Chapter 5.26


5.26.010    Definitions.

5.26.020    License Required.

5.26.030    Compliance.

5.26.010 Definitions.

"Affiliated for-hire vehicle" means a for-hire vehicle licensed or associated to a particular for-hire transportation services company by using their application dispatch services, approved color scheme and/or trade name.

"Application" or "app" means a program or piece of software most commonly downloaded to a device including, but not limited to, a computer and/or a mobile device that is designed to fulfill a particular purpose and/or provides content such as text, graphics, images, maps, communications, banking, payment services, music, software, audio, video, information or other materials available to users of the computer, mobile device and/or other device.

"Application dispatch" means technology that allows consumers to directly request transportation services from for-hire drivers and/or for for-hire drivers to accept compensation for transportation services via the Internet using electronic devices, computer devices or mobile interfaces such as, but not limited to, smartphone and tablet applications. The app may include mapping services to show the locations of available for-hire drivers.

"Dispatch services" means a service which connects for-hire drivers to persons seeking transportation or persons engaging in peer-to-peer transportation whether via radio, phone, Internet, mobile application, computer or other mechanical or electronic means.

"For-hire driver" means a TNC affiliated driver or a person physically engaged in driving a for-hire vehicle that is providing or soliciting transportation services, ridesharing and/or peer-to-peer transportation, whether or not said person is the owner of or has any financial interest in the ownership of said for-hire vehicle or whether or not the person is using an app, a dispatch service, an information service and/or similar method to provide transportation services for compensation.

"For-hire stand" shall mean that portion of any street set aside and designated as parking or standing space to be occupied by for-hire vehicles.

"For-hire transportation services company" means:

1.    A person who owns and operates a for-hire vehicle(s) and uses their own City-approved color scheme and trade name;

2.    A person who does not own and operate a for-hire vehicle but allows other people to affiliate a for-hire vehicle to the for-hire transportation services company's color scheme, trade name and/or dispatch services; or

3.    A transportation network company as defined in this Chapter.

"For-hire vehicle" means any motor vehicle, whether a personal vehicle, fleet or commercial vehicle, or TNC affiliated vehicle held out to the public for hire or used for the transportation of persons for compensation; subject to call by the public generally, where the route traveled or destination is controlled by the customer, the compensation is calculated on the basis of an amount recorded and indicated on a taximeter, a mobile device app or an application dispatch service, by a written contract or invoice signed by both parties, or based on an initial fee, distance traveled, waiting time, or any combination thereof as permitted under this Chapter; provided, that "for-hire vehicle" shall not mean:

1.    School buses operating exclusively under a contract to a school district;

2.    Ride-sharing vehicles under Chapter 46.74 RCW;

3.    Limousine carriers licensed under Chapter 46.72A RCW;

4.    Vehicles used by nonprofit transportation providers solely for elderly or persons with disabilities and their attendants under Chapter 81.66 RCW;

5.    Vehicles used by auto transportation companies licensed under Chapter 81.68 RCW;

6.    Vehicles used to provide courtesy transportation at no charge to and from parking lots, hotels, and rental offices; and

7.    Vehicles licensed under, and used to provide "charter party carrier" and "excursion service carrier" services as defined in, and required by, Chapter 81.70 RCW.

"For-hire vehicle owner" means a person that owns a for-hire vehicle.

"For-hire vehicle plate" means a numbered metal identification plate, issued by the City of Tacoma, permanently affixed to and prominently displayed on the rear of a for-hire vehicle.

"Licensee" means any person or entity licensed under this Chapter.

"Operating a for-hire vehicle" means having a passenger in a for-hire vehicle, the for-hire vehicle is parked in a for-hire stand, the taximeter is engaged in the for-hire vehicle, the dispatch records show the vehicle has been dispatched, the for-hire vehicle top light is illuminated, the trip records show that the for-hire vehicle has started a shift and there is no record for ending a shift, the for-hire driver is signed in to and active on the application dispatch service, the for-hire driver has offered transportation services to a passenger, the for-hire driver is engaged in commercial activity or any other facts reasonably showing that a for-hire driver has offered, or is available to offer, its services to a passenger. Operating a for-hire vehicle does not include using a personal vehicle for personal use.

"Operating within the unincorporated areas of Pierce County" means owning, leasing, advertising, driving, occupying and/or otherwise operating a for-hire vehicle that at any time transports any passenger for compensation from a point within the unincorporated areas of Pierce County. A for-hire transportation services company is "operating within the unincorporated areas of Pierce County" if it provides application dispatch services to any affiliated for-hire driver at any time for the transport of any passenger or item for compensation from a point within the unincorporated areas of Pierce County. The term does not include being in control of a for-hire vehicle that is physically inoperable.

"Person" means any individual, receiver, administrator, executor, assignee, trustee in bankruptcy, trust, estate, firm, co-partnership, joint venture, club, company, joint stock company, business trust, municipal corporation, political subdivision of the State of Washington, corporation, limited liability company, association, society, or any group of individuals acting as a unit, whether mutual, cooperative, fraternal, nonprofit, or otherwise, and the United States or any instrumentality thereof.

"Persons with disabilities" means any individual with a disability who has a sensory, mental, or physical impairment that substantially limits one of more of life's major activities; is medically cognizable or diagnosable; has a record or history of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment. People with disabilities include ambulatory persons whose capacities are hindered by sensory disabilities such as blindness or deafness, such mental disabilities as cognitive impairments or emotional illness, and physical disabilities that still permit the person to walk comfortably, or a combination of these disabilities. It also includes a semi-ambulatory person who requires such special aids to travel as canes, crutches, walkers, respirators, or human assistance, and a non-ambulatory person who must use wheelchairs or wheelchair-like equipment to travel.

"Transportation network company (TNC)" means a person operating in the unincorporated areas of Pierce County that enables TNC affiliated drivers to provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled TNC application or platform which connects passengers with for-hire drivers using their personal vehicles and that is subject to the licensing requirements under this Chapter.

"Transportation network company (TNC) affiliated driver" means a for-hire driver affiliated with a transportation network company.

"Transportation network company (TNC) affiliated vehicle" means a personal motor vehicle used for the transportation of passengers for compensation that is affiliated with a transportation network company. A personal vehicle while used for personal use is not considered a TNC affiliated vehicle.

(Ord. 2014-106 § 2 (part), 2014)

5.26.020 License Required.

A.    The City of Tacoma issues licenses to transportation network companies (TNC), for-hire drivers, and for-hire vehicles. Current for-hire licenses and TNC licenses shall also be valid in unincorporated areas of Pierce County when maintained in good standing.

B.    It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a for-hire vehicle within the unincorporated areas of Pierce County without a current for-hire driver license from the City of Tacoma.

C.    It shall be unlawful for any person to own a for-hire vehicle within the unincorporated areas of Pierce County without a current for-hire vehicle license from the City of Tacoma.

D.    All for-hire vehicles must have a for-hire vehicle plate permanently affixed to and prominently displayed on the rear of a for-hire vehicle.

E.    It shall be unlawful for any transportation network company to operate within the unincorporated areas of Pierce County without a transportation network company license from the City of Tacoma.

F.    All license holders are required to maintain his/her license in good standing. In the event that a for-hire license or a TNC license is suspended or revoked by the City of Tacoma, the license will not be valid in unincorporated areas of Pierce County.

G.    A license shall be valid only during the time period listed on the license. An expired license is not a valid license.

(Ord. 2014-106 § 2 (part), 2014)

5.26.030 Compliance.

The regulations for compliance with this Chapter are set forth in Chapter 5.02 PCC, "General Code." (Ord. 2014-106 § 2 (part), 2014)