Chapter 5.16
TAXICABS*

*    Editor’s Note: Former Chapter 5.16, Taxicabs, was repealed and replaced in its entirety by Ord. 2004-17.

Sections:

5.16.010    Purpose.

5.16.020    Definitions.

5.16.030    Owners’ and drivers’ permits required.

5.16.040    Owner’s permit application.

5.16.050    Investigation and findings for owner’s permit.

5.16.060    Owner’s permit issuance or denial.

5.16.070    Quota on owner’s permits.

5.16.080    Owner’s permit post-issuance inspections and reviews.

5.16.090    Driver’s permit application.

5.16.100    Investigation and findings for driver’s permit.

5.16.110    Driver’s permit issuance or denial.

5.16.120    Termination of driver.

5.16.130    Insurance requirements.

5.16.140    Alcohol/controlled substance testing.

5.16.150    Permit renewal.

5.16.160    Permit suspension or revocation.

5.16.165    Emergency suspension

5.16.170    Transfer of permits.

5.16.180    Rates and fares

5.16.190    Accurate taximeter and rate schedule required.

5.16.200    Taxicab stands.

5.16.210    Rules of operation and service.

5.16.220    Tobacco advertising prohibited.

5.16.230    Violations.

5.16.240    Penalties.

5.16.250    Enforcement.

5.16.010 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by adopting appropriate regulations in regard to taxicab transportation service as required by Government Code section 53075.5.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.020 DEFINITIONS.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below:

(a)    “Driver” means any person in charge of or driving any taxicab, either as owner, independent contractor, lessee, agent, employee, or otherwise under the direction of the owner.

(b)    “Handicapped accessible vehicle” means a vehicle that meets the access standards of 49 CFR Part 38 including wheelchair access.

(c)    “Owner” means the person who, or the firm, association or corporation which, is registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of California (“DMV”) as the owner of a vehicle or vehicles used in the transportation of persons for compensation, or who has a legal right to possession of such vehicle pursuant to a lease or rental agreement, or who contracts with the driver of such vehicle who is the registered owner or has legal right to possession of the vehicle. The act or omission of any owner’s officer, agent, employee or independent contractor, or of any driver whose services are engaged by any of the above, is for all purposes the act or omission of the owner operating the taxicab business regulated by this chapter.

(d)    “Permit officer” means the city manager of the City of Santa Cruz or a designee of the city manager.

(e)    “Taxicab” means any public passenger motor vehicle engaged in the business of transportation of passengers for hire over the public streets of the City of Santa Cruz and not over a definite route, upon a fixed schedule, or for a fixed rate, regardless of distance traveled. “Taxicab” shall not include a drive-yourself vehicle, hearse, ambulance, or bus operated over a fixed route.

(f)    “Taxicab business, operation or service” means any business, operation, or service pursuant to which taxicabs are made available for hire or receiving passengers in a taxicab. “Taxicab business, operation or service,” however, shall not include transportation services provided by or through contracts with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, the County of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, or other governmental entities so long as those contracts contain specific provisions concerning the receipt of passengers from trips originating in the City of Santa Cruz by vehicles which would otherwise be subject to this ordinance.

(g)    “Taximeter” means an instrument or device attached to a taxicab by which the fare authorized for the hire of such taxicab is accurately mechanically or electronically calculated, on the basis of initial charge, distance traveled and/or waiting time, or any combination thereof, which fare shall be indicated upon the taximeter by means of legible figures in dollars and cents.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.030 OWNERS’ AND DRIVERS’ PERMITS REQUIRED.

(a)    Permits. Before any person can engage in a taxicab business, operation or service that will receive passengers from trips originating within the City of Santa Cruz, the owner and the driver of the taxicab shall each separately apply for and be issued an owner’s permit and a driver’s permit, respectively, as herein provided. An owner shall also be required to obtain a driver’s permit if the owner is to drive a taxicab.

(b)    Fees. All applications for owner’s and driver’s permits shall be filed with the permit officer and shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee in an amount established by city council resolution. Renewal applications for owner’s and driver’s permits shall also be filed with the permit officer. The fees provided for in this chapter are in addition to, and not in lieu of, the business license taxes assessed pursuant to Santa Cruz Municipal Code Chapter 5.04.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.040 OWNER’S PERMIT APPLICATION.

