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Municipal Code

Chapter 9. Licenses and Permits

Sec. 9-56. Taxicabs.

(1) License required. No person shall operate a public vehicle, taxicab or public livery or automobile for hire upon the streets of the city without first having obtained a license therefor from the city. Such licenses shall be issued under a full year's fee for terms of one year, to expire on December 31.

(2) Conditions for issuance of license. Conditions for issuance of the license shall be as follows:

  1. Generally. Such license shall be issued and granted only upon condition that the applicant shall first obtain from a reliable insurance company, licensed to do business in the state, and kept in force during the continuance of such license, a policy of liability insurance. The liability limits shall be $100,000.00 for injury to any one person and $300,000.00 for damages arising out of any single accident and $100,000.00 to insure the payment of damages to property resulting from negligence of the operator of a vehicle, taxicab or automobile. All applications for licenses for the operation oftaxicabs or other public vehicles under this section shall be approved by the license committee before a license is issued. The committee shall require the applicant to furnish proof that public convenience and necessity require the licensing of the applicant. The license committee may require proof of financial responsibility of the applicant in addition to the insurance required by this subsection. The applicant shall also file with this application a statement of the number of vehicles to be operated under such license together with a complete description of each vehicle, and such data shall be filed with the city clerk. Should an applicant desire to add to such license, he shall make and file any additions or substitutions with the city clerk.
  2. Suspension. The chief of police shall have authority to suspend any license granted under this section if, upon inspection of equipment as provided in this section, he shall determine that such equipment is unsafe or dangerous for the purpose of transporting people or a menace to traffic safety. Such suspension shall be effective for periods up to 48 hours, within the discretion of the chief of police, or until action may be taken by a special meeting of the license committee, which shall have authority to revoke or suspend indefinitely any license granted under this section after due hearing upon notice of 24 hours to the licensee.

(3) License term; renewals. All licenses shall be granted for periods not exceeding one year. Applications for renewals of licenses will be heard by the license committee during the period commencing November 15 and concluding November 30. The time and place of such hearing shall be posted for a period of at least one week prior to the hearing in the city hall, and notice shall be given by publication at least three times in the official city paper. The license committee shall report its findings based on such hearing to the council at its regular December meeting and recommend the renewal or discontinuance of all licenses which shall be effective at the time of the December meeting and for renewal of which application has been made. Application for renewals of all licenses must be made prior to November 15. The license committee, on receipt of the application, shall fix a date for the hearing thereof and shall notify the applicant of such date.

(4) License application procedure. Application for a license to operate public vehicles, taxicabs or automobiles for hire upon the streets of the city shall be made by the owner of the public vehicle, taxicab or automobile upon forms to be furnished by the city clerk. Such application shall contain the full name and address of the owner of the public vehicle, taxicab or automobile and the name of the insurance company carrying the insurance, the policy number, the amount of the insurance carried, and date of expiration of policy, and such application shall be subscribed and sworn to by the applicant before the city clerk.

(5) License fee. After the license committee has held a hearing on the application and has recommended that the license be granted, then upon the payment of the license fee of $25.00, regardless of the number of taxicabs being operated by any one licensee, the license shall be issued by the city clerk. When so licensed, there shall be delivered to the licensee a license card containing the official license number of the license. Should the license committee determine that the public convenience and necessity does not require an additional taxi service within the city, the committee may refuse to issue a license to any applicant, even though the applicant is otherwise qualified to receive a license.

(6) Vehicle identification. All vehicles used for the carrying of passengers for hire shall be conspicuously marked on the right and left side with the name of the owner of the vehicle. Suchletters and numbers shall be not less than three inches in length, and such letters and numbers shall be of a light color on a dark background, or dark color on a light background. A card containing the name of the owner, license number, and the number of the vehicle shall be placed and at all times kept in a conspicuous place inside of such vehicle. No vehicle shall be used for carrying passengers until the foregoing provisions have been complied with.

(7) Rates. Rates to be charged, or changes therein, as made from time to time by the operator, shall be filed with the city clerk and shall be open for public inspection. The operator shall display a list of rates to be charged for carrying passengers in a prominent place within the vehicle so licensed, where it may be plainly seen by all passengers.

(8) Register. The city clerk shall keep a register of the name of each person owning a taxicab license under this section together with the license number.

(9) Definitions. The term "taxicab," "automobile" or "public vehicle" as used in this section shall be construed to include and mean all vehicles propelled by motive power engaged for the purpose of carrying persons for hire upon the streets of the city, and which is operated by the owner, his agent or employee. Nothing in this section shall be deemed or construed as being applicable to any intercity bus line, hotel bus line, street railway or bus line, hospital ambulance, hearse or motor vehicle operated by the undertakers of this city in their usual business.

(10) Additional regulations. Additional regulations shall be as follows:

  1. All licensees under this section shall keep all vehicles used in the taxi service or for the conveyance of passengers in a clean and sanitary condition at all times and shall keep such vehicles in proper repair and maintenance and operate such vehicles upon the streets of the city in a safe and careful manner.
  2. No driver shall unreasonably refuse to convey a passenger to any destination requested by such passenger within the city limits.
  3. All persons holding a taxicab license shall offer continuous telephone service and taxicab service between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight each day.

(11) Revocation of license. Any person found guilty of a violation of this section may have his license revoked, and when so revoked, such person shall not be entitled to another license for one year from the date of such revocation.

(12) Prior rights saved. Any person now having a license to operate a taxicab service or other service under the terms of previously published ordinances of the city shall, if otherwise qualified under the terms of this section, be entitled to obtain a license under these provisions. Any new applicant for a license thereafter shall be required to prove that the public necessity and convenience requires the licensing of a new taxicab service in the city before such applicant shall be entitled to a license.

(13) Operator's permit required. No person shall operate any vehicle for the transportation of passengers for hire within the limits of the city until he shall have obtained a taxicab driver's permit from the chief of police.

  1. Qualifications. No taxicab driver's permit shall be granted to any person under 18 nor, subject to the provisions of 111.335 Wis. Stats., to any persons who have been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for any offense involving moral turpitude or for driving a motor vehicle as a conveyance of persons for hire while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, while such conviction remains of record and is not reversed; provided, however, that a permit to a person within such prohibited class may be granted under such circumstances within the discretion of the chief of police for good cause shown where more than five years have elapsed from the date of the expiration of sentence, except as to persons convicted of rape, murder, manslaughter or sex offenses. In all cases, consideration shall be upon an individual basis.
  2. Fee. Each application for a taxicab driver's permit shall be accompanied by a fee of $15.00. The applicant shall also pay such fee as the city is charged for a state criminal history check on the applicant.
  3. Issuance. Upon granting of such permit pursuant to this subsection, the applicant shall receive from the chief of police a written permit to which shall be attached a photograph of the applicant.
  4. Posting of permit. The permit shall be placed in a conspicuous place in the vehicle operated by such driver, and in addition thereto, a metal badge shall be worn openly upon the person of such applicant while operating any motor vehicle of passengers for hire.
  5. Fingerprinting required. The chief of police shall cause the fingerprints of the permittee to be taken and filed.
  6. Expiration of permit. Such permit shall expire December 31 each year.

(14) Penalty. Any person found in violation of provisions of this section shall be subject to a penalty as set forth in section 1-05 of this Code, in addition to license revocation.

(Code 1982, 12.13)