Chapter 5.20
TAXICABS

Sections:

5.20.010    Definitions.

5.20.020    Certificate of public convenience and necessity required and taxicab permit required.

5.20.030    Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Application.

5.20.040    Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Council’s determination for need required.

5.20.050    Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Hearing and investigation to determine need.

5.20.055    Criminal conduct—Ineligibility for city licenses and permits.

5.20.060    Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Hearing—Council’s determination—Award of additional permits.

5.20.070    Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Compliance with requirements required prior to issuance.

5.20.080    Application for additional taxicabs—Granting.

5.20.090    Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Owners before enactment of provisions.

5.20.100    Service required on a twenty-four-hour basis per day.

5.20.110    Replacing taxicabs—Notification.

5.20.120    Certificate and permit—Transfer.

5.20.130    Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Revocation, suspension.

5.20.140    License—Application and renewal.

5.20.150    Rate schedules approval.

5.20.160    Rate changes—Hearing.

5.20.170    Rates—Deregulation.

5.20.180    Vehicle identification.

5.20.190    Equipment maintenance and inspection.

5.20.200    Operating regulations.

5.20.210    Driver’s permit required—Application.

5.20.220    Renewal of driver’s permit.

5.20.230    Revocation of driver’s permit.

5.20.240    Driver’s permit application denial or driver’s permit revocation—Appeal.

5.20.245    Reapplication upon positive test for controlled substances and alcohol.

5.20.250    Return of driver’s permit upon termination of employment.

5.20.260    Taxicab stands.

5.20.270    Liability insurance.

5.20.280    Taximeter—Required.

5.20.290    Taximeter rates.

5.20.300    Refusal to pay fare.

5.20.310    Violation of provisions—Permit revocation.

5.20.010 Definitions.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, whenever used in this chapter, the following terms shall respectively mean:

A. “Certificate holder” means any person to whom a certificate of public convenience and necessity has been issued under the provisions of this chapter and which certificate has not been revoked.

B. “Driver” means every person in charge of, or operating, any passenger-carrying or motor-propelled vehicle, as herein defined, either as agent, employee, or otherwise, of owner, as owner, or under the direction of the owner, as herein defined.

C. “Street” means any piece commonly used for the purpose of public travel.

D. “Taxicab” means any motor-propelled vehicle used for the transportation of passengers who direct the route to be traveled over the streets and not operated over a fixed route for compensation.

E. “Taxicab stand” means a public place alongside the curb of a street or elsewhere in the city which has been designated by the council as reserved exclusively for the use of a holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

F. “Taxicab permit” means an authorization issued to a holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to the provisions of this chapter to operate a taxicab within the city. (Prior code § 6240)

5.20.020 Certificate of public convenience and necessity required and taxicab permit required.

No person shall engage in the business of operating any vehicle defined in Section 5.20.010 within the city without first having obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the council and a taxicab permit for the operation of each vehicle authorized under such certificate of public convenience and necessity from the director of public works. (Ord. 1524 § 2, 2009)

5.20.030 Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Application.

All persons applying to the council for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate one or more taxicabs shall file with the council a sworn application in a form stating as follows:

A. The name and address of the owner or person applying; if a partnership, the name of each partner; if a corporation, the names of the directors and principal officers;

B. The number of vehicles proposed to be operated for taxi service;

C. The designated number of each taxicab to be operated;

D. A description of the proposed color scheme, insignia, trade style, and any other distinguishing characteristics of the proposed taxicab design;

E. Any facts which the applicant believes tend to prove that public convenience and necessity require the granting of a permit;

F. Proposed rates to be charged;

G. Such further information as the council requires. (Prior code § 6240.2)

5.20.040 Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Council’s determination for need required.

No certificate of public convenience and necessity for the operation of any taxicab shall be granted until the council shall, after hearing, declare by resolution that the public convenience and necessity require the issuance of such certificate. (Prior code § 6240.3)

5.20.050 Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Hearing and investigation to determine need.

