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Taxi and Limousine Commission

News about the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Commentary and archival information about the Taxi and Limousine Commission from The New York Times.

 

PROPOSED NEW SECTION OF LAW

 

P.S.  Be advised that we no longer lobby this proposal.  Please click on the module at the top "Current Campaigns" and "Current Bill To Congress". We keep the page in live because there are several sections that State and Local Jurisdiction can use in order to solve several problems in the taxi cab industry.Thank You.

 

49 USC Section 5340

(a) General findings.

 

(1) The United States of America shall maintain a strong economy.

(2) State budgets are suffering because of the growing number of housing units in foreclosure, the rise of unemployment and massive budget deficits;

(3) States are cutting funds hurting educational and health care systems as well as numerous social programs;

(4) Residents who are experiencing financial problems are increasingly not able to commute in urban areas;

(5) State and county governments are threatening to increase sale taxes and other taxes because of massive budget deficits;

(6) Residents and economically disadvantaged individuals are increasingly attempting to bargain for lower taxi fares and taxi operators are not able to bring their fares down due to their weekly taxi expenses.

 

(7) Immediate intervention is needed to address the concern and goals of USCS 49 Section 5301 (b) (2) (3) (4) (5) (7) (9), (c ),

(d), Section 5302 (a) (7) (10), Section 5501 (a) (b) in order to guarantee a better mass transportation system to all residents and stable economic growth.

(b) Therefore, as provided in USCS 49 Section 5302 (a) (7) (10) the definition of “mass transportation” shall be amended to include: “Taxi-cab”

(c ) Taxi cab drivers’ rightsTaxi cab drivers shall have the rights to:

(1) Pick up and drop off passengers anywhere in the county where their vehicle has been licensed to operate without restriction;

.(2) Drop off anywhere in the country upon agreement with the passengers but cannot pick up passengers outside of the licensing county unless it is a “come-back passenger” / “continuation” or there is a crisis/act of God within their own or neighboring county such as:

(A) Hurricane

(B) Earthquake

(C) Shortage of fuel

(D) Flood

(E) Storm

(F) Tornado

(G) Terrorist act(d) General Provisions

(1) To prevent bribery, distribution of medallions through a lottery system is prohibited.

(2) Any holder of a valid taxi operator’s license of a mass transportation vehicle having at least five years experience prior to September 27, 2009 or on the date this law get approved by congress and willing to own a medallion; shall not denied that request for any reason. Such request must be approved upon payment in full of the value of the medallion as provided in the county code within 300 days . The local government shall use the capital amount of money raised from the sale of medallions to finance their school system, health care system, and other social programs.

(3) If the mass transportation vehicle uses a clean fuel formula as prescribed in 49 USCS Section 5308 (a) (1) (A) the county must give a 40% discount from the regular price of the medallion. In addition, another 10% shall be given if the same vehicle is wheelchair accessible.

(4) In the event a medallion holder dies, his/her heirs shall have up to six months to sell the medallion to a qualified taxi operator, but after that period, the county shall have the power to repossess the medallion if it is not sold to a qualified operator non-medallion holder.

(5) In the county where the medallion has high monetary value, If a person is authorized to operate a mass transportation vehicle “taxi cab”, the county government shall have the power to lease one medallion to the operator for the first five years upon the taxi operator and county agreeing to a monthly or yearly payment arrangement. Payment shall be made to the local government of the county not to exceed $10,000.00 a year of which half shall fund the school board and the other shall fund the health care system of the county. After that period of time, five years, the operator automatically owns the medallion.

(6) A licensee has the right to lease directly from the county or a mass transportation company or a medallion holder.

(7) All medallion holders shall pay a yearly renewable fees not to exceed $600.00 in which $200.00 or one third (1/3) shall fund the school board in order to promote tutoring, after school programs and other programs, $200.00 or one third (1/3) shall fund the health care system in order to help taxi operators, their relatives, and residents with medical bills; and the other $200.00 or one third (1/3) shall go to the county general fund.

(8) Any medallion holder may choose not to renew his or her medallion, upon informing the county authority in writing, if he or she is going to spend a year or more out of the public transportation business or not planning to lease the medallion to:

(A) A qualified licensee or operator of a mass transportation vehicle, or

(B) A mass transportation commercial institution.

