Chapter 4.16
CARRYING PASSENGERS FOR HIRE

Sections:

4.16.010    Need to regulate carrying passengers for hire.

4.16.020    License required—Fee.

4.16.030    Number of licenses authorized.

4.16.040    Hours of operation.

4.16.050    Requirement for radio dispatched vehicles.

4.16.060    Schedule of fares.

4.16.070    Licensee to have exclusive rights.

4.16.080    Qualifications for licensee.

4.16.090    Drivers to be approved.

4.16.100    License—Cancellation by city council.

4.16.105    Special events.

4.16.110    Penalties for violations.

4.16.120    Taxicab and for-hire vehicle requirements—Violation—Appeals.

4.16.010 Need to regulate carrying passengers for hire.

The city of Omak declares it necessary to regulate and to limit the number of operators and vehicles permitted to carry passengers for hire within the city to insure the safety and welfare of the general public. (Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 1, 1955).

4.16.020 License required—Fee.

Every person, firm or corporation must first obtain a license from the city to carry passengers for hire from any point within the city. All for-hire licenses shall expire on December 31st of each year. The fee for such license shall be an annual fee set by resolution for each vehicle if granted prior to July 1st of the year, and can be prorated according to the fees set by resolution for each vehicle if granted after July 1st of such year.

The fee for a special event license shall be set by resolution for each vehicle and shall expire on December 31st of each year. No license granted hereunder shall be assignable or transferable. (Ord. 1418 § 13, 1999: Ord. 1315 § 1, 1996: Ord. 868 § 1, 1982: Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 2, 1955).

4.16.030 Number of licenses authorized.

Except as provided below, the city shall not issue licenses to carry passengers for hire to more than two carriers who may be either individuals, firms, and/or corporations, except as authorized by the council.

Exemptions: Nonprofit group/organization or government entity whose primary purpose is to provide mass transportation to the public or special transportation for the elderly or handicapped within the city of Omak. (Ord. 1315 § 2, 1996: Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 3, 1955).

4.16.040 Hours of operation.

A licensee is required to be available for calls twenty-four hours a day. (Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 4, 1955).

4.16.050 Requirement for radio dispatched vehicles.

Licensee must be available for calls twenty-four hours a day and shall provide to the chief of police written notice detailing how calls are to be received. (Ord. 1315 § 3, 1996: Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 5, 1955).

4.16.060 Schedule of fares.

A schedule of fares must be prominently posted in a place where patrons may readily see such schedule in all for-hire vehicles and the office of the licensee, and must be filed with the city clerk. No licensee shall charge more than the posted fares for any passenger. (Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 6, 1955).

4.16.070 Licensee to have exclusive rights.

No for-hire vehicles licensed by other towns, cities, or counties shall operate within Omak without a license from Omak and shall not make any pick-up of passengers in Omak except on request by patron. (Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 7, 1955).

4.16.080 Qualifications for license.

To obtain a license for carrying passengers for hire an application must be made in writing to the city council containing the following information:

(a)    Name and address of applicant;

(b)    Make and serial number of each vehicle to be licensed;

(c)    Number of passengers each vehicle may carry;

(d)    Current state license number;

(e)    Amount and character of insurance carried on each vehicle;

(f)    Name and address of all drivers to be used;

(g)    Type of communication to be used for twenty-four-hour call;

(h)    Compliance with all state requirements required of vehicles carrying passengers for hire.

Such application, prior to action thereon by the council, shall be referred to the chief of police who shall investigate the driving record of each driver and compliance of all vehicles with all applicable laws and the requirements of this chapter. The chief of police shall then make a report to the city council concerning such application. No driver shall be authorized or permitted to drive a vehicle carrying passengers for hire without first having a clearance from the chief of police. No such clearance shall be permitted for any person not having a Washington State Driver’s License or who has been convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony within the previous five years.

After receiving such application and report of the chief of police, the council then may authorize the issuance of a license upon payment of the required fee or, if in the judgment of the council it is contrary to the public’s interest and safety, it may deny such application for license.

In event more than two carriers apply for license, then the council shall determine which two applicants are the most qualified to provide the best and safest service to the public. Not more than two licenses shall be authorized. (Ord. 1315 § 4, 1996; Ord. 648 § l (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 8, 1955).

4.16.090 Drivers to be approved.

No driver shall operate a vehicle carrying passengers for hire who does not have clearance from the chief of police as a qualified driver pursuant to this chapter. The conviction of any driver authorized to drive a vehicle licensed hereunder of the violation of any state law or city ordinance of a criminal nature shall disqualify such driver to operate a licensed vehicle under this chapter and shall be grounds for revoking the license. (Ord. 648 § l (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 9, 1955).

