shall be furnished by the Township Clerk/Administrator upon payment of the driver's license fee. The badge shall not be transferable, and it shall be unlawful for the driver to permit another person to wear it and for such other person to do so.
[1993 Code § 178-3G]
There shall be a fee of $15 for each original application and $10 for each renewal for a taxicab driver's license. Each license shall expire on March 31 next following its effective date. In the event that an application is filed later than March 15, the applicant assumes the risk that his application may not have been acted upon by April 1.
[1993 Code § 178-4A]
No taxicab license shall be issued until the vehicle identified in the application has been thoroughly examined and inspected by the Police Department and found to comply with such reasonable rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Chief of Police. These rules and regulations shall be promulgated to provide safe and dependable transportation of passengers in a clean, safe and sanitary vehicle. The report of the Police Department on each taxicab examined and inspected prior to licensing shall be delivered to the Township Clerk/Administrator, who shall file such report with the application for the taxicab license.
Every taxicab shall be inspected every six months by the Police Department to ensure that the provisions of subsection 10-4.2 are complied with.
[1993 Code § 178-4B]
No taxicab licensed under this chapter shall be operated at any time in the township unless in good repair and in sound condition to provide safe and dependable transportation; nor shall any such taxicab be operated at any time in the township unless it is clean and sanitary and the seats, upholstery, floor covering and other facilities for the comfort and accommodation of passengers are in good condition. No side curtains or shades shall be installed in any taxicab. Every taxicab shall at all times be equipped with an outside dome light on top of the taxicab, easily visible at all times during the day and night, and an interior dome light, both in good working order and condition. The holder of the taxicab license for each such vehicle and the driver thereof, from time to time, are made jointly and severally responsible for complying with the provisions of this section.
[1993 Code § 178-4C]
No taxicab owner's license shall be issued by the Township Clerk/Administrator unless the applicant shall furnish to and file with the Township Clerk/Administrator a certificate showing that the applicant is the holder of a valid liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company duly authorized to transact business in the State of New Jersey covering each vehicle to be licensed, protecting the owner-applicant and the drivers of the vehicle against liability or damages for injuries to persons or property suffered or sustained by any person as the result of an accident in which the vehicle may be involved, in the following amounts:
a. 
For injuries or death sustained by one person: the sum of $100,000.
b. 
For injuries or death sustained by more than one person: the sum of $300,000.
c. 
For damage to property: the sum of $10,000.
[1993 Code § 178-5]
The name of the owner, association of which the owner is a member or registered trade name by which the owner conducts his business and his telephone number shall be clearly and legibly displayed on the outside of the front door on each side of the taxicab, in letters which shall be a minimum height and width of two inches and shall be maintained in such manner as to remain easily legible. The number of the license issued by the township for the taxicab shall appear above the name in numbers of like dimensions. An identifying sign, monogram or insignia, if first approved by the Police Department, may also be affixed. No taxicab shall be licensed if its color scheme, identifying design, monogram or insignia are similar to any other taxicab licensed and operating under this chapter, in such manner as to be misleading or tend to deceive or defraud the public.
[1993 Code § 178-6]
At all times while the taxicab is held out for public patronage or used to transport patrons there shall be affixed inside, in such manner as to be conveniently readable by any passenger, a card at least three inches by five inches bearing the name of the owner, the number of the license issued by the township for that vehicle and the date of expiration; a card bearing the name of the driver and a recent photograph of him not less than two inches by two inches and a rate card, which shall be supplied by the Township Clerk/Administrator, setting forth the established rates.