In determining whether the public convenience and necessity require the operation of a taxicab, or taxicabs, for which application is made, the council shall hold such public hearing as may be necessary in its discretion to determine that fact. Before any application is acted upon, the public works department shall cause an investigation to be made and shall report the findings, in writing, to the council on the following:

A. The demand of the public for additional taxicab service;

B. The adequacy of existing mass transportation and taxicab service;

C. The financial responsibility and experience of the applicant;

D. The number, kind and type of equipment and the color scheme to be used;

E. The effect which such additional taxicab service may have upon traffic congestion and parking;

F. Whether the additional taxicab service will result in a greater hazard to the public;

G. Such other relevant facts as the council may deem advisable or necessary. (Ord. 1524 § 3, 2009)

5.20.055 Criminal conduct—Ineligibility for city licenses and permits.

The provisions of Section 5.08.030 shall be applicable to this chapter. (Ord. 1202 § 16, 1991)

5.20.060 Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Hearing—Council’s determination—Award of additional permits.

If the council determines that the public convenience and necessity requires additional service, it shall then determine the number of taxicab permits which shall be necessary to furnish such services. The council may award such additional taxicab permits to existing holders of certificates of public convenience and necessity or to any new applicants who are qualified for issuance of certificates of public convenience and necessity. (Prior code § 6240.5)

5.20.070 Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Compliance with requirements required prior to issuance.

No certificate of public convenience and necessity shall be issued to any person who shall not have fully complied with all the requirements of this chapter necessary to be complied with before the commencement of operation of the proposed service. (Prior code § 6240.6)

5.20.080 Application for additional taxicabs—Granting.

Any holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity may make application to the director of public works for such additional taxicab permits as he or she may desire. The director of public works shall notify the other certificate holders of such application and, if no objections are filed within ten days, the applicant shall be granted such taxicab permit or taxicab permits as requested without necessity of a hearing or investigation as provided in Section 5.20.050. If, however, protests are filed, then such taxicab permits shall be granted or denied only in accordance with the provisions of Sections 5.20.050 and 5.20.060. (Ord. 1524 § 4, 2009)

5.20.090 Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Owners before enactment of provisions.

Every owner operating a licensed taxicab prior to the nineteenth day of December, 1951, shall be presumed, in the absence of any contrary evidence and finding of the council, to have established a prima facie evidence of public convenience and necessity for the licensing of the taxicab or taxicabs actually in operation, and the council, upon application received not later than fifteen days after the nineteenth day of December, 1951, shall grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity to such owner for the operation of taxicabs. Every owner obtaining a certificate as aforesaid shall be entitled to the number of taxicab permits held by such owner that were in force on the day prior to the nineteenth day of December, 1951. (Prior code § 6240.8)

5.20.100 Service required on a twenty-four-hour basis per day.

All persons holding certificates of public convenience and necessity shall regularly and daily operate their taxicabs on a twenty-four-hour basis during each day of the license year. (Prior code § 6240.9)

5.20.110 Replacing taxicabs—Notification.

Whenever a certificate holder replaces a taxicab for which a permit has been issued, he or she shall file with the director of public works the name, type, year of manufacture, serial number and motor number of the vehicle abandoned and the vehicle to be placed in use. The director of public works shall, as a matter of right, authorize the replacement of such vehicle under the existing permit. (Ord. 1524 § 5, 2009)

5.20.120 Certificate and permit—Transfer.

Any person having a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the operation of taxicabs shall be authorized by the council to transfer the certificate of public convenience, taxicab permits and taxicab stands issued pursuant thereto, unless after a hearing held for the purpose the council shall find that such proposed transferee is not a person of good moral character or that the transferee does not possess sufficient financial responsibility to meet the requirements of a holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity under this chapter. The hearing shall be held within thirty days after the holder of the certificate of public convenience and necessity gives notice in writing to the city clerk of the intended transfer. (Prior code § 6240.11)

5.20.130 Certificate of public convenience and necessity—Revocation, suspension.

The certificate of public convenience and necessity shall be suspended or revoked by the council upon the following grounds:

A. The owner wilfully fails to operate the vehicles under permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

B. The taxicab or taxicabs are operated at a rate of fare other than that approved by the council;

C. The company shall abandon its operation of all vehicles for a period of thirty days. Acts of God, labor disputes and other acts beyond the control of the certificate holder shall not be an abandonment within the meaning of this section. No suspension shall be made effective until a hearing has been had before the council, at which the certificate holders may be present and represented by counsel. The certificate holder shall have not less than ten days’ notice by registered mail of the hearing. (Prior code § 6240.12)

5.20.140 License—Application and renewal.

Any application for a license to operate a taxi shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee as established by the council. The application fee charged hereunder shall be in sufficient amounts to fully defray administrative costs incurred in the processing of an application and are not made in lieu of any other fees or taxes required under this code. A license to operate a taxi shall be renewed annually. (Ord. 1202 § 18, 1991: prior code § 6240.13)

Prior to its repeal by § 17 of Ord. 1202, § 5-20.140 was entitled “Certificate holders’ registration and license fees” and was derived from prior code § 6240.13.

5.20.150 Rate schedules approval.

The rate schedule of every owner operating a licensed taxicab or taxicabs prior to the nineteenth day of December, 1951, and who under the provisions of this chapter, was granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity and whose rates were, on the nineteenth day of December, 1971, on file with the clerk and approved prior to the nineteenth day of December 1951, by the council, are approved. (Prior code § 6240.14)

5.20.160 Rate changes—Hearing.

The council, upon its own motion, or upon application of a certificate holder, may set, establish, change, modify or amend the schedule of rates to be charged by all vehicles operated by each holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity under the provisions of this chapter. No rates shall be set, established, changed, modified or amended without a hearing before the council. Notice of such hearing shall be given to each certificate holder, in writing, by the city clerk, at least five days before the hearing, and the council may give such other notice as it shall deem necessary. (Prior code § 6240.15(a))

5.20.170 Rates—Deregulation.

Nothing herein shall prohibit the council from deregulating taxi rates. The council may by resolution provide for the deregulation of taxi rates. No resolution authorizing deregulation of rates shall be adopted without a hearing before the council. Notice of such hearing shall be given to each certificate holder in writing by the city clerk at least five days before the hearing and the council may give such other notice as it shall deem necessary. Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the resolution of deregulation, any certificate holder may establish, change, modify or amend the schedule of rates to be charged by all vehicles operated by each holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity under the provisions of this chapter, following posting of such change, modifications or amendments to the taximeter rates in each vehicle in such a place as to be in view of all passengers thirty days prior to such taximeter rates taking effect. All changes, modifications or amendments to the schedule of rates shall be filed with the city clerk and director of public works thirty days prior to such rates taking effect.

A. A resolution of deregulation shall expressly provide such limitations and conditions as the council shall deem appropriate.

B. A resolution of deregulation may be revoked, and taxi rates reestablished by the council, upon its own motion or upon application of a certificate holder. No resolution of deregulation of taxi rates shall be revoked and no taxi rates reestablished by the council without a hearing before the council after notice as set out herein. (Ord. 1524 § 6, 2009)

5.20.180 Vehicle identification.

A. Every taxicab shall have permanently printed or placed on each side of such taxicab the name of the owner or the fictitious name under which the owner operates, together with the telephone number of the owner or company. All of such lettering shall be in letters of not less than two and one-quarter inches in height and not less than five-sixteenths of an inch stroke. In addition thereto, every taxicab shall have printed or placed upon the exterior of such taxicab in conspicuous letters of at least three and one-half inches in height and not less than one-half-inch stroke, of a color in contrast to the color of the taxicab, the number of such taxicab and which numbering shall be printed or placed in the following locations:

1. In front center of taxicab on metal above windshield;

2. One number on each side of taxicab; and

3. One number on each side of outside rear of taxicab.

B. All taxicabs shall conform to the color scheme, name, monogram or insignia approved by the director of public works.

C. No person shall imitate any color scheme, monogram or insignia used by any other holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity which has been approved by the director of public works. (Ord. 1524 § 7, 2009)

5.20.190 Equipment maintenance and inspection.

A. Before a permit is issued to any owner, the taxicab for which such permit is requested shall be delivered to a place designated by the council for inspection, and the council shall designate agents to inspect such taxicab or taxicabs, and their equipment, to ascertain whether such taxicab complies with the provisions of this chapter, all cost thereof to be paid by cab owner.

