Chapter 5.40


5.40.010    Definitions.

5.40.020    Certificate of public convenience and necessity.

5.40.030    Application for certificate and license.

5.40.040    Public hearing on application.

5.40.050    Issuance of certificate and license.

5.40.060    Operation without license unlawful – Transfer of license – License limited by terms of certificate.

5.40.070    Renewal application for license.

5.40.080    Term of license – Fees.

5.40.090    Insurance – Required.

5.40.100    Investigation of applicant.

5.40.110    Approval or rejection of application.

5.40.120    Chauffeur’s license – Display.

5.40.130    Operation requirements.

5.40.140    Compliance with other laws.

5.40.150    Direct route – Required.

5.40.160    Maintenance of vehicle, equipment.

5.40.170    Identification of taxicabs.

5.40.180    Fares – Penalty for excessive rates.

5.40.190    Fares – Receipts.

5.40.200    Baggage charges.

5.40.210    Rate card – Display.

5.40.220    Unlawful to fail to pay legal fare.

5.40.230    Cancelled calls, charges.

5.40.240    Violation – Penalty.

5.40.010 Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter have the meaning as set forth in this chapter:

The term “for-hire car” wherever used in this chapter shall be held and construed to mean and include every motor vehicle used for the transportation of passengers for hire, and not operated exclusively over a fixed and defined route.

The term “person” wherever used in this chapter shall be held and construed to mean and include natural persons, firms, copartnerships, associations and corporations, whether acting by themselves or by servant, agent or employee.

“Taxicab” means a motor vehicle regularly engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire, having a seating capacity of less than six persons and not operating on a fixed route. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.020 Certificate of public convenience and necessity.

No person shall permit a taxicab or “for-hire car” owned or controlled by him to be operated as a taxicab or “for-hire car” upon the streets of the city of Toppenish without having first obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity together with a license from the city, which is in lieu of the license required under Chapter 5.01 TMC. (Ord. 2019-01 § 16, 2019; Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.030 Application for certificate and license.

An application for a certificate of public convenience and license shall be filed with the city clerk upon forms provided by the city, and the application shall be verified under oath and shall furnish the following information:

A. The name and address of the applicant;

B. The financial status of the applicant, including the amounts of all unpaid judgments against the applicant and the nature of the transactions or acts giving rise to the judgments;

C. The experience of the applicant in the transportation of passengers;

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

E. The number of vehicles to be operated or controlled by the applicant and the location of the proposed stands and terminals;

F. The color scheme or insignia to be used to designate the vehicle or vehicles of the applicant;

G. Such further information as the city may require. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.040 Public hearing on application.

Upon the filing of an application for a certificate, the city hearing examiner shall fix a time and place for a public hearing thereon. Notice of such hearing shall be given to the applicant and to all persons to whom certificates of public convenience and necessity have been heretofore issued. Any interested person may file with the city hearing examiner a memorandum in support or opposition to the issuance of a certificate. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.050 Issuance of certificate and license.

A. If the city hearing examiner finds that an applicant is fit, willing, and able to provide public transportation and to conform to the provisions of this chapter, then the city clerk shall issue a certificate and a license stating the name and address of the applicant, the number of vehicles authorized under said certificate and the date of issuance; otherwise, the application shall be denied.

B. In making the above findings, the hearing examiner shall take into consideration the character, experience and responsibility of the applicant. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.060 Operation without license unlawful – Transfer of license – License limited by terms of certificate.

It shall be unlawful for any person or company to operate any taxicab or “for-hire” vehicle upon the streets of the city without first having procured a license therefor as provided in this chapter. Licenses shall not be assignable or shall not be transferred without the prior approval of the city council. Licenses shall not exceed the terms and conditions set forth in the certificate of public convenience. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.070 Renewal application for license.

Application for license renewals to operate taxicabs under this chapter shall be made to the city clerk; all applications must be accompanied with a statement showing the number and kind of motor vehicles to be operated, their make and model. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.080 Term of license – Fees.

Licenses granted under this chapter will be for a term of one year and may be granted to one person or company for the operation of more than one vehicle and over more than one route, and such company shall pay to the city for such license a fee as provided by TMC 5.01.120, providing that the terms and conditions of the certificate of public convenience cannot be exceeded without prior council approval. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.090 Insurance – Required.

Before a license shall be issued, the applicant shall file with the city clerk liability and property damage insurance certificate covering each motor vehicle used or to be used by such applicant in the sum as recommended by the risk manager for the city. Such policies may be issued by any insurance company authorized to write such policies approved by such department. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.100 Investigation of applicant.

