[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cheektowaga 5-19-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Traffic Safety Commission — See Ch. 36.
Traffic Violations Bureau — See Ch. 38.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 235.
Removal and storage of vehicles — See Ch. 241.
The existing Chapter 223 of the Code of the Town of Cheektowaga (originally adopted October 21, 1985) is hereby repealed.
It is hereby declared that the taxicab and the livery business is a vital part of the transportation facilities of the Town of Cheektowaga and that its regulation is necessary to preserve peace, good order and safety for the inhabitants of the Town.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person driving a taxicab or livery upon the public highways for hire.
- Any motor vehicle, other than a taxicab or a bus, used in the business of transporting passengers for compensation that does not utilize any type of a taximeter.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power, except electrically driven mobility assistance devices operated or driven by a person with a disability, vehicles which run only upon rails or tracks, snowmobiles as defined in Article 47 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law and all-terrain vehicles as defined in Article 48-B of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law.
- A person owning or controlling one or more taxicabs and/or livery vehicles and driving or causing any such vehicle to be driven upon the public highways for hire.
- Includes an individual, a partnership, any unincorporated association, a corporation and any other legal entity.
- Any motor vehicle engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire, having a seating capacity of less than eight persons and not operated on a fixed route.
- A mechanical instrument or device by which the charge for hire of a taxicab may be mechanically calculated either for the distance traveled or waiting time, or both, and upon which such charge is indicated by means of figures.
- The Town of Cheektowaga, excluding the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the Village of Sloan and those portions of the Village of Depew within the Town of Cheektowaga.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, driver or employee of any taxicab and/or livery to transport persons in a taxicab or livery from, to, or within the Town without having first obtained and having then in force an owner's permit, as hereinafter provided.
[Amended 4-18-2016 by L.L. No. 4-2016]
Every owner’s permit issued hereunder shall be issued for one calendar year, from July 1 through June 30 each year. There will be no prorating of the yearly fee should an owner apply for an owner’s permit after July 1.
[Amended 5-4-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015]
Every person who desires to operate a taxicab or taxicabs and/or livery owned or controlled by that person, upon the public highways within the Town, shall file with the Town Clerk a written application, verified under oath, stating:
The name and address of the owner of the taxicab or taxicabs and/or livery, specifying, in the case of any partnership, unincorporated association or other legal entity, the name and address of each member thereof and, in the case of any corporation, the name and address of each officer, director and stockholder thereof.
A description of each vehicle, including the make, model, color, license plate number, passenger capacity, year of vehicle and proof of inspection.
[Amended 5-4-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(3), concerning the location of proposed depots and terminals, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 5-4-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015.
If the Town Clerk shall find that all the required forms and documents have been completed and submitted and that the owner is qualified, then the Town Clerk, upon receipt of proof of insurance against public liability for each taxicab and/or livery showing the amounts of coverage, which amounts shall be at least the minimum amount required under New York State law for personal injuries to each person per accident, for total personal injuries for each accident and for property damage and which insurance shall be maintained in full force during the period covered by the permit, and upon receiving payment of the proper fee, shall issue a permit stating the name and address of the owner, the date of the issuance thereof, the number of vehicles the owner is authorized to operate, and the number of the license plate assigned to each vehicle.
Any permit issued here may be renewed annually for additional periods of one year each from the expiration date upon the filing of an application containing all the information required herein.
Every owner issued a permit pursuant to this chapter who shall desire to add to the number of taxicabs and/or liveries then being operated shall file with the Town Clerk a new written application, under oath, providing all the information required as described in Subsection A hereinabove.
If the Town Clerk shall find that the addition of such taxicab(s) and/or livery meets all requirements, then he/she shall issue an owner's permit stating the name and address of the applicant, the numbers of the license plate assigned to such vehicles and the date of issuance thereof.
The owner's permit issued hereunder shall not be transferable or assignable to any other person.
[Amended 5-4-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015]
The fee for a taxicab owner’s permit and a livery owner’s permit shall be the sum of $25 per year for each vehicle and/or $200 for a fleet of up to 10 vehicles. For replacing a lost permit, the fee shall be $10. In case of the sale or disuse for taxicab and/or livery purposes of any permitted taxicab and/or livery, the holder of the taxicab and/or livery permit may, with the approval of the Town Clerk, have the same transferred to another vehicle owned by him/her without fee.
Each owner shall provide a list of all vehicle operators who will be operating the taxicab(s) and/or livery(ies), as the case may be, that have a permit issued pursuant to this chapter along with a copy of the drivers' licenses for all such operators and two passport-size photos of each driver.
Each driver will be required to complete an application that will be provided by the Town Clerk's office and shall also have a background check completed by the Town Police Department.
Upon approval by the Town Clerk of the application and approval by the Town Police Department of the background check, each driver shall be issued a taxicab/livery driver permit identification card.
Each driver shall carry his/her taxicab/livery driver permit identification card with him/her at all times while operating a taxicab/livery within the Town.
Each owner shall take all necessary steps to update that list of drivers whenever drivers are added or deleted. Under no circumstances shall an owner allow anyone to operate any of owner's taxicabs and/or liveries for the purpose of transporting persons for hire from, to, or within the Town who has not completed the application process set forth herein and who has not been issued a taxicab/livery driver permit identification card.
Every driver’s permit license issued hereunder shall be issued for one calendar year from July 1 through June 30 each year. There will be no prorating of the yearly fee should a driver apply for a driver’s permit after July 1.
[Amended 5-4-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015]
Driver’s permits that are being renewed will not require another Cheektowaga Police background check. The license information previously provided by the driver will be used to obtain a license report from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Any driver who fails to renew a driver’s permit within 30 days of expiration will be required to have a full and complete Cheektowaga Police Department check at a cost of $10.