B. The chief of police, or any member of the police department under his or her direction, shall have the right, at any time after displaying proper identification, to enter into or upon any certificated taxicab for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not any of the provisions of this chapter are being violated.

C. Any taxicab which is found, after any such inspection, to be unsafe or in any way unsuitable for taxicab service shall be immediately ordered out of service, and before again being placed in service, proof must be furnished to the chief of police that it is in a safe condition.

D. The interior of every taxicab shall be thoroughly cleaned at least once in every twenty-four hours. (Prior code § 6240.17)

5.20.200 Operating regulations.

A. Any driver employed to transport passengers to a definite point shall take the most direct route possible that will carry his or her passenger to his or her destination safely and expeditiously.

B. No driver of any licensed taxicab shall refuse any person prompt taxi service in the city at any time while such taxicab is on the public streets ready for service, unless taxicab is already engaged in the carrying of one or more passengers or is en route to answer a call for taxicab service; provided further, that nothing in this subsection shall require any owner or driver to furnish taxicab service to any person under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotics, or to any person who is insane or who is a known criminal.

C. Every driver, upon request, shall give a correct receipt for the amount of payment received.

D. No driver of any taxicab shall accept, take into his or her vehicle or transport any larger number of passengers than the rates covering the seating capacity of his or her vehicle.

E. No driver shall permit any taxicab to remain standing in any established taxicab stand, unless the cab is attended by a driver or operator, except when assisting passengers to load or unload, or when answering the telephone.

F. No driver shall carry any passenger other than paying passengers or persons authorized by or on company business.

G. Every driver shall at all times display his or her driver’s permit and picture in a conspicuous place in the taxicab which he or she is operating.

H. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be cause for the revocation of the permit of the driver guilty of such violation. (Prior code § 6240.18)

5.20.210 Driver’s permit required—Application.

A. No person shall drive or operate any of the vehicles mentioned in Section 5.20.010 without first obtaining a permit in writing to do so from the chief of police, or any person designated by the chief. The permit issued will entitle the driver to work for only those employers whose names appear on the permit. A new permit will be required for each subsequent employment; provided, however, that no application shall be necessary other than a ratification of change of employment and proof of a negative test as specified in subsection (C)(4) of this section.

B. Any application for a driver’s permit shall be accompanied by a fee as set by resolution of the council. The application fee shall be used to defray, in whole or in part, the city and/or state costs of investigation and review of the application.

C. Applicants for such permits shall file applications with the chief of police. The application shall contain the following information together with two photographs of the applicant:

1. Name, marital status, age, residence, last previous address, and the length of residence at such last address and in the city;

2. The names and addresses of two residents of the city acquainted with the applicant;

3. Complete fingerprinting of applicant;

4. Proof of a negative test for controlled substances and for alcohol which complies with the requirements set forth in Government Code Section 53075.5;

5. The name of the driver’s employer or prospective employer;

6. All criminal convictions.

D. The application will not be processed by the chief of police or his or her designee until the application is complete and all of the required information has been submitted.

E. No permit shall be issued to any of the following persons:

1. Any person under the age of twenty-one years;

2. Any person not a citizen of the United States or who has not lawfully declared his or her intention to become such;

3. Any person who has been convicted of a felony;

4. Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving any of the following: sexual offense; weapons offense; robbery; manslaughter; moral turpitude; pandering; using, possessing, selling or transporting narcotics; or imparting information for obtaining narcotics;

5. Any person who, within the past seven years from the date of the application, or during the processing of said application, has been convicted of driving a vehicle recklessly or while under the influence of intoxicating liquors or narcotics;