4.16.100 License—Cancellation by city council.

The city council for any reason deemed by it sufficient may at any time cancel any licenses granted hereunder. (Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 10, 1955).

4.16.105 Special events.

The chief of police may issue a special event license. Such special event license shall include but not be limited to shuttle buses, horse drawn buggies and/or carriages, wagons, limousines, etc. Prior to any issuance of a special event license, the operator shall comply with all requirements of state and local ordinances for operation and safety of the public. (Ord. 1315 § 5, 1996).

4.16.110 Penalties for violations.

Failure to perform any act required, or the performance of any act prohibited, by this chapter is designated as a civil infraction and shall not be classified as a criminal offense. Any person, firm, or corporation found to have committed such a civil infraction shall be subject to the penalties as set forth in Chapter 1.16. (Ord. 1665 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 648 § 1 (part), 1972: Ord. 287 § 11, 1955).

4.16.120 Taxicab and for-hire vehicle requirements—Violation—Appeals.

(a)    Inspection of Vehicles. All vehicles operated under the authority of this chapter shall be made available for inspection by the Omak police department or designee at any reasonable time or place. The Omak police department shall inspect the vehicle to determine proper equipment, safe operating condition, cleanliness and sanitary condition. Said inspection shall also determine the classification and capacity of the vehicle inspected.

(b)    Determination of Safe Condition and Proper Equipment. A taxicab, or for-hire vehicle shall be deemed to be of safe condition for the transportation of passengers when the following minimum requirements have been complied with:

(1)    Functional and accurate speedometer and odometer;

(2)    An efficient and operable windshield wiper mechanism;

(3)    An adequate braking system, including emergency or auxiliary;

(4)    A complete lighting system, exterior and interior, and including signaling devices and emergency flashers;

(5)    Rearview mirrors;

(6)    Glass (windshield and rear) free of breaks, cracks or defects sufficient to mar vision;

(7)    Tires with minimum tread depth of 2/32 inch as determined by gauge, and free of visible defects;

(8)    Adequate shocks, steering, exhaust and other mechanical systems required for safe operation of the vehicle;

(9)    The vehicle seats are unbroken, have no rips in the upholstery and no exposed springs;

(10)    Inside door handles are present and operate properly;

(11)    The vehicle has a functioning heater;

(12)    Windows roll up and down properly;

(13)    Other safety equipment as may be determined from time to time by the Omak police department to be necessary for the safe transportation of passengers;

(14)    Every vehicle operated pursuant to this chapter shall be equipped with proper and serviceable seat belts for every passenger.

(c)    Determination of Cleanliness and Sanitary Condition. A taxicab or for-hire vehicle shall be deemed to be clean and sanitary where the following minimum conditions exist:

(1)    Loose dirt, grease, ashes, dust, or like substances are not present to the degree that such is visible to and would be physically transferred to a passenger sitting in the vehicle;

(2)    The vehicle has no torn or ripped floor mats that could pose a hazard on entering or exiting the vehicle;

(3)    Other reasonable conditions as may be determined by the Omak police department to be necessary for the safe and sanitary transportation of passengers for hire.

(d)    Notice to Make Corrections.

(1)    If the Omak police department determines during inspection that the condition of any taxicab or vehicle for hire needs correction, he or she shall issue to the operator or driver thereof a notice in writing specifying such defects and the same shall be remedied immediately or by a later date determined by the Omak police department.

(2)    It is unlawful to fail to comply with any written notice by the Omak police department to make corrections on the taxicab or for-hire vehicle.

(e)    Revocation, Suspension and Penalties. The chief of police may suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue a license to operate pursuant to this chapter if the licensee or applicant has violated any of the provisions of this chapter.

(f)    Appeals.

(1)    Any person whose license has been suspended or revoked by the chief of police may appeal to the council of the city of Omak by filing a notice of appeal in writing to the city clerk within ten days of the date of suspension or revocation. The notice of appeal shall not stay the notice of suspension or revocation.

(2)    At the time of the filing of the notice of appeal, the city clerk shall place the appellant or licensee on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled council meeting occurring more than seven days after receipt of the notice of appeal, and inform the appellant in writing of the date, time, and location of the meeting. At such meeting, the city council shall set a date for a public hearing on the appeal. The public hearing shall be set for the next council meeting and the council shall take testimony from the chief of police, testimony from the appellant, and public testimony.

(3)    At the close of hearing the council shall:

(A)    Sustain the decision of the chief of police;

(B)    Set aside the decision of the chief of police; or

(C)    Modify the decision of the chief of police.

(4)    The decision of the council shall be final and binding. (Ord. 1597 § 1, 2007).