(a)    An application for a taxicab owner’s permit under this chapter shall be made upon such forms as may be prescribed by the permit officer, and shall contain at a minimum:

(1)    The name(s) and principal business, operation or service address of the owner of each taxicab, including, for a corporation, the names of its principal officers, and, for a partnership, the names of its partners;

(2)    The trade or other fictitious business name, if any, under which the owner does business or operates, and/or proposes to do business or operate;

(3)    The training and experience of each owner in the business, operation and service of transportation of passengers;

(4)    The owner’s financial statement;

(5)    A description of each taxicab which will be operated as part of the owner’s taxicab business, operation or service, including the make, model, year of manufacture, vehicle identification number, current state license number, length of time the taxicab has been in use, and the color scheme, insignia, name, taxicab number, and monogram or other emblem to be used to designate each taxicab;

(6)    The location and description of the place or places of business, operation and service, including all taxicab stands, from which the owner intends to operate each taxicab;

(7)    Proof of insurance meeting the requirements of Section 5.16.130 of this code;

(8)    A certificate indicating that each taxicab has been inspected by a facility authorized by the State of California and confirming that each taxicab has operational brakes, safety restraints, interior lighting, exterior lighting, doors, and windows and that the vehicle is in a safe mechanical condition;

(9)    Evidence that the owner or driver is the registered owner of each taxicab to be operated under the owner’s permit, or that the owner or driver has a legal right to possession of such vehicle pursuant to a lease or rental agreement;

(10)    A list of all other jurisdictions in which the owner is currently permitted or licensed to operate each taxicab or where the owner currently has a permit or license application pending to operate each taxicab;

(11)    The past criminal record of the applicant;

(12)    A list of all drivers operating the owner’s taxicabs along with a current Department of Motor Vehicles printout for each driver;

(13)    A live scan or other background check as determined by Santa Cruz police department, to be submitted in person by each owner and driver;

(14)    A certificate of accuracy from the Santa Cruz department of weights and measures for all taximeters in taxicabs to be operated by the owner or his or her agent, lessee, or employee;

(15)    A written customer complaint policy setting forth the procedure that the owner will employ to receive, investigate and resolve customer complaints concerning taxicab service. The policy shall be in a form that will be made available to members of the public;

(16)    Mandatory controlled substance certification as required by Section 5.16.140 of this code; and

(17)    Any other information which the permit officer deems reasonably necessary to make a full and fair determination of compliance with this chapter.

(b)    An application shall be deemed incomplete, and an application will not be considered by the permit officer until all the information required by subsection (a) is contained in the owner’s application.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.050 INVESTIGATION AND FINDINGS FOR OWNER’S PERMIT.

(a)    Completed applications for a taxicab owner’s permit shall be filed with the permit officer who shall investigate each owner and make a written determination whether to grant or deny the owner’s permit within ninety days after the filing of the application, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible.

(b)    No owner’s permit may be granted unless the permit officer makes each of the following findings:

(1)    The taxicab business, and each taxicab listed in the application, has met each of the requirements listed in Section 5.16.080(c);

(2)    Each taxicab has in effect insurance coverage in compliance with the requirements of Section 5.16.130;

(3)    Only drivers with current City of Santa Cruz taxicab driver’s permits will be employed by the owner, the owner will lease taxicabs only to drivers with current City of Santa Cruz taxicab driver’s permits, and the owner will contract only with independent contractor drivers with current City of Santa Cruz taxicab driver’s permits;

(4)    The owner has not been convicted during the last seven years of any felony or any crime involving driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance; any crime involving the sale, use of, or transportation of narcotics; any crime involving reckless driving, any suspension of driver’s license; a criminal assault; any crime involving theft or embezzlement; or any child annoyance or sex related crime;

(5)    The taxicab business, operation or service complies with all requirements of this chapter;

(6)    A certificate confirming the safe mechanical condition of each taxicab, as described at Section 5.16.040(a)(8), is on file with the permit officer for each taxicab to be operated by the owner applicant or his or her agent, lessee, or employee;

(7)    The taxicab business, operation or service will be able to provide adequate and efficient taxicab service to the residents of and visitors to the City of Santa Cruz twenty-four hours per day, regularly utilizing the number of taxicabs requested for approval in the permit application, as evidenced by the training and experience of each owner, the financial condition of each owner, and the performance record of each owner in providing adequate and efficient service in the City of Santa Cruz or other jurisdictions;

(8)    Documentation is on file with the permit officer satisfactorily proving that the owner applicant or independent contractor driver is the registered owner of each taxicab to be operated under the owner’s permit or that the owner or driver has a legal right to possession of such vehicle pursuant to a lease or rental agreement;

(9)    There has been a determination by the city council that there is a sufficient public need or demand for the owner’s taxicab business in the City of Santa Cruz and the proposed taxicab service sufficiently fulfills that public need, as required by Section 5.16.070 of this code; and

(10)    The application or renewal papers do not contain any false representations.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.060 OWNER’S PERMIT ISSUANCE OR DENIAL.

