Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 121311
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File Number: 121311 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 12-51 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: AMEND CH 31 RELATING TO FOR HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES Introduced: 6/26/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 7/3/2012
Agenda Date: 7/3/2012 Agenda Item Number: 7F
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO FOR-HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES; AMENDING REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO CHAUFFEUR AGREEMENTS WITH FOR-HIRE LICENSE HOLDERS AND PASSENGER SERVICE COMPANIES; AMENDING CHAUFFEUR’S REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS AND RULES GOVERNING DISTRIBUTION OF NEW FOR-HIRE LICENSES; AMENDING SECTION 8CC OF THE CODE TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE 120795]
Indexes: FOR HIRE VEHICLES
Sponsors: Jean Monestime, Prime 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 7/3/2012 7F Adopted P
REPORT: First Assistant County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Hearing no questions or comments, the County Commission members voted on the foregoing ordinance.

County Attorney 6/26/2012 Assigned Bruce Libhaber

Regional Transportation Committee 6/11/2012 1F2 Amended Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Bruce Libhaber read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. He noted proposed amendments were being distributed that the Prime Sponsor, Commissioner Monestime, would like to address and incorporate. Assistant County Attorney Libhaber noted the following proposed amendments to the foregoing ordinance: ~ page 2, Section 31-82 (d), the language “and any other charges or costs” on the fifth line and on the last line of this section should be stricken; ~ page 4, subparagraph (4), the language “and any other charges or costs” on the fifth line and at the end of this paragraph should be stricken and the language “and deposits” should be inserted; ~ page 5, Section 31-304 (6) the following sentences should be included on the fourth line after “. . . service company.”: “the form shall require that the chauffeur state, among other things, the name of the for-hire license holder or passenger service company that has entered into a chauffeur’s agreement with the chauffeur, and shall be signed by both the chauffeur and the for-hire license holder when the chauffeur’s agreement is with the for-hire license holder, or a designated representative of the passenger service company when the chauffeur’s agreement is with the passenger service company.” Prior to opening the public hearing, Chairman Barreiro asked Commissioner Monestime to clarify the proposed amendments. Commissioner Monestime recognized state representative Daphne Campbell who was attending today’s meeting. Commissioner Monestime noted these proposed amendments were proffered after he met with the chauffeurs and representatives of the for-hire companies. Commissioner Monestime indicated that the proposed amendments 1) required additional details on the printed receipts drivers received when they paid for their leases; 2) made it illegal to require a driver to lease, purchase, or finance a taxicab as a contract requirement; 3) allowed a driver to qualify initially as a registered chauffeur with Miami-Dade County; and 4) established a formula for determining the number of for-hire taxicab licenses authorized after January 2014, and requested the Mayor to provide the County Commission with quarterly reports regarding the development of this formula, pursuant to the County Code. Chairman Barreiro opened the public hearing and called for persons wishing to appear before the Committee in connection with the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Joseph Bessard asked that the deposit requirement and the requirement that taxicab drivers remain in attendance to his or her vehicles at all times be deleted. Mr. Romny Nicolas, 1821 N. Glades Drive, North Miami Beach, 33162, taxi driver, appeared in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. He asked why drivers were not included in the insurance, and questioned the endorsement requirement. Mr. Jean Lamour, 2421 Desoto Drive, Miramar, 33023, taxi driver, appeared in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Pierre Ceac, 2001 NW 32 Street, taxi driver, appeared in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance, and questioned why he needed to be endorsed by a company to obtain a hack license. Mr. Raymond Francois, 11970 NE 16th Avenue, Miami, 33161, Administrator, New Vision Taxi Drivers Association, appeared in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. He questioned the requirement that drivers be endorsed by a company to obtain a hack license. Mr. Jorge Cortes, 6885 West 2nd Court, Cabbies Association, noted he partially supported the foregoing proposed ordinance; however, he did not wish the companies to have any authority over the lottery or any control over the hack licenses while the Passenger Transportation Regulatory Division (PTRD) was responsible for the identification and drivers’ records. Mr. Niaz Mohammad, 17922 SW 145 Avenue, taxi driver, noted the medallion auction should be stopped and more medallions should be issued to the drivers to control unaffordable leases. Mr. Camille Merilus, 14815 NW 11th Avenue, Miami, 33168, President and Executive Director, Camille and Sulette Merilus Foundation for Haiti Development, Inc., appeared in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. He noted the taxi drivers' support of his foundation. Mr. Salomon Cenord, 240 NE 152 Street, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance, via the translator. He noted he believed this would provide a solution for the problems taxi drivers encountered with the companies. Mr. Diego Feliciano, South Florida Taxicab Association, appeared in opposition to the foregoing proposed ordinance. He distributed a letter from Specialty Commercial Brokers urging commissioners to reject the proposed change to Section 31-303 regarding chauffeur’s registration. Mr. Feliciano noted the Taxicab Advisory Group (TAG) voted unanimously against the certification (endorsement) issue. He noted proper written receipts should include all of the information the Commission requested. Mr. Feliciano urged the Committee to schedule a workshop in order to work with Commissioner Monestime. Mr. Jerry Moskowitz, 2284 NW 36 Street, Miami, Co-Chair, Taxicab Advisory Group (TAG), pointed out that the TAG voted unanimously against two of the issues. He noted he had not reviewed the proposed changes and suggested a workshop be held to discuss the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Les Eisenberg, 3600 NW 37 Court, appeared in opposition to the foregoing proposed ordinance and provided background information on the taxicab chauffeur’s registration requirements. Mr. Charles Elsesser, 3000 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, 33137, Florida Legal Services, attorney representing New Vision Taxi Drivers’ Association, appeared in support of the proposed amendments proffered by Commissioner Monestime. He noted this proposed ordinance did not change the existing law; rather, it decoupled the licensing portion, which was a County function, from the agreement portion, which was between the driver and the company. He indicated that the second change would forbid a company from forcing a taxi driver to lease or buy a taxicab as a condition of driving. He noted the third change would require the receipt to reflect exactly the same charges listed in every agreement. Chairman Barreiro closed the public hearing after no other persons appeared wishing to speak. Commissioner Monestime noted as a small business owner he understood the need to protect license holder investors. He pointed out that this proposal offered more appropriate services to passengers; addressed State regulated insurance issues; provided an opportunity for chauffeurs and for-hire license holders to maintain a better relationship; and provided for a separate agreement upon the purchase of a taxicab. Commissioner Monestime said that the changes presented were discussed with industry members. Commissioner Heyman spoke in support of the proposed amendment to Section 31-82 (d) regarding itemized receipts, and Section 31-82 (j) (3) regarding the purchase, lease or financing of a taxicab as a condition of entering into a chauffeur’s agreement. She said that some of the other proposed amendments were not prudent for consumers and the County. Commissioner Heyman said the County’s taxicab industry comprised over 2,000 drivers, and accountability and oversight must be considered. She pointed out that the Committee did not have the input of the Taxicab Advisory Group (TAG), which was opposed to this proposed ordinance. She also noted the TAG was not provided with the proposed amendments. Commissioner Heyman spoke in opposition to the proposed amendment to Section 31-304 (6) regarding the issuance of a chauffeur’s registration to a taxicab driver before he/she obtained an endorsement from a taxicab company. She expressed concern regarding the impact this amendment would have on the Sustainability, Planning and Economic Enhancement Department (SPEED), noting the County’s current problems with inspections, long schedules and a reduced budget. Commissioner Heyman expressed concern regarding the legality of inserting the language “and deposits” and the revenue consequence of deleting the language “and any other charges or costs” in Section 31-82(13) (d). She noted the taxicab industry was a significant industry to Miami-Dade County and suggested that a workshop be held including representation from the taxicab, limousine and jitney industry, as well as the consumers and government oversight. Commissioner Monestime explained that the language regarding any other charges or costs was deleted because industry members believed it was too broad. He noted the Administration could respond to Commissioner Heyman’s concern regarding the proposed amendment pertaining to endorsement. Commissioner Monestime said that he was working with the Department, the taxicab industry and the drivers on existing issues relating to for-hire licenses. Responding to Commissioner Heyman’s inquiries, Assistant County Attorney Libhaber advised that the designated representative referenced in Section 31-304 (6) could be an individual or entity designated by the passenger service company that was the medallion holder; that the County sets the top passenger fee that could be charged; that the language “and any other charges or costs . . .,” referenced in Section 31-82 (13) (d), was deleted because it could be vague; and that it was appropriate to include deposits on the receipts provided to the chauffeur, as this receipt itemized the compensation paid by the chauffeur to the passenger service company and was not the receipt given to passengers. In response to Commissioner Heyman’s inquiry regarding the impact of the proposed amendments on the Department, Mr. Mario Goderich, Deputy Director, SPEED, said that the proposed amendments would not create an additional burden to the Department, except for the endorsement issue. He noted the proposed amendment regarding the endorsement could potentially be more difficult for the Department if the driver did not provide the Department with the endorsement. Commissioner Suarez commended Commissioner Monestime on this proposal, noting he believed it was time to protect the taxicab drivers and to make the industry competitive. He noted many other major cities in the country had considerably more taxicabs than Miami, and that it was outrageous to charge $430,000 for the ability to drive a taxi in this County. He pointed out that this created an unacceptable monopoly. Commissioner Suarez spoke in support of drivers eventually owning their own licenses and presented a motion to forward the foregoing proposed ordinance to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation with Committee amendments. Commissioner Edmonson spoke in support of this proposed ordinance. She noted the taxicab industry was very important and drivers should be allowed to make a decent living. Commissioner Edmonson expressed the desire to modernize the taxicabs as in other municipalities nationwide and noted this issue should be addressed. She said that she was not in support of holding another workshop to discuss this issue. Responding to