The police department shall conduct an investigation of each new applicant for a certificate of public convenience and license and the report of such investigation and a copy of the investigation report shall be attached to the application for the consideration of the city council. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.110 Approval or rejection of application.

A. The city manager shall, upon consideration of the application and the reports and certificate required to be attached thereto, approve or reject the application.

B. Upon approval of an application for a chauffeur’s license by the city manager or his designee, the city clerk shall issue a license to the applicant which shall bear the name, address, age, signature and photograph of the applicant. Such license shall be in effect for the remainder of the calendar year. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.120 Chauffeur’s license – Display.

Every driver licensed under this chapter shall post his driver’s license in such a place as to be in full view of all passengers while such driver is operating the vehicle. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.130 Operation requirements.

Every taxicab or “for-hire” vehicle operated under this chapter shall comply with all the provisions of this chapter and the laws of the state relative to the operation of automobiles “for hire” and for taxicabs and shall be operated with due care for the safety of their passengers and the public. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.140 Compliance with other laws.

Every driver licensed under this chapter shall comply with all city, state and federal laws. Failure to do so will justify the suspending or revoking of a license. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.150 Direct route – Required.

Any driver of a taxicab or “for-hire car” employed to carry passengers to a definite point shall take the most direct route possible that will carry the passenger safely and expeditiously to his destination. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.160 Maintenance of vehicle, equipment.

Every vehicle operated under this chapter shall be kept in a good operating condition; it shall be kept clean and sanitary. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.170 Identification of taxicabs.

Each taxicab shall bear on the outside of the front doors and on the rear trunk lid the name of the owner. An electrically lighted sign designating the vehicle as a taxicab shall be mounted on the top of the taxicab. No vehicle covered by the terms of this chapter shall be licensed whose color scheme, identifying design, monogram or insignia to be used thereon shall, in the opinion of the city council, conflict with or imitate any color scheme, identifying design, monogram or insignia used on a vehicle or vehicles already operating under the chapter, in such a manner as to be misleading or tend to deceive or defraud the public; and provided further, that if, after a license has been issued for a taxicab hereunder, the color scheme, identifying design, monogram, or insignia thereof is changed so as to be, in the opinion of the city council, in conflict with or imitating any color scheme, identifying design, monogram, or insignia used by any other person, owner or operator, in such a manner as to be misleading or to deceive the public, the license of or certificate covering such taxicab or taxicabs shall be suspended or revoked. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.180 Fares – Penalty for excessive rates.

No owner or operator of a taxicab or “for-hire car” shall charge a greater sum for the use of the vehicle than in accordance with rates approved by the city council by resolution. Any operator of any taxicab or “for-hire car” who shall charge any passenger a rate of fare other than that provided in a properly posted schedule of fares and zone maps as provided herein shall upon conviction thereof be punished and shall have his city chauffeur’s license suspended for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.190 Fares – Receipts.

Whenever demanded by the passenger, the operator in charge of the taxicab or “for-hire car” shall provide to the person paying for the hiring of the vehicle, at the time of such payment, a receipt therefor in legible printing containing the name of the owner and his address, the name of the driver, the license number of the taxicab, and any items for which the charge is made, the total amount to be charged, and the date of payment. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.200 Baggage charges.

Every person being served with a taxicab as provided in this chapter shall be entitled to have conveyed without charge such valises or small baggage as can be conveniently carried within the vehicle. Each driver shall load and unload such baggage without charge. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.210 Rate card – Display.

All vehicles operating under the authority of this chapter shall have the rates conspicuously posted within the passenger compartment on a card readily visible to the passenger. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.220 Unlawful to fail to pay legal fare.

It is unlawful for any person to refuse to pay the legal fee of any vehicles mentioned in this chapter after having hired such a vehicle, and it is unlawful for any person to hire any vehicle defined in this chapter with intent to defraud the person who is hired of the value of such service. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.230 Cancelled calls, charges.

Any person canceling a call for a taxicab or for-hire vehicle after the vehicle has been dispatched may be charged the prevailing rate to the point of address to which the vehicle was dispatched. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).

5.40.240 Violation – Penalty.

Failure to perform any act required by this chapter, or the performance of any act prohibited by this chapter, is designated as an infraction and may not be classified as a criminal offense. Any person, firm or corporation found to have committed an infraction under this chapter shall be assessed a monetary penalty. No penalty assessed for infractions under this chapter may exceed $500.00 for each separate infraction. (Ord. 2004-5 § 1, 2004).