(a)    Denial. If the permit officer is unable to make one or more of the required findings for an owner’s permit, the permit officer shall issue a written denial of the application. The written denial shall be served upon the owner applicant either personally or by deposit in the United States mail and shall contain a notification of the right to appeal. Upon issuance of a written denial, another application may not be filed by the same owner or owners for six months thereafter.

(b)    Issuance. If the permit officer makes all of the required findings, the permit officer shall issue a written decision granting the owner’s permit to the applicant. The written decision shall be served on the owner applicant either personally or by deposit in the United States mail. The owner’s permit issued shall expire after a period of three years.

(c)    Appeals. The owner applicant may appeal the decision of the permit officer to deny or issue an owner’s permit. The appeal shall be made to the city council and shall be governed by the appellate rules and procedure set forth in Chapter 1.16 of this code. The decision of the city council shall be final, subject only to judicial review pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Sections 1094.5 and 1094.6.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.070 QUOTA FOR TAXICABS AND OWNER’S PERMITS.

(a)    No more taxicabs than one taxicab for each two thousand persons, or a major fraction thereof, residing in the City of Santa Cruz, as reflected by the most recent California Department of Finance population figures or most recent federal population census, shall be permitted to operate. Handicapped accessible vehicles shall be treated as “bonus vehicles” and shall not be counted as part of the quota on the number of taxicabs permitted by this section.

(b)    Additional owners’ permits to conduct taxicab businesses within the City of Santa Cruz will not be issued unless a city council resolution of public convenience and necessity for additional taxicab services has been adopted. This subsection shall not apply to a temporary increase in taxicabs authorized by the permit officer pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(c)    A temporary increase in taxicabs may, in the permit officer’s discretion, be permitted to owners with existing valid permits whenever the following conditions prevail: Emergency weather conditions, disaster conditions, and/or special events or functions. Additional taxicabs shall be permitted on the street under these conditions only after the owner has obtained written approval from the permit officer, and shall operate only during the time period specified by the permit officer.

(d)    Between May 15th and September 15th of each year an additional number of taxicabs may be permitted by the permit officer in accordance with the procedure outlined in subsection (c) of this section. Said additional taxicabs shall cease operation and service after September 15th of the year issued unless approval is received from the permit officer for an additional period of time pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(e)    When, as a result of a population increase or taxicab permit surrender or revocation, or other circumstance which results in an available taxicab permit under the formula provided for in this section, all taxicab companies operating in the county shall be notified of the availability of the taxicab permit.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.080 OWNER’S PERMIT POST-ISSUANCE INSPECTIONS AND REVIEWS.

(a)    Subsequent to the issuance of a taxicab owner’s permit under this chapter, the permit officer shall require proof that each taxicab has been inspected and may require that each taxicab business, operation or service be reviewed whenever the permit officer deems an inspection and/or review of the business premises to be necessary, until the expiration of the owner’s permit. The business premises inspections shall be in addition to any vehicle inspections required by law or by this code, and shall not excuse compliance with the requirements of any other applicable law or this code.

(b)    The owner shall submit the following information annually, as required by the permit officer, beginning in the year following approval of this permit:

(1)    A list of all drivers operating taxicabs under the owner’s permit;

(2)    A description of each taxicab being operated as part of the owner’s taxicab business, operation or service, including the make, model, year of manufacture, vehicle identification number, current state license number, length of time the taxicab has been in use, and the color scheme, insignia, name, taxicab number, and monogram or other emblem used to designate each taxicab;

(3)    A certificate or certificates indicating that each taxicab has been inspected by a facility authorized by the State of California and confirming that each taxicab has operational brakes, safety restraints, interior lighting, exterior lighting, doors, and windows and that the vehicle is in a safe mechanical condition;

(4)    Evidence that the owner or driver is the registered owner of each taxicab to be operated under the owner’s permit, or that the owner or driver has a legal right to possession of such vehicle pursuant to a lease or rental agreement;

(5)    A list of all other jurisdictions in which the owner is currently permitted or licensed to operate each taxicab or where the owner currently has a permit or license application pending to operate each taxicab;

(6)    A live scan or other background check as determined by Santa Cruz police department, to be submitted in person by each owner and driver, unless this requirement is waived by the chief of police;

(7)    A certificate of accuracy from the Santa Cruz department of weights and measures issued within the previous twelve months for all taximeters in taxicabs to be operated by the owner or his or her agent, lessee, or employee;

(8)    Certification that owner maintains a mandatory controlled substance and alcohol testing certification program conforming to Parts 40 and 382 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and California Government Code Section 53075.5 for all drivers of vehicles operated under the certificate; and

(9)    Written acknowledgment from all taxicab drivers that they have been notified in writing of the rules of operation and service as described in Section 5.16.210.

