Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 121141
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File Number: 121141 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 12-65 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: AMEND CH 31 RELATING TO VEHICLES FOR HIRE Introduced: 6/5/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/6/2012
Agenda Date: 9/4/2012 Agenda Item Number: 7D
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO VEHICLES FOR HIRE; AMENDING ARTICLE II OF THE CODE PERTAINING TO SERVICE IN UNDERSERVED TAXI SERVICE AREAS; AUTHORIZING UNDERSERVED AREA TAXICABS TO CONVERT INTO HYBRID UNDERSERVED AREA TAXICABS AND PROVIDE TAXICAB SERVICE OUTSIDE OF DESIGNATED AREAS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; AMENDING CHAPTER 8CC OF THE CODE TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: AMENDING CODE
  FOR HIRE VEHICLES
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/6/2012 7D Adopted P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Hearing no questions or comments, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance as presented.

Regional Transportation Committee 7/9/2012 1F3 Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Bruce Libhaber read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairman Barreiro opened the public hearing for persons wishing to speak in connection with the foregoing proposed ordinance, and the following persons appeared: 1) Mr. Niaz Mohammad, 17922 SW 145 Avenue, taxicab driver, appeared in support, and expressed the following concerns: 1) taxicab drivers restricted to the North and South areas were not making a decent living; 2) prices for leases/medallions were unaffordable; 3) owners of passenger service companies were controlling lease prices and driving them upward, as high as $7,000; and 4) taxicab drivers had no real representation on the Taxicab Advisory Board. He suggested that a sub-committee be formed to resolve these issues. 2) Mr. Mohamed Khan, 13701 SW 90 Ave, Apt #L214, taxicab driver, appeared in support and requested that the taxicab medallion lottery be restored to its original format in order to shrink the gap in supply and demand caused by passenger service companies raising the medallion prices. He noted medallions originally cost $15,000, but owners managed to increase the price to $415,000 and stopped the lottery process. 3) Mr. Jorge Cortes, 6885 W 2nd Court, Hialeah, taxicab driver, appeared in support and noted he concurred with Mr. Niaz Mohammad that taxicab drivers should be allowed to drive their taxicabs anywhere in the County, and have representation on the Taxicab Advisory Board. He also expressed support for restoring the medallion lottery to its original format. 4) Mr. Raymond Francois, 11917 NE 16 Ave, taxicab driver, appeared in support, noting taxicab drivers working in the underserved areas were at an economic disadvantage. 5) Mr. Ernst Derosier, 830 NW 143 St, taxicab driver, appeared in support of allowing the taxicab drivers restricted to the North and South areas to work anywhere in the County. 6) Mr. Dawood Akhtar, 1735 NE 142 St, taxicab driver, appeared in support. 7) An unknown speaker appeared in support. He explained that restricting certain taxicab drivers to working in underserved areas was similar to a family having ten children, nine of whom were allowed to play anywhere in the house, while one was restricted to a closet. Chairman Barreiro closed the public hearing after no other persons appeared wishing to speak. Chairman Barreiro noted many of the issues raised by speakers today were also raised and considered at a prior RTC meeting, and the Committee was in the process of forming a working group to address them. At Commissioner Souto’s request, Assistant County Attorney Libhaber provided an explanation of this ordinance. He noted some taxicabs drivers currently held licenses that restricted them to providing taxicab services only in certain underserved areas, predominantly in the Northwest section of the County. He indicated that the intent of this ordinance was to alleviate some economic hardships, by allowing taxicab drivers restricted to the underserved areas to go outside those areas and provide services countywide on alternating days. Mr. Mario Goderich, Deputy Director, Regulatory and Economic Resources Department (RER), added that in 1999 and 2004, the County Commission designated two areas of the County – in the Northwest and South – as underserved areas to address a shortage of taxicab services in those areas. He explained that some taxicab drivers were able to obtain a license via a lottery to provide services in the underserved areas, in exchange for paying less for the medallions at that time. He said that this ordinance would impact approximately 46 licenses held by taxicab drivers restricted to the underserved areas and allow them to go outside the underserved area on alternating days to pick up passengers anywhere in the County, except at Miami International Airport (MIA). Commissioner Souto asked whether a third-party study had ever been conducted on the taxicab industry and how it was regulated in Miami-Dade County. He noted to his knowledge this had not been done, and he believed it was important to have a third-party opinion on how the County could best serve the community and its visitors with transportation. He suggested that the Administration reach out to a reputable business school or university to inquire whether such a study could be conducted at no cost. Mr. Goderich informed Committee members that during 2006-07, the Commission sponsored an extensive third-party study, which was conducted in stages by the Tennessee Transportation and Logistics Foundation. He noted the consultant’s recommendations were presented before the County Commission at that time, and he offered to provide it to Committee members. Chairman Barreiro suggested that staff update the study to include current information and data based on the recent economic downturn. Commissioner Souto asked Mr. Goderich to provide him with the findings and recommendations of the study conducted by the Tennessee Transportation and Logistics Foundation in 2006-07. In response to Commissioner Heyman’s inquiry, Mr. Goderich confirmed that the Taxicab Advisory Board (TAB) voted unanimously in support of this ordinance. In response to Commissioner Heyman’s inquiries regarding the incentives offered to taxicab drivers committed to serving the underserved areas, and the difference in the price they paid for medallions, Mr. Goderich noted they paid from $5,000 to $10,000 less for those particular medallions, depending on what lottery they participated in. Commissioner Heyman said it was noteworthy that the TAB unanimously supported this ordinance, and that the taxicab drivers, committed to the underserved areas, were willing to pay an additional $5,000 to be allowed to go outside the designated areas to serve higher volume areas countywide on alternating days. She noted she supported this ordinance, but expressed concern that drivers might choose the higher volume weekend days to provide countywide services, thereby causing more neglect in the underserved areas. She suggested the RER use the additional $5,000 to monitor the schedules of the restricted drivers so that the underserved areas would not be neglected further, and to pay for an independent third-party study on how the community could be better served by the taxicab industry. Commissioner Edmonson asked to be added as a co-sponsor of this ordinance. She noted she agreed with Commissioner Heyman that the TAB’s reports and recommendations should have been forwarded to the Committee. She said that she supported this ordinance and believed that the County should assist the historical businesses in the underserved areas to ensure they remained in business. She noted the taxicab drivers who were willing to work in the underserved areas were making sacrifices because these areas were not prosperous enough to enable the drivers to make a decent living. She stressed that this ordinance could help the Commission assist both the underserved areas and the taxicab drivers. Commissioner Suarez noted he agreed with Commissioner Edmonson’s comments, and pointed out that the County needed to find ways to make the taxicab industry more competitive. He said he would personally contact the John F. Kennedy-School of Government at Harvard University to inquire whether it could possibly conduct a study on the Taxicab industry, free of charge. He pointed out that other cities, such as Washington, D.C. used an open medallion system and provided very inexpensive taxicab services compared to Miami. He also noted he concurred with Mr. Mohammed Khan that the fact that medallions were now being sold at $430,000 when originally sold at $15,000 meant that the County had managed to separate supply from demand; and as a result, the underserved areas were now more neglected than ever because drivers could not afford to pay the leases or price of medallions. Commissioner Suarez noted he and his assistant would attend the next Taxicab Advisory Board meeting to sit in on its deliberations, since the Commission had not received the kind of recommendations or reforms it was seeking for this industry, and had a moral responsibility to provide this community and its tourists with affordable mass transportation. Commissioner Souto asked if taxicab drivers qualified for assistance from the Mom and Pop Grants Program, which provided grants up to $10,000 for small businesses. Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt indicated that he was unsure whether taxicab drivers qualified for this program, but he would research the matter and report back to the Committee on it. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance as presented.