[Added 5-4-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015]
The fee for a taxicab/livery driver's permit identification card shall be the sum of $25 per year for each driver. For replacing a lost driver's permit, the fee shall be $10. Driver's permits are nontransferable.
In any case where an owner has paid for and been issued a taxicab/livery owner's permit to operate a taxicab or taxicabs and/or livery owned by that person and that person is also seeking to obtain a taxicab/livery driver's permit identification card to operate that vehicle, the fee for the taxicab/livery driver's permit identification card for that owner shall be waived.
Any applicant who shall have been denied an owner's and/or operator's permit under this chapter may apply to the Town Board for a review of the action of the Town Clerk, as hereinafter provided:
Such application to the Town Board shall be in writing, signed and acknowledged by the applicant, and shall state the ground or grounds on which the applicant claims that the determination of the Town Clerk was erroneous.
Such application shall be filed with the Town Clerk by the applicant within 20 days after notice of denial of his/her license by the Town Clerk has been mailed to him or delivered to him in person.
Upon the filing of such application, the Town Board shall hold a hearing thereon pursuant to the provisions set forth in Subsection B herein below.
At such hearing, the Town Board shall consider the applicant's application upon the record before the Town Clerk in connection with the Town Clerks consideration thereof and, in its discretion, may receive new or additional evidence in support thereof or in opposition thereto.
The Town Board, after such hearing, may affirm the action of the Town Clerk or direct the Town Clerk to issue a proper permit pursuant to this chapter.
Whenever it shall be provided herein that a hearing shall or may be held by the Town Board with respect to any matter:
Such hearing shall be held on a date and at a place and hour designated by the Town Board.
The Town Clerk shall give notice thereof, stating the name and address of the applicant or license holder concerned, the subject matter of the hearing, and the date, place and hour thereof designated therefor, by mailing a copy thereof to the applicant or license holder concerned, at the address shown upon the most recent application of such applicant or licensee, at least 10 days before such hearing.
The applicant or license holder involved shall be entitled to be represented by legal counsel and to present such competent and material testimony or other evidence in his/her own behalf as may be relevant to the subject matter of the hearing.
All witnesses shall be sworn and examined under oath.
No motor vehicle utilizing a taximeter shall be used for hire unless that taximeter is in full compliance with all applicable local and state statutes, rules and regulations and has an official seal from the appropriate authorizing authority.
No taximeter shall be operated from either rear wheel of such vehicle, and the figures thereon shall be illuminated and visible to the passenger from the rear seat of the vehicle.
No taximeter shall be operated unless said taximeter and speedometer are in proper working condition.
It shall be unlawful to change the size of the front wheels or tires of a taxicab or livery or the gears operating the taximeters or to change said instrument from one vehicle to another.
All taximeters shall have an intact cover and gears, and no person shall or allow the use of a taximeter on which the seal has been broken.
No taxicab or livery driver shall leave his/her vehicle without shutting off the radio.
No driver shall blow his/her horn, shout or use a loud tone to solicit a fare.
No driver shall idle the motor of his/her vehicle excessively at any time.
It shall be the duty of each taxicab driver to keep a record of the point of origin and point of destination of all trips made and the charge made therefor, and to file the same with the owner of the taxicab, and such records shall be preserved for at least six months and shall be made available for inspection by the Police Department during said period.
It shall be the duty of each livery vehicle driver to have a printed form that provides the date, time and location of each pickup; the name, address and telephone number of the person(s) who ordered the service; the destination each person is being transported to; and the price being charged for the transportation service.
The numbered permit assigned to each vehicle by the Town Clerk must be affixed to the vehicle in a conspicuous place at the rear of the vehicle and cannot be transferred to another vehicle.
Each taxicab operated hereunder shall bear on the outside of at least one door on each side of the vehicle the word "TAXI."
No taxicab or livery driver shall solicit passengers except when sitting in the driver's compartment of such taxicab or livery, as the case may be, or while standing immediately adjacent thereto, nor in a loud or annoying tone or voice nor by sign nor in any manner annoy, obstruct the movement of or follow any person for the purpose of soliciting patronage.
No taxicab or livery driver shall stop to pick up any additional passengers while proceeding to the destination of any passenger then occupying the taxicab or livery, as the case may be, without the consent of all such passengers.
No taxicab or livery driver shall permit more persons to be carried in his/her taxicab or livery, as the case may be, than the number for which he/she has seating facilities.
Every taxicab and livery driver, as soon as practicable after his/her taxicab or livery, as the case may be, is emptied of passengers, shall carefully search his/her vehicle for any property left there by any passenger, and if he shall find any such property, he/she shall as soon as reasonably practical deliver it to the Police Department in Cheektowaga.
The interior and exterior of all vehicles operated pursuant to the chapter shall be clean and sanitary at all times.
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not to exceed $500 for each offense. Each day in which violations of these provisions occur shall constitute a separate offense. Should an owner or a driver be convicted of three violations of this chapter within any eighteen-month period, then the permit granted to such owner or operator pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked.
It shall be a violation for any taxicab and/or livery owner to have a taxicab or livery operating within the Town while having a revoked or suspended permit and for any taxicab or livery driver to operate a taxicab and/or livery within the Town while having a revoked or suspended permit. Each time a taxicab or livery owner or driver operates a taxicab and/or a livery within the Town while having a revoked or suspended permit shall constitute a separate offense. Such offenses shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for any additional offenses.
The provisions of this chapter pertaining to obtaining an owner's permit and/or a driver's permit shall not apply to any taxicab or livery that is registered outside of the State of New York.