(9) Requirements to own a medallion are:

(A) Have a valid taxi operator’s license during the five years preceding the application date, and

(B) Payment in full of the value provided in the county code.

(10) All mass transportation vehicles “taxi cab” shall be equipped with a global positioning system “GPS”, an electronic taximeter with printing capability and at least two child safety seats for children five years old and under.

(11) It shall be unlawful for commercial vehicles and any other type of vehicles except taxi cabs, county and city buses to pick up fares at the airport unless it is a prearranged fare twenty-four (24) hours in advance . If a right that is contrary to this section of the code has been previously given to a commercial vehicle carrier or any other type of carriers which usually charged passengers flat rate price per individual, this right shall only be allowed when there is an economically disadvantaged individual struggling for low rate, and the total fare is much lower than the price offer by mass transportation vehicle “taxi cab“. Unless otherwise requested by the traveler, if it is two passengers going to the same address, they should ride on a mass transportation vehicle “taxi cab” as the cost of the trip for two passengers almost always beats the price available by a commercial and other type of vehicle. In general, mass transportation vehicle “taxi cab” has no waiting time after the passenger finishes boarding the vehicle. Their trips are fast and quick.

 

(A) Passengers have the right to know the best price available for their destination including waiting time, cost and traveling time.

(12) All airports and seaports shall clearly display on a comparable chart an estimation of:

(A) Waiting time;

(B) Traveling time;

(C ) Price

From the port to each zone of the county between mass transportation vehicle “taxi cab”, allowable commercial vehicle “shuttle” if any, city or county bus.

Travelers have the right to know the best available fare for their trip.

 

 

(e) Special Provision

(1) Current medallion owners who do not wish to keep their medallion have until December 31, 2009 or three months from the date this law get approve by congress in order to inform county government their intention to sell it to a new operator licensee at the market value.

(2) On October 1, 2009 or after three months from the date this law get approved by congress county government must inform their residents the quantity of medallions which are available to sell by advertising on the local newspaper. The medallion’s number, the owner’s name and address shall be available.

(3) Before proceeding to provision in paragraph (d) (5), county government shall encourage new operators and those who do not fully satisfy section (d) (9) of the code to repurchase the medallion in special provision (e) (2) at the market value. Five years experience is not required.

(4) The market value is the average sale price of the previous eight years. Each county shall examine their public record to find out the quantity of medallions sold in the year 2000. The sale prices for all medallions sold that year shall be totaled off and divided by the total number of medallions sold that year in order to determine the annual average value for the year. Repeat the same process for all subsequent years.

Total the annual average value found for the last eight years and divide it by eight, to determine the market value of the medallion for that county.

(5) After all medallions reported on October 1, 2009 by county government are sold out, no one shall be eligible to own a medallion without having a valid operator license and having been in the mass transportation business for five years.

(6) Under section 5310 and other sections of the code, county and state government shall help operators of mass transportation vehicle to obtain finance for their medallion and their vehicle at a low interest rate not to exceed 8% per annum regardless of credit score. Financing can also be done through a private financial institution or Small Business Administration (SBA loan).

 

(7) Once all taxi operators stated in provision (d) (2) put their medallions and their vehicle in service or ninety days after this law get approved whatever comes first, county authority shall immediately hold a public meeting with all licensees in order to:

(A) Review and amend all the chapters of the county code pertaining to transportation.

(B) Reduce the meter fares and all flat rate zones from 10% to 30% upon agreement of all parties.

(8) International airports and seaports shall provide a taxi lot or stand which should be able to hold at least 1,500 taxi cabs. They must be opened to any taxi cab of their county in order to pick up passengers, regardless of their company affiliation.

(9) To prevent selling of taxi cab fares by valets, managers and owners of motel, hotels, condo, restaurants, apartments complex, public places and places with high demand for taxi cab:

(A) The front including all entrance and exit facing a public road of all hotels, motels, restaurants; apartments complex, condo, any non-public and public places with high demand for taxi cab shall equipped with a green or blue light flashing or non- flashing with the word “TAXI” in order to warn taxi drivers that there is a prospective customer ready for pick up.