Board of County Commissioners 6/19/2012 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Regional Transportation Committee 7/9/2012

Board of County Commissioners 6/19/2012 4B Adopted on first reading 7/9/2012 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and set for public hearing before the Regional Transportation Committee on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.

County Attorney 6/5/2012 Referred Regional Transportation Committee 7/9/2012

County Attorney 6/5/2012 Assigned Bruce Libhaber

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO VEHICLES FOR HIRE; AMENDING ARTICLE II OF THE CODE PERTAINING TO SERVICE IN UNDERSERVED TAXI SERVICE AREAS; AUTHORIZING UNDERSERVED AREA TAXICABS TO CONVERT INTO HYBRID UNDERSERVED AREA TAXICABS AND PROVIDE TAXICAB SERVICE OUTSIDE OF DESIGNATED AREAS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; AMENDING CHAPTER 8CC OF THE CODE TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 31 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Chapter 31
VEHICLES FOR HIRE
ARTICLE II. LICENSING AND REGULATION OF FOR-HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES

* * *
Sec. 31-93. Special provisions.

* * *
(c) Underserved taxicab service area.

(1) An underserved taxicab service area is hereby established. For purposes of this subsection, an "underserved taxicab service area" means the economically disadvantaged area in Miami-Dade County that is bounded as follows:
1. on the north by a line commencing at N.W. 47th Avenue and N.W. 215th Street running east to N.E. 2nd Avenue;

2. on the east by a line commencing at N.W. 215th Street and running north to south along N.E. 2nd Avenue to N.W. 7th Street;

3. on the south by a line commencing at N.E. 2nd Avenue and running west along 7th Street to N.W. 42nd Avenue; and

4. on the west by a line commencing at N.W. 7th Street and N.W. 42nd Avenue north to N.W. 119th Street, west along N.W. 119th Street to N.W. 47th Avenue, north along 47th Avenue to N.W. 135th Street, west along 135th Street to N.W. 57th Avenue, north along 57th Avenue to N.W. 167th Street, east along N.W. 167th Street to N.W. 47th Avenue, north along 47th Avenue to N.W. 215th Street.