6. Any person not possessing a valid chauffeur’s license issued by the state;

7. Any person convicted of violating any provisions of this chapter or any similar ordinance of another public agency;

8. Any person who has made a material misstatement or omission in the permit application;

9. Any person who has had one or more convictions of misdemeanor hit and run within the past three years, or two or more convictions of misdemeanor hit and run within the past seven years;

10. Any person who has had two or more moving violations as set forth in the Vehicle Code of the state occurring during any twelve-month period within the past three years, or three or more total violations during the past three years;

11. Any person who has displayed a pattern of criminal conduct or driving violations that would indicate they would pose a danger to the safety of passengers or other motorists if granted a driver’s permit.

F. Any person whose application has been denied may appeal that denial in accordance with the provisions set forth in Section 5.20.240. (Ord. 1524 § 8, 2009)

5.20.220 Renewal of driver’s permit.

A driver’s permit shall be renewed annually. The renewal fee shall be set by resolution of the council and shall be used to defray, in whole or in part, the city and/or state costs of investigation of the renewal. Prior to renewal, each driver shall submit proof of a negative test for controlled substances and for alcohol which complies with the requirements set forth in Government Code Section 53075.5. The driver’s permit shall be renewed unless any of the grounds for revocation set forth in Section 5.20.230 exist. (Ord. 1298 § 1, 1996)

5.20.230 Revocation of driver’s permit.

The chief of police may revoke or refuse to renew an operator’s license if the driver or applicant has since the granting of his or her permit:

A. Been convicted of a felony;

B. Been convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving any of the following: sexual offense; weapons offense; robbery; manslaughter; moral turpitude; pandering; using, possessing, selling or transporting narcotics; or imparting information for obtaining narcotics;

C. Been convicted of driving recklessly or while under the influence of liquors or narcotics;

D. Had his or her state driver’s or chauffeur’s license revoked or suspended;

E. Had one or more convictions of misdemeanor hit and run within the past three years, or two or more convictions of misdemeanor hit and run, within the past seven years;

F. Had two or more moving violations as set forth in the Vehicle Code of the state occurring during any twelve-month period within the past three years, or three or more total violations during the past three years;

G. Displayed a pattern of criminal conduct or driving violations that would indicate they pose a danger to the safety of passengers or other motorists;

H. Failed to submit proof of a negative test for controlled substances and alcohol as required in Section 5.20.210;

I. Been convicted of violating any of the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1524 § 9, 2009)

5.20.240 Driver’s permit application denial or driver’s permit revocation—Appeal.

Any person whose application for a driver’s permit has been denied or any driver whose permit has been revoked pursuant to Section 5.20.230 by the chief of police may, within ten days of such revocation, file an appeal from such denial or revocation with the council, and a hearing shall be held before the council on such revocation. If, in the opinion of the council, the denial or revocation is not justified from the evidence submitted to it at such hearing, the permit shall be issued or reinstated. If, upon the hearing, it shall appear that good cause exists therefor, the council shall affirm the action of the chief of police and order the denial or permanent revocation of the permit. The action of the council on such a revocation shall be final and conclusive. Pending such hearing, it is unlawful for such person or driver to operate a taxicab within the city. (Ord. 1298 § 1, 1996; prior code § 6240.23)

5.20.245 Reapplication upon positive test for controlled substances and alcohol.

Any person whose permit application is denied or whose permit is revoked based on his or her failure to submit proof of a negative test for controlled substances and alcohol may reapply for a driver’s permit after a period of one year from the date of the permit denial or revocation. Evidence of the absence of drug dependency from a substance abuse professional and proof of a negative drug and alcohol test will be required prior to reapplication. (Ord. 1298 § 1, 1996)

5.20.250 Return of driver’s permit upon termination of employment.

The driver shall notify the chief of police of his or her termination of employment with the listed employer and shall return the driver’s permit to the chief of police. The driver’s permit shall become null and void upon the driver’s termination of employment. (Ord. 1298 § 1, 1996)

5.20.260 Taxicab stands.

A. The director of public works or his or her designee may designate taxicab stands on public streets for use by certificate holders. The director of public works or his or her designee may move, add or eliminate taxicab stands as he or she deems appropiate.