(B) The light shall turn on, once the passenger is ready and stay on

while waiting.

 

(C ) The passenger shall be available for pick up by the first vehicle arriving on the premise if the institution has no taxi cab stand.

 

(D) Unless otherwise requested by the passenger, the rule of first in first out must be observed if the institution has a taxi cab stand.

 

(E) The light shall turn off, once the vehicle left the premise with the passenger.

 

(F) Failure to turn the light on by the valets in time and those providing assistance to the passengers shall constitute a violation of the law and shall be subjected to fine by any law and code enforcement officers.

(G) The switch of the light shall, also, be accessible to turn on by the passenger.

 

(H) Anyone witnesses by any law or code enforcement officers buying or selling taxi cab fares, both the giver and the receiver shall receive a citation for $500.00 each if it is their first offense.

1) For second and more offenses, at the discretion of the court additional penalty or subsection (i) (6) shall be applied.

 

2) If a fellow driver, a group of driver, an association or an organization is obligated to bring a law suit subsection (i) (6) of this code shall be applied if defendant lost.

(I) When a taxi-cab driver picks up a passenger in a flat rate or fixed rate zone to another flat rate or fixed rate zone, if there is a continuance outside or inside that same zone, the taxi-cab driver has the right to charge an additional meter fare whatever the distance traveled.

(J) If a taxi-cab driver picks up a passenger in a flat rate or fixed rate zone to another flat rate or fixed rate zone, if the passenger decide to make a stop on the way before the final destination for any reason, the driver has the right to impose a meter fare.

(K) Assaulting, attacking, robbing and killing a taxi-cab driver in the line of duty is a criminal offense punishable from twenty- five years to life. Where state law provides a harsher sentence, it should apply at the discretion of the court.

(L) Taxi-cab drivers shall have basic knowledge about searching the world-wide web and be able to maintain an e-mail account for continuing education.(f) Governance

In each county, there shall exist a separate institution in order to regulate land transportation with the following power to:

(1) Oversee any works archived by airport and seaport code and law enforcement officer pertaining to mass and public transportation.

(2) Put unsafe vehicles out of service.

(3) Handle complaints of any kind which pertain to charter and shuttle service, mass and public transportation including those happening in airport and seaport.

(A) Any unresolved problem including violation of US code, national transportation policy and unconstitutional ordinance, code or statutes shall be addressed to the appropriate federal transit administration offices or federal surface transportation board or a court of law.

(4) Prepare new proposal for future code or ordinance to the board of county commissionaire concerning the operation of mass and public transportation as well as charter and shuttle service. A copy of such proposal shall distribute to each institution, association and organization of that county which involve in transportation at least thirty days before and after approval.

(5) Create new taxi-cab stand as needed, upon requested by residents, associations and organizations of such county.

 

(6) Regulate taxi-cab lease, daily rent, twelve hours rent, and the taxi-cab fare with the approval of the governing board of the county.

(A) Two types of lease shall be considered.

 

(i). Full lease which include vehicle, medallion

and insurance.

(ii) Partial lease, which include the taxi-cab Medallion without vehicle, with or without

insurance.

(B) Daily rent and twelve hours rent are for drivers who

because of their full time jobs or other activities occasionally drive a taxi-cab and are not willing to sign a

leasing agreement.(g) Safety

(1) For the safety of the driver and the passengers, any operator of a mass transportation vehicle has the right to install a surveillance video camera to monitor inside and outside of the vehicle. No one has the right to get access to the content of the tape without the full approval of the operator.

(2) Operators of mass transportation vehicles “taxi cab drivers” may choose to have a bullet-proof cabin which separates the passengers and the chauffeur for safety purposes.

(3) The outside of the vehicle shall be equipped with two dark mauve lights, one in front and the other in the rear in order to warn law enforcement, pedestrians and operators of other vehicles that there is an emergency situation inside the vehicle.(h) REMEDY

(1) Taxi operators who are accused of violating any law or ordinance related to the operation of taxi cab shall have the right to contest the accusation in a court of law, and be accorded the same due process rights as exist for accused traffic law violators. No special court shall exist to provide those hearings.