[1993 Code § 178-7A]
Every licensed taxicab shall be equipped with a taximeter fastened in view of passengers, the face of which shall be illuminated after sundown. The taximeter shall be operated mechanically by a mechanism of standard design driven from either the transmission or from the front wheels by a permanently attached cable. This mechanism shall be sealed at all points which, if manipulated, would affect the correct reading or recording. Each taximeter shall be equipped with a flag denoting when the vehicle is employed and when it is not employed. The driver shall throw the flag in nonrecording position at the termination of each trip. The taximeters shall be inspected for accuracy by the Police Department upon application for an owner's license during the first week of July in each year and coincidentally with any change in rates. A record shall be made in the police record book stating that the inspection has been accomplished and stating the condition of the meter. If the meter is found inaccurate in the judgment of the Police Department, the taxicab shall be prohibited from carrying passengers until the meter has been repaired and, upon reinspection, is certified to be in required working order. Each taxicab shall display, in a conspicuous place, the owner's license and the driver's license covered in this chapter.
[1993 Code § 178-7B]
The following maximum rates are hereby established where the trip is within a radius of five miles from the municipal building:
a. 
Minimal charge of $2, plus $0.25 for each additional 1/8 mile or fraction thereof.
b. 
$1 for each person over two carried on any one trip.
c. 
$0.50 for each two minutes of meter waiting time.
d. 
For services rendered between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m., to be agreed upon between the passenger and taxicab operator in advance of hiring of the taxicab.
The maximum rate for a trip within the limits of the Township of West Caldwell shall not exceed the sum of $7, and the maximum rate for senior citizens with the Township of West Caldwell shall be the sum of $6.
[1993 Code § 178-8]
The Township Clerk/Administrator is authorized to select open stands in such places in the streets of the township as he deems necessary for the use of the taxicabs operating in the township. The stands shall be established from time to time as the public need therefor appears. The Township Clerk/Administrator shall report his selections to the Township Council, to be approved by resolution. The stands shall be appropriately marked and shall be open to all taxicabs on a first-come-first-served basis. The stands shall be used or attended at all times that taxicabs are available to do so. The Police Department shall prescribe the number of taxicabs that may occupy the stands and shall regulate and preserve order at the stands. Drivers shall enter the stands with their taxicabs in an orderly manner to the rear of those already parked at the stand. Private vehicles shall not occupy the stands at any time.
[1993 Code § 178-9]
Every driver or owner shall keep a daily record containing the number of the taxicab used that day, the license number of the driver, the time and place that each passenger was accepted as well as the time and place of the discharge of each passenger, together with the fare received for the trip. The record shall be kept intact for 90 days and shall be kept open at all times for inspection by a duly authorized representative of the Police Department.
Owners of licensed taxicabs shall keep and preserve for a period of four years adequate records to indicate the extent to which the licensed vehicles are operated as taxicabs. Such records shall be made available to the Township Clerk/Administrator on request and may be considered by him in connection with any application for a taxicab license which, if approved, would have the effect of increasing the number of licensed taxicabs for the township.
[1993 Code § 178-10]
No taxicab driver shall engage in any of the following prohibited conduct, and, in addition to any other penalties that may be provided in this chapter, engaging in such prohibited activity shall constitute cause for suspension or revocation of the taxicab driver's license or the taxicab license, or both.
[1993 Code § 178-10A]
No taxicab driver shall refuse or neglect upon request to convey an orderly person unless the taxicab has been previously engaged. A taxicab shall have been previously engaged where one or more passengers are occupying the taxicab or when the driver and taxicab are on call. The driver and his taxicab shall be on call when he has either stopped his taxicab or is proceeding to a place or address to receive one or more persons as passengers pursuant to a specific call or request made by such person to hire the taxicab for his own transportation. A driver who is on call shall stop his taxicab when he is hailed by a prospective passenger. If he is unable to accommodate the prospective passenger consistently with his on call commitment, either by conveying him to his intended destination or to one which may enable him to conveniently change to another taxicab, he shall, if the taxicab is equipped with a radio, in the presence of the prospective passenger, call the dispatcher or starter and arrange for the accommodation of the prospective passenger by another taxicab.
[1993 Code § 178-10B]
No taxicab driver shall solicit passengers except when sitting in the driver's compartment of the taxicab or while standing immediately adjacent to his taxicab. Solicitation by the driver shall not be in a loud tone of voice or in any manner so as to annoy any person or obstruct his movement, and a driver shall not follow any person for the purpose of soliciting patronage.