(c)    Pursuant to these periodic inspections and reviews, the permit officer shall determine whether the subject taxicabs and the subject taxicab business are still in compliance with all of this chapter’s requirements including, without limitation, the following requirements:

(1)    Fare schedules, a taximeter, and written policies specifying the taximeter start/stop procedures are within full view of the passenger compartment and are accurate, as required by Section 5.16.190;

(2)    All drivers possess a valid City of Santa Cruz driver’s permit;

(3)    The taxicab owner’s business license and the taxicab driver’s permit are posted in each taxicab within full view of the passenger compartment;

(4)    The taxicab’s owner’s permit is posted in the reception area of the principal place of business of the owner’s taxicab service, and a notice that the owner’s permit may be viewed at the taxicab owner’s principal place of business is posted in each of the taxicabs used in the owner’s service in full view of the passenger compartment.

(5)    That a certificate as required by Section 5.16.080(b)(8) is on file with the permit officer;

(6)    All taxicabs are maintained in a neat and clean condition, and all visible mechanical parts such as doors and windows are in good working condition;

(7)    All taxicabs are equipped with a dome light sufficient to illuminate the taxicab interior;

(8)    All taxicabs are properly labeled with the taxicab company’s name, taxicab company emblem and taxicab number as designated in the application for owner’s permit, and as required by Section 5.16.210(j);

(9)    The taxicab owner has not been convicted during the last seven years of any felony or any crime involving driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance; any crime involving the sale, use of, or transportation of narcotics; any crime involving reckless driving; any suspension of driver’s license; a criminal assault; any crime involving theft or embezzlement; or any child annoyance or sex related crime;

(10)    No taxicab driver, within the last seven years, has been convicted of a crime as described in Section 5.16.100(c)(2) of this code;

(11)    All taxicab drivers have kept requisite State of California vehicle operator’s licenses current and in good standing;

(12)    All taxicab drivers have been notified and have acknowledged in writing the rules of operation and service as described in Section 5.16.210; and

(13)    The taxicab owner and drivers have at all times complied with the requirements for insurance coverage pursuant to Section 5.16.130 of this code.

(d)    After performing any inspection or review under this section, the permit officer shall prepare a written report setting forth the results of that inspection or review. The permit officer shall send a copy of the report to the owner.

(e)    The contents of these inspection and review reports may be considered by the permit officer with respect to any permit renewal, suspension, revocation or termination.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.090 DRIVER’S PERMIT APPLICATION.

(a)    An application for a taxicab driver’s permit under this chapter shall be made upon forms prescribed by the permit officer, and shall contain at a minimum:

(1)    The name, current address and telephone number of the applicant;

(2)    Two passport-size photographs taken within the past three months of the applicant depicting front and side views;

(3)    Current copies of any and all driver’s licenses issued to the applicant;

(4)    An original Department of Motor Vehicles driving record printout issued within thirty days of initial application only;

(5)    A live scan or other background check as determined by Santa Cruz police department, to be submitted in person by the applicant;

(6)    The training and experience of the applicant;

(7)    A list of all other jurisdictions in which the applicant is currently permitted or licensed to operate a taxicab or where the driver currently has a permit or license application pending to operate a taxicab;

(8)    Proof of current insurance as required by 5.16.130;

(9)    Proof of employment, an offer of employment, an independent contractor agreement, or an application to lease as a taxicab driver within the City of Santa Cruz;

(10)    Mandatory controlled substance certification as required by Section 5.16.140 of this code; and

(11)    Any other information which the permit officer deems reasonably necessary to make a full and fair determination of the applicant’s qualifications to drive a taxicab within the City of Santa Cruz.

(b)    An application shall be deemed incomplete and an application will not be considered by the permit officer until all the information required by subsection (a) is contained in the applicant’s driver’s permit application.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.100 INVESTIGATION AND FINDINGS FOR DRIVER’S PERMIT.

(a)    Completed applications for a taxicab driver’s permit shall be filed with the permit officer who shall investigate each driver and make a written determination whether to grant or deny the driver’s permit within ninety days after the filing of the application, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible.

(b)    A temporary driver’s permit may be issued at the discretion of the permit officer, which temporary permit shall be valid for ninety days only, unless an extension of time for said permit is received in writing from the permit officer. The issuance of said temporary permit shall in no way guarantee the issuance of a permanent permit.