B. No owner or driver of any taxicab shall park the same on any public street in the central traffic district for the purpose of soliciting business, other than at the stands designated by the director of public works or his or her designee.

C. The taxicab stands shall be designated by signs or other appropriate markings, as directed by director of public works or his or her designee. (Ord. 1475 § 1, 2005: prior code § 6240.24)

5.20.270 Liability insurance.

A. The motor vehicle liability policy required by this section shall insure the owner and any other person using or responsible for the use of any such vehicle, with the consent, express or implied, of the owner against loss from the liability imposed upon such owner by law for injury to, or death of, any person, or damage to property, growing out of the maintenance, operation or ownership of any public motor vehicle to the amount or limit of five hundred thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs on account of injury to, or death of, any one person; of one million dollars, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of any one accident resulting in damage to property of, an injury to, or death of, more than one person.

B. The motor vehicle liability policy shall insure to the benefit of any and all persons suffering loss or damage either to person or property as herein provided, and the liability of the insurance carrier shall be in no manner abrogated or abated by the death of the tortfeasor or the owner.

Every certificate required under the provisions of this chapter shall certify that the motor vehicle liability policy or policies therein cited shall not be cancelled except upon ten days’ prior written notice thereof to the council. The motor vehicle liability insurance shall be a continuing liability up to the full moment thereof, notwithstanding any recovery thereon, and the certificates thereof shall so certify. All motor vehicle liability policies and all certificates thereof shall be subject to the approval of the city attorney in any and all matters and if at any time, in the judgment of the council, the motor vehicle liability policies are not sufficient for any cause, the council may require the owner of such public motor vehicle who filed the same to replace the motor vehicle policies within ten days with other policies in accordance with the provisions of this section. If the owner fails to replace the motor vehicle policies within the ten-day period with good and sufficient policies, as set out in this section, then at the termination of the period the owner’s permit issued under this chapter shall be by such failure automatically suspended until such time as the requirement is complied with, and the chief of police shall enforce such suspension. (Ord. 1484 § 5, 2005; prior code § 6240.25)

5.20.280 Taximeter—Required.

All taxicabs operated under the authority of this chapter shall, within thirty days after written notice by the city, be equipped with meters fastened in front of the passengers, visible to them at all times of the day or night; and after sundown the face of the meter shall be illuminated, the accuracy of meters to be installed shall be tested, approved and sealed by the county department of weights and measures at all points and connections which, if manipulated, would affect their correct reading and recording. Each meter shall have a flag or approved device to denote when the vehicle is employed and when it is not employed and it shall be the duty of the driver to throw the flag or device into a recording position when employed and into a nonrecording position at the termination of each trip. The meter shall be subject to inspection from time to time and upon discovery of any inaccuracies therein, the taxi shall be kept off the highway until the meter is repaired or replaced. (Prior code § 6240.28)

5.20.290 Taximeter rates.

Meters will be set to show rates adopted or amended by the council by resolution, which shall include a minimum and mileage rate, standby charges and types of receipts, if any, to be delivered to passengers. If required by the resolution, rate cards setting forth the authorized rates shall be displayed in each taxi in such a place as to be in view of all passengers. (Prior code § 6240.29)

5.20.300 Refusal to pay fare.

Except where credit is intended, no person shall fail or refuse to pay at the end of the trip or the termination or discharge of service, the regular fare for the public passenger vehicle for hire he or she has hired, and upon conviction for violation thereof, in addition to any other penalty provided for in this code, he or she shall be compelled to pay to the driver of the vehicle an amount equal to the legal fare and in case any bail required is forfeited, the amount of the legal fare shall be paid to the driver from such amount forfeited, and the court or judge before whom the case is heard shall order the same to be paid from the treasury of the city. (Prior code § 6240.27)

5.20.310 Violation of provisions—Permit revocation.

Any person convicted of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by this code, have the permit to him or her revoked. (Prior code § 6240.26)