[1993 Code § 178-10C]
No taxicab driver shall induce any person to employ him by knowingly misleading or misinforming such person, either as to the time or place of the arrival or departure of any train, motor vehicle or airplane or as to the location of any hotel, public place or private residence, not shall any driver deceive any person or make any false misrepresentation to him or convey any passenger to any other place or over any other route than that which the passenger may have instructed the driver to go or, in the absence of such instruction, over the shortest route usually traveled to the given destination.
[1993 Code § 178-10D]
No taxicab driver, while waiting for his taxicab to be engaged, shall park or stand it on any public street other than at a designated taxicab stand or operate his taxicab so as to interfere with the orderly access to or egress from any theater, hall, school building, railroad station, airport or other public or private gathering place, and no taxicab driver shall solicit or seek patronage by cruising.
[1993 Code § 178-10E]
No taxicab driver shall permit any person to occupy his taxicab other than the person who first engaged it, unless the person first engaging it shall consent to the acceptance of an additional passenger. No driver shall permit persons to be carried in a taxicab as passengers in excess of the rated seating capacity of the taxicab as stated in the application for a license. A child six years of age or under shall not be counted as a passenger. No person other than the licensed driver of the taxicab shall ride or be allowed to ride in the front seat unless the rear is fully occupied by passengers except when, because of disability, the passenger must sit in the front seat. A woman passenger shall not be permitted to ride in the front seat at any time unless that position is required by disability. No companion of the taxicab driver or other nonpaying rider shall ride or be allowed to ride in either the front or rear seat of a taxicab which is occupied by a fare-paying passenger.
[1993 Code § 178-10F]
Taxicab drivers shall not receive or discharge passengers in any street or roadway, but shall pull to the righthand curb as nearly as possible or, in the absence of a sidewalk, to the extreme righthand side of the roadway and there receive or discharge passengers. On one-way streets, passengers may be discharged at either the sidewalk or side of the roadway.
[1993 Code § 178-11A]
The taxicab driver shall, upon demand by a passenger, render a receipt upon which the driver shall state his name, driver's license number, the taxicab license number, the source and destination of the trip, the amount of the charge and the date and time of the transaction. All disputes as to the fare shall, upon request of the passenger, be determined by the nearest available police officer.
[1993 Code § 178-11B]
Owners of taxicabs, employees and taxicab drivers engaging in the taxicab business shall render courteous and discriminatory service to the public. They shall answer all telephone calls received by them for transportation service within the limits of the township as soon as they can do so, and, if service cannot be rendered within a reasonable time, they shall notify the prospective passenger when a taxicab will be available to serve him.
[1993 Code § 178-12A]
A violation of any provision of this chapter by any owner or any taxicab driver shall be grounds for a suspension or revocation of license. A taxicab license held by an owner shall be subject to suspension or revocation for a violation of this chapter by a driver employed or controlled by the owner. All taxicab licenses held by an owner shall be subject to suspension or revocation for a violation of this chapter even though fewer than all the licensed taxicabs of the owner were involved in the violation. Any violation of the laws of the State of New Jersey, the laws of the United States or of other ordinances of the Township of West Caldwell shall also be grounds for a suspension or revocation of license.
[1993 Code § 178-12B]
Any license may be revoked or suspended for cause at any time by the Township Council upon notice in writing of the charge against the holder of the license and an opportunity to be heard thereon, if requested. An initial suspension of not over 10 days may be ordered prior to the hearing for the determination of the charges. The licensee shall answer in writing the charges made against him within five days of their receipt by him and shall endorse thereon a demand for a hearing if one is requested by him. The Township Clerk/Administrator shall conduct the hearing and report his recommendations to the Township Council. A time and place shall be fixed for the hearing, and at least five days' notice thereof shall be served upon the holder of the license. At the hearing the party charged with a violation of this chapter or other violations may make such statements in his own behalf or through witnesses or submit such verified or unverified statements as he may desire. The Township Council shall make a decision sustaining or dismissing the charges and suspending or revoking the license.