(c)    No driver’s permit may be granted or renewed unless the permit officer makes each of the following findings:

(1)    The applicant holds all requisite State of California vehicle operator’s licenses in good standing;

(2)    The applicant has not been convicted during the last seven years of any felony or any crime involving driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance; any crime involving the sale, use of, or transportation of narcotics; any crime involving reckless driving; any suspension of driver’s license; a criminal assault; any crime involving theft or embezzlement; or any child annoyance or sex related crime;

(3)    With respect to an initial application, the applicant has received the requisite mandatory controlled substance certification as required by Section 5.16.140 within thirty days of the application. With respect to a permit renewal, the driver has presented a controlled substance certification to the permit officer which does not pre-date the date of renewal by more than one year;

(4)    The applicant has complied with all requirements of this chapter and all other laws applicable to taxicab drivers; and

(5)    The application or renewal papers do not contain any false representations.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.110 DRIVER’S PERMIT ISSUANCE OR DENIAL.

(a)    Denial. If the permit officer is unable to make one or more of the required findings for a driver’s permit, the permit officer shall issue a written denial of the application. The written denial shall be served upon the applicant either personally or by deposit in the United States mail and shall contain a notification of the right to appeal. Upon issuance of a written denial, another application may not be filed by the same driver for three months thereafter.

(b)    Issuance. If the permit officer makes all of the required findings, the permit officer shall issue a written decision granting a driver’s permit to the applicant. The written decision shall be served upon the applicant either personally or by deposit in the United States mail. The permit issued shall state the name of the driver’s employer. The driver to whom a taxicab driver’s permit is issued shall post a copy of that permit and one of the current photographs submitted with the application in the taxicab said driver is operating in full view of its passenger compartment. The driver’s permit issued shall expire after a period of two years.

(c)    Appeals. Any interested party, including the applicant, may appeal the decision of the permit officer to issue or deny a driver’s permit. The appeal shall be made to the city council and shall be governed by the appellate rules and procedure set forth in Chapter 1.16 of this code. The decision of the city council shall be final, subject only to judicial review pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Sections 1094.5 and 1094.6.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.120 TERMINATION OF DRIVER.

Upon termination of employment or termination of the independent contractor relationship of a taxicab driver:

(a)    The taxicab driver’s permit shall become immediately void;

(b)    The taxicab driver shall return the driver’s permit to the city within seven calendar days of the termination; and

(c)    The taxicab owner shall notify the city that the driver’s employment has terminated within seven days of the termination.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.130 INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS.

(a)    A taxicab owner’s permit shall not be issued under this chapter, nor shall any permit be valid after issuance, nor shall any taxicab be operated within the City of Santa Cruz, unless there is at all times in force and effect the following insurance coverage for each taxicab:

(1)    The requisite insurance coverage shall be issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of California and shall provide coverage for all damages for which an owner or driver may be found liable due to bodily injury or property damage resulting from ownership, operation, maintenance or other use of or defect in any taxicab;

(2)    Minimum coverage on each taxicab shall be established by city council resolution for property damage, for personal injury, and for death. The minimum level of coverage may be increased periodically by the city council by resolution. Before any action on insurance coverage is taken by the city council, each person holding a taxicab owner’s permit issued by the City of Santa Cruz shall be given ten days’ mailed written notice thereof and an opportunity to be heard by the city council. In establishing the requisite minimum insurance coverage, the city council may take into consideration any recommendation offered by the Santa Cruz police department, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, and the City of Santa Cruz risk manager.

(b)    Insurance policies shall be submitted to the city’s risk manager for approval prior to issuance of each taxicab owner’s permit. Satisfactory evidence that the insurance is and shall at all times remain in full force and effect during the permit term shall be furnished to the risk manager in a form that the risk manager may specify.

(c)    Every insurance policy required under the provisions of this chapter shall contain a provision for continuing liability to the full amount notwithstanding any recovery thereon, for continuing liability to the full amount notwithstanding insolvency or bankruptcy of the insured, and for continuing liability to the full amount notwithstanding non-payment of a premium, failure to renew a permit, or any act or omission of the insured, unless and until the policy is canceled.

(d)    Every insurance policy required under the provisions of this chapter shall be for occurrences during the period to be covered by the taxicab owner’s permit. The insurer shall include in the insurance policy a provision for no less than thirty days’ written notice to the risk manager and to the insured before cancellation or termination of the policy or reduction of the coverage or policy limits.

(e)    The cancellation or termination of a policy or reduction of coverage or policy limits shall automatically revoke and terminate the taxicab owner’s permit issued hereunder unless another insurance policy complying with the provisions of this chapter is in effect at the time of such cancellation, termination, or reduction of coverage or policy limits.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.140 ALCOHOL/CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE TESTING.