 

(2) To complain of discrimination problems, abuse of power, losing business involuntarily because of fault or misconduct of an authority, taxi operators or mass transportation operators shall follow the same procedure prescribed in 49 USCS 5332 et seq. in order to protect their rights.

(i) RESERVE

(1) State and county government shall not put additional forms of transportation in Airports and Seaports in competition with mass transportation vehicles “taxicab” because their prices and their charges are regulated by county government. Taxi cabs are the experts in airport and seaport. They are the heart of mass and public transportation. Their trips are fast and quick. They have no waiting time once the passengers finish to board the vehicle.

 

(2) In locations such as airports and seaports, where mass transportation vehicles “taxi cabs” are operated, commercial motor vehicles and all other type of vehicles shall pick up only prearranged fares twenty- four (24) hours in advance for sightseeing, airport or hotel or a specific place. Where there is a need to serve economically disadvantaged individuals, city and county busses shall have bus stops in those areas in order to fulfill those needs.

(3) Taxi operator license or hack license or chauffeur license is renewable every six years. It shall not have at any times, any strings, restrictions or endorsements attach to it.

(4) Taxi operators or operators of mass transportation vehicle are considered to be self employed.

(5) Cash payment shall be the regular form of payment for all taxi fares. However, upon agreement and at the driver options. Passengers could pay with money order, checks or credit cards.

(6) A civil penalty of $500.00 per passenger pick up but not to exceed $2,500.00 per occurrence and a fine from $5000.00 to 10,000.00, plus court cost and attorney fees shall be paid by a commercial motor vehicles, transportation vehicles, school bus, charter bus, sightseeing, intercity bus transportation or intercity passenger rail transportation provided by entity described in chapter 243 [49 USCS 24301 et seq.] (or a successor to such entity) which provide illegal mass transportation service.

(7) The following requirements for a vehicle to be used as taxicab are:

(A) The vehicle must have seats including seat belt for no more than eight passengers including the driver.

(B) It shall not be no more than eight years old.(j) INSURANCE

(1) Operator of mass transportation vehicle are encouraged to group under the umbrella of a company engaged in public transportation business in order to obtain low cost insurance for their vehicle, dispatching service, and other support.

(2) Any institution is eligible to sell insurance to operator of mass transportation vehicle upon having a deposit of $1,000,000.00 in bonds at the secretary of state’s office of their respective state.

(3) Each state shall set a maximum limit of liability coverage per vehicle.

(4) The medallion and its vehicle are free from any liens and cannot be a part of compensation in any personal injury and civil lawsuit.(k) Medallion and non-medallion system

 

 

(1) County residents shall have the right to select a medallion or non-medallion system in order to keep the taxicab fares more affordable to all commuters. In order to switch from one system to another:

 

(A) Should the governing board of the county reject the switch, then they must call a referendum upon request by a minimum of 2.0% of registered voters required by the county.

(B) More than 50% of the voters shall approve the system in order for the switch to take effect.

 

( C ) In a non-medallion system, a vehicle for hire license with a valid identification number shall issue to the driver after completing his hack or operator or chauffeur license if the driver willing to have it.

 

(D) In a non-medallion system, the owner of a vehicle for hire license prescribed in 49 USCS 5340 (k) (1) ( C) shall return the vehicle for hire license to county authority if he or she definitely stopped to be in mass and public transportation business.

(E) Whatever the system in effect in a county, 49 USCS 5340 (d) (7) (10); (j) (1) shall be respected.

(F) Whenever any county has sufficient taxicab operators, county authority shall stop issuing new taxicab operator licenses and close the new operator license exam by displaying on its website and in its office: “New Taxicab operator license exam is closed indefinitely”. However, active and former cab drivers shall have the right to renew their operator license as needed. Once there is need for new drivers, county authority shall resume all new taxicab operator license exams.

 

(2) For the next twenty years, new medallion and non-medallion owner shall put in service a well equipped hybrid or clean fuel formula vehicle for hire in service for the public with:

 

(A) Eight passenger seats including the driver.

 

(B) An EPA estimated fuel economy minimum of 22

miles per gallon highway and 21 miles per gallon city.

( C) Three child safety seats, preferable all in one for children five years old and under.

(D) Wheel chair accessible preferable front seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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