07-062-O                                                          REPLACEMENT

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTIONS 47-20 AND 47-33 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED, PERTAINING TO TAXICAB VEHICLE STANDARDS AND INSPECTION AND NOTICE OF RATES.

BY COUNCILOR STAUBER:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 47-20 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 47-20.Vehicle standards and inspection.

     (a)  Original inspection. No persons shall operate or permit the operation of a vehicle as a taxicab and the city clerk shall not issue a taxicab vehicle license for any vehicle until such vehicle has been inspected by an inspector designated by the chief of police and has been found by such inspector to be in compliance with all laws respecting motor vehicles which are in force in the city of Duluth and with all rules and regulations prescribed by the chief of police (hereinafter “be found in compliance”). A vehicle that is more than ten model years old or having more than 300,000 miles on the chassis must also be inspected annually by an automobile mechanic who has been certified by the American Society of Engineers and be found in compliance. A vehicle that is (unless it is more than 20 years old and has been must be completely restored to “as new” condition with all new dual master cylinder hydraulic brake system and all new steering components and has all safety systems required to be on a new vehicle and must be inspected annually by an automobile mechanic who has been certified by the American Society of Engineers and be found in compliance), or having more than 300,000 miles on the chassis, nor for any vehicle. The cost of inspections required by an automobile mechanic certified by the American Society of Engineers shall be borne by the person seeking the taxicab vehicle license. A vehicle having a window which cannot be seen through from outside, or any neon or strobe lighting, brakes not in good operating condition, passenger restraint belts that are not in place and fully operational, nor or any sign or graphic advertising that can reasonably be expected to be a distraction to other drivers so that they will be inattentive to their driving duties shall not be found in compliance. nor for any such vehicle until such vehicle has been inspected by an inspector designated by the chief of police and has been found by such inspector to be in compliance with all laws respecting motor vehicles which are in force in the city of Duluth, and with all rules and regulations prescribed by the chief of police and that its brakes are in good operating condition and passenger restraint belts are in place and fully operational. Provided that the The age and mileage standards above become effective on January 1, 2008,. the The chief of police is hereby authorized to adopt such reasonable rules and regulations regarding safety equipment, regulatory devices and sanitary conditions as he shall deem necessary in order to ensure that only safe and sanitary taxicabs are in operation in the city of Duluth. No such regulation shall be effective until 30 days after filing with the city clerk and publication in the legal newspaper of the city.

     When the inspector designated by the chief of police finds that a taxicab is in compliance with such laws and rules and regulations he shall issue a certificate to that effect. Such inspector shall also rate the seating capacity of each taxicab inspected and shall state such capacity in the certificate he issues. No person shall operate or permit the operation of a taxicab unless such a certificate is posted in such taxicab;

     (b)  Periodic inspections. Every taxicab shall be periodically inspected by the inspector designated by the chief of police in order to determine continued compliance of such taxicab with all laws and rules and regulations respecting taxicabs. Such inspections may be carried out at any time by such inspector, but shall be carried out at least once every six months. All persons holding taxicab licenses shall comply with all requests of such inspector regarding the time and place of such inspections. If at any time the inspector finds that a taxicab does not comply with the required laws and rules and regulations including but not limited to regulations regarding the posting of rates, he shall remove the inspection certificate from such taxicab and shall return it only after such taxicab has been made to comply with such laws and rules and regulations. The purpose of the inspections is to enforce a public policy and the city shall not be liable to any individual as a result of conducting or failing to conduct the inspection;

     (c)  Qualifications of inspectors. The chief of police shall issue written specifications establishing the minimum qualifications for any mechanic inspector that is authorized to certify that any vehicle meets the requirements of this Section; only certifications issued by mechanics inspectors so qualified shall meet the certification requirements of this Article. In addition to meeting the requirements of said specifications, any mechanic certifying to the compliance of any vehicle more than ten model years old shall also be certified as an automobile mechanic by the American Society of Engineers.

     Section 2. That Section 47-33 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 47-33.Rates--notice of rates change.

     There shall be prominently displayed in all taxicabs a rate statement card no smaller than 8.5"x11" setting out in large size print all the various rates charged to passengers for all the various services offered. Unless otherwise specifically stated on the rate statement card, the rates charged shall not apply individually to each person riding in the taxicab, but instead shall apply to the ride, whether one or more individuals are in the taxicab at a time. This card shall also contain a sentence informing passengers that the driver has printed copies of the entire text of the rate statement card which will be supplied to them upon request. All the information on the rate statement card shall be prominently displayed on each side of the outside of the vehicle in text all of which shall be at least 1.5 inches high. It is a violation of this Code to charge a rate higher than that stated on the rate statement card.

     In order to change a rate, the licensee shall do the following:

     (a)  Register the new rate with the city clerk at least seven days before it is implemented;

     (b)  Pay to the clerk a rate change registration fee in an amount determined as set out in Section 2-16;

     (c)  Change the rate notices required by this Article. The clerk shall post the changed rate on the city website for an appropriate period of time.

     The driver of any taxicab shall upon demand give any passenger a receipt for the fare charged, which receipt shall include the name of the driver, the identification of the vehicle, the amount charged and the date of the transaction.

      Section 3. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance clarifies the council’s intent with respect to recent revisions to the taxicab ordinance.