(a)    No owner’s permit shall be issued or renewed unless the holder at the time of permit issuance or renewal files with the permit officer a certification that the holder maintains a mandatory controlled substance and alcohol testing certification program conforming to Parts 40 and 382 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and California Government Code Section 53075.5 for all drivers of vehicles operated under the certificate.

(b)    No driver’s permit shall be issued or renewed unless the holder at the time of the permit issuance or renewal files with the permit officer certification that the driver of a taxicab operated under the permit has tested negatively for controlled substances and alcohol under a mandatory controlled substance and alcohol testing certification program conforming to Parts 40 and 382 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and California Government Code Section 53075.5. Driver permit applicants who test positively pursuant to the certification program referenced herein shall be ineligible to apply again for a driver’s permit during the five-year period following the positive test. Driver permit renewal applicants who have tested positively pursuant to random alcohol/controlled substance testing shall not be eligible to apply for their Driver’s permit renewal until they have successfully completed an accredited substance abuse program in accordance with Government Code Section 53075.5.

(c)    Costs. The costs of taking an alcohol/controlled substance test of an employee shall be paid by the taxicab company. The costs of taking an alcohol/controlled substance test of a self-employed independent driver shall be paid by the driver.

(d)    Reporting. The written results of the alcohol/controlled substance test of an employee driver or of a self-employed independent driver who has executed a release in favor of the taxicab company shall be delivered to the taxicab company. The taxicab company shall immediately forward copies of the written results to the permit officer.

(e)    Tests From Another Jurisdiction. A test taken to obtain a driver’s permit in another jurisdiction shall be accepted as though conducted as part of the permit renewal process for the City of Santa Cruz for up to one year from the date the test was taken. The prior test shall apply only for purposes of renewing a driver’s permit, so long as the driver has not tested positive thereafter. However, a negative result from a test taken for another jurisdiction shall not satisfy the pre-employment testing requirements to receive an initial permit as imposed by this chapter.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.150 PERMIT RENEWAL.

Renewal of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall require the conformance with all of the requirements of this chapter for original permit applications, except that an owner’s permit may be renewed without a new finding of public convenience and necessity or as otherwise noted. The taxicab owner’s permit shall be renewed every three years; the taxicab driver’s permit shall be renewed every two years.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.160 PERMIT SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION.

(a)    The permit officer may suspend or revoke any taxicab owner’s permit or taxicab driver’s permit for the following reasons:

(1)    Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or to comply with any other applicable law;

(2)    The permit officer can no longer make the findings set forth in Section 5.16.050 or Section 5.16.100 due to a change of circumstances;

(3)    The permit officer determines that application or renewal papers contain any false representations; or

(4)    If, pursuant to a random drug or alcohol screening test, the holder of an owner’s permit or driver’s permit should test positive, the permit officer, in accordance with Section 5.16.165, shall suspend the permit holder’s permit on an emergency basis. The suspension shall remain in effect until the permit holder has satisfactorily complied with all requirements imposed by the permit holder’s substance abuse professional (SAP). If the same permit holder should subsequently test positive pursuant to a subsequent drug or alcohol screening test, the permit holder’s permit shall be revoked and the permit holder shall be ineligible to again apply for a permit for at least five years following the positive test.

(b)    Notice. The permit officer may suspend or revoke a taxicab owner’s permit or taxicab driver’s permit only after providing notice to the permit holder and providing reasonable time for compliance; however, the permit officer may summarily revoke a taxicab driver’s permit upon notification from the Department of Motor Vehicles that said driver’s California driver’s license has expired or has been suspended or revoked, or that the driver has been convicted of a crime outlined in Section 5.16.100. If a permit is suspended or revoked, the permit officer shall prepare written findings regarding the reason(s) for the suspension or revocation.

(c)    Appeals. Any interested party, including the permit holder, may appeal the decision of the permit officer to suspend or revoke an owner’s or driver’s permit. The appeal shall be made to the city council and shall be governed by the same appellate rules and procedure set forth in Chapter 1.16 of this code. The decision of the city council shall be final, subject only to judicial review pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Sections 1094.5 and 1094.6. With the exception of permits revoked pursuant to Section 5.16.160(a)(4) the permit which is the subject of the appeal shall remain in effect pending appeal.

(d)    Upon service by mail or in person of a final administrative decision ordering suspension or revocation of a taxicab owner’s permit, such owner’s taxicab business, operation and service in the City of Santa Cruz shall cease immediately. Upon service by mail or in person of a final administrative decision ordering suspension or revocation of a taxicab driver’s permit, that driver shall immediately cease to drive a taxicab in the City of Santa Cruz.

(e)    Nothing herein shall preclude the permit officer’s immediate suspension of a taxicab owner’s permit or a taxicab driver’s permit upon determination by the permit officer that the public health or safety so requires.