For purposes of this subsection, an "underserved area taxicab" means a taxicab where: (a) the for-hire license holder has entered into a passenger service company agreement with a passenger service company that has its principal place of business within the underserved taxicab service area; (b) an average minimum of seventy-five (75) percent of all pickups by the taxicab during each twenty-four hour period originate in the underserved taxicab service area; and (c) the for-hire license holder has applied for and been designated by the Director of CSD as an underserved area taxicab. Any for-hire license holder who seeks to be designated as an underserved area taxicab shall complete and submit a form provided by CSD documenting compliance with the provisions of this subsection for the three-month period preceding submission of the application. Each for-hire license holder authorized to operate as an underserved area taxicab shall on a semiannual basis submit on a form provided by CSD documentation demonstrating continuing compliance with the requirements of this subsection. Failure of the underserved area taxicab for-hire license holder to comply with any of the provisions of this subsection shall result in the suspension or revocation of authorization to operate as an underserved area taxicab. All taxicabs operated pursuant to this subsection that were, as of March 14, 2007, equipped with a properly installed and operating two-way dispatch system shall continue to utilize and maintain the two-way dispatch system which shall be operated twenty-four hours a day.

(2) Underserved area for-hire taxicab licenses shall be issued through a separate lottery pursuant to Section 31-82(o)(3) to qualified chauffeurs who satisfy the criteria of Section 31-82 (q) and enter into a binding agreement with the County that contains, among others, the following provisions: (i) the chauffeur is restricted to picking up passengers in an underserved taxicab service area only and (ii) the chauffeur shall enter into a passenger service company agreement with a passenger service company which has its principal place of business in an underserved taxicab service area. Any chauffeur issued a for-hire taxicab license pursuant to this subsection shall not transfer the taxicab license during the time periods specified in Section 31-82(q) of the Code. Any transfer of an underserved taxicab

(d) South Miami-Dade taxicab service area. A South Miami-Dade taxicab service area is hereby established. For purposes of this subsection, the South Miami-Dade taxicab service area means the area located south of S.W. 88 Street. South Miami-Dade taxicab service area for-hire taxicab licenses shall be issued through a separate lottery, pursuant to Section 31-82(o)(2), to qualified chauffeurs who satisfy the criteria of Section 31-82(q) and enter into a binding agreement with the County that the chauffeur is restricted to picking up passengers in the South Miami-Dade taxicab service area only. Any chauffeur issued a for-hire taxicab license pursuant to this subsection shall not transfer the taxicab license during the time periods specified in section 31-82(q) of this Code. Any transfer of a South Miami-Dade taxicab service area license shall only be made to a qualified chauffeur who meets the requirements of this subsection. The price for a South Miami-Dade taxicab service area for-hire license issued pursuant to a lottery shall be fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). All taxicabs operated pursuant to this subsection that were, as of March 14, 2007, equipped with a properly installed and operating two-way dispatch system shall continue to utilize and maintain the two-way dispatch system which shall be operated twenty-four hours a day.

* * *

>>(f) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, each for-hire license holder who has been issued a for-hire taxicab license prior to September 3, 2012, which is required to be operated using a taxicab in the underserved taxicab service area pursuant to Section 31-93(c) or the South Miami taxicab service area pursuant to Section 31-93(d) may convert that for-hire license into a license which may be operated in both the designated underserved area and countywide (hereinafter “hybrid underserved taxicab license” or “hybrid underserved taxicab”) as provided herein. An underserved taxicab license may be converted into a hybrid underserved taxicab license upon payment of $5,000. A hybrid underserved taxicab license may be operated countywide on alternating days as follows. All hybrid underserved taxicabs whose license number ends in an odd number (i.e., 1, 3, 5, 7, 9) are required to pick up passengers exclusively in the designated underserved taxicab service area or South Miami taxicab service area, whichever is applicable, on odd numbered days of the month. All hybrid underserved taxicabs whose license number ends in an even number (i.e., 0, 2, 4, 6, 8) are required to pick up passengers exclusively in the designated underserved taxicab service area or South Miami taxicab service area, whichever is applicable, on even numbered days of the month. To “pick up passengers exclusively in the designated underserved taxicab service area or South Miami taxicab service area” means that such taxicabs may discharge passengers at any location, but may only accept passengers in the designated underserved taxicab service area. No hybrid underserved taxicab operating pursuant to this section may provide transportation of persons and their baggage from Miami International Airport.<<


* * *

Section 2. Section 8CC-10 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 8CC-10. Schedule of civil penalties.

* * *

Code Section
Description of Violation
Civil Penalty
>>31-93 (c)



Operating outside the designated area


$250.00<<
>>31-93 (d)



Operating outside the designated area


$250.00<<

Section 3. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 4. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.




Section 5. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.


1Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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