(f)    The permit officer shall determine the length of any suspension or revocation and, in making this determination shall base his or her decision on all extenuating and mitigating factors deemed appropriate including, but not limited to, the nature and gravity of the offense.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.165 EMERGENCY SUSPENSION.

(a)    The permit officer may issue an order suspending a taxicab owner’s permit or a taxicab driver’s permit for a period not exceeding ten days without having conducted a hearing therefor, if the permit officer determines that the continued use of the permit will cause immediate hazard to the public safety, health or welfare.

(b)    Within ten days of the effective date of the emergency suspension order, the permit officer shall hold a hearing for the owner or driver to show cause why the permit should not be suspended or revoked.

(c)    The order issued by the permit officer under subsection (a) above shall also contain a notice of the hearing setting forth the date, time and place of the hearing.

(d)    Emergency suspensions made pursuant to Section 5.16.160(a)(4) which are upheld at the show cause hearing shall remain in effect until the permit holder has satisfactorily complied with all requirements imposed by the permit holder’s substance abuse professional (SAP).

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.170 TRANSFER OF PERMITS.

Neither a taxicab owner’s permit nor a taxicab driver’s permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be transferable or assignable in any manner whatsoever.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.180 RATES AND FARES.

(a)    All taxicab rates and fares shall be approved by city council resolution, adopted after a duly noticed public hearing. Before any action by the city council is taken to approve rates and fares, each person holding a taxicab owner’s permit issued by the City of Santa Cruz pursuant to Section 5.16.060 shall be given thirty days’ mailed written notice thereof and an opportunity to be heard by the city council; in addition, the city council may take into consideration any recommendation offered by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District.

(b)    The rate and fare schedule adopted by the city council shall include a discount rate and fare schedule for senior citizens acceptable to the city council. The cost of administering the senior citizen discount program shall be a factor to be considered by the city council in establishing rates and fares for the operation of taxicabs.

(c)    Prior to considering any adjustment to the rate and fare schedule, the city council may require each taxicab owner possessing an owner’s permit to submit for city review an audited financial statement for the prior year’s business operations reflective of income earned and expenses incurred by the taxicab owner which are specifically attributable to the taxicab owner’s taxicab operations as distinguished from other business operations in which the taxicab owner may be engaged. Should a taxicab owner initiate a rate/fare adjustment request, the request shall be in writing, state the basis for the request, and be accompanied by an audited financial statement of the type described herein.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.190 ACCURATE TAXIMETER AND RATE SCHEDULE REQUIRED.

No taxicab owner shall drive or operate or allow another to drive or operate any of his or her taxicabs unless said taxicab is equipped with an operative and accurate taximeter as determined by the Santa Cruz County department of weights and measures.

(a)    Said taximeter shall display the rate charged and the running total of each fare in full view of the passenger compartment;

(b)    Each owner shall utilize consistent rates including start/stop rates, as adopted by the city council in connection with its approval of rates and fares, and shall post a schedule of the amounts of all rates in full view of the passenger compartment of each taxicab; and

(c)    Taximeters shall show compliance with Section 5.16.080(b)(7).

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.200 TAXICAB STANDS.

Public taxicab stands shall be provided for the use of licensed taxicabs as herein defined and the city council is authorized to designate such stands. Such stands shall be designated alongside the curb of any public street or alley in the city as may be deemed proper. Any taxicab stand so established by the city council shall be solely for the use of those licensed taxicabs specified by city council resolution and no other vehicles or taxicabs whatsoever.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.210 RULES OF OPERATION AND SERVICE.

(a)    Soliciting Passengers. No driver of a taxicab shall solicit passengers. All services are to be available only upon telephone call, engagement when parked at a regular taxicab stand, or when hailed from the street, sidewalk or curb.

(b)    Receipt. Every driver shall, upon request, give a correct written receipt upon payment of the fare.

(c)    Exclusive Right to Use. When a taxicab is engaged, the passenger(s) having so engaged it shall have the exclusive right to the full and complete use of the passenger compartment, and no driver shall solicit additional passengers therein, nor shall any driver carry any additional passengers therein, unless the person or persons originally engaging the taxicab consent thereto.

(d)    Refusal to Serve. No driver shall refuse or neglect to provide service to any orderly person or persons upon request, unless said driver is previously engaged, or unable or forbidden by the provisions of this chapter or other applicable laws from doing so.

(e)    Individuals with Disabilities. No driver shall discriminate against individuals with disabilities by actions including, but not limited to, refusing to provide service to individuals with disabilities who can use taxi vehicles, refusing to assist with the stowing of mobility devices, or charging higher fares or fees for carrying individuals with disabilities and their equipment than are charged to other persons.

(f)    Boarding and Discharge of Passengers. No passenger shall be received or discharged in the roadway, but shall be received or discharged as nearly as possible to the right-hand curb or right-hand side of the roadway where there is no curb, except on one-way streets, where passengers may be discharged at either the right-hand or left-hand curb or right-hand or left-hand side of the roadway where there is no curb.

(g)    Direct Route. Each driver employed to carry a passenger(s) to a definite point shall take the most direct route possible to the passenger’s destination and by which the passenger will be transported safely and expeditiously, considering all factors affecting time and distance.

(h)    Obstructing Street Traffic. It is unlawful for any driver operating a taxicab to obstruct a street or otherwise impair traffic in the course of receiving or discharging passengers.

(i)    Taxicab Service. In addition to the specific provisions of this chapter, all owners shall render an overall service to the public desiring to use taxicabs, and shall maintain a central place of business and keep the business open during those days and times as specified in the owner’s permit, for the purpose of receiving calls and dispatching cabs.

Each owner shall, when the business is required to be open, respond to all calls received for service within the City of Santa Cruz regardless of location as soon as a taxicab can reasonably be dispatched to the caller’s location, and if such service cannot be rendered within a reasonable period of time then the caller shall be immediately informed how long it will be before the call can be answered and the reason therefor. Any owner who refuses to accept a call anywhere within the city at any time that such owner has taxicabs available, or who refuses to provide service as required by this chapter, shall be deemed to be in violation of this chapter, and the owner’s permit may be revoked or suspended at the discretion of the permit officer.

(j)    Identification of Company. The following identification shall be required for each taxicab and taxicab driver permitted to operate under this chapter:

(1)    The name of the taxicab company shall be affixed on both the driver’s and the passenger’s side of the taxicab;

(2)    A light shall be affixed to the top of the roof, which shall be clearly visible from all sides of the taxicab, and which shall identify the vehicle as a taxicab; and

(3)    Taxicab drivers shall be in possession of, and have under their immediate control, a hat identifying the taxicab company at all times while on duty. When outside of the taxicab vehicle taxicab drivers shall wear the hat.

(k)    Notification of Drivers. No less often than annually, the owner shall notify all drivers in writing of the rules of operation and service described in this section, and shall obtain a written acknowledgement of receipt of the rules of operation and service.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.220 TOBACCO ADVERTISING PROHIBITED.

No person shall place or maintain, or cause or allow to be placed or maintained, any advertising or promotion of tobacco products on any advertising display on a taxicab. This section shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with Chapter 6.06 of this code.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.230 VIOLATIONS.

(a)    It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to own a taxicab business, or otherwise conduct a taxicab business, operation or service, without a valid taxicab owner’s permit issued by the City of Santa Cruz.

(b)    It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to operate a taxicab within the City of Santa Cruz without a valid taxicab driver’s permit issued by the City of Santa Cruz.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.240 PENALTIES.

(a)    Any person or entity, whether as principal, agent, lessee, employee or otherwise, violating or causing or permitting the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction for the first offense, or of a misdemeanor for any subsequent offense(s) occurring within one year after the first offense. Upon conviction, the person convicted shall be punished in accordance with Chapter 1.08 of this code.

(b)    The permit officer is hereby authorized to issue a written notice identifying the nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time for compliance with the provisions of this chapter, not to exceed thirty days, prior to citing the person or entity for violation of this chapter.

(c)    In addition to the above-described penalties, any taximeter which is found by the permit officer to be inaccurate to the prejudice of passengers shall cause the taxicab in which it is located to be ordered out of service until equipped with a taximeter certified to be accurate by the Santa Cruz County department of weights and measures.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).

5.16.250 ENFORCEMENT.

(a)    The permit officer, or any city public officer, is hereby authorized to arrest a violator without a warrant on the basis of reasonable cause to believe that the party has committed an infraction or misdemeanor which is a violation of any provision of this chapter in the presence of the permit officer or city public officer. Upon making such an arrest, the permit officer or city public officer may prepare a citation and release the party arrested pursuant to Section 853.6 of the California Penal Code, the provisions of which are hereby adopted by reference as a part hereof.

(b)    It shall be the discretionary duty of the city attorney and/or district attorney to enforce the criminal sanctions provided by this chapter. Any violation of this chapter shall also be deemed a public nuisance and it shall be the discretionary duty of the city attorney and/or district attorney to enforce all civil sanctions available under law, including, without limitation, abatement and enjoinment thereof. The enforcement remedies provided herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive.

(Ord. 2004-17 § 2 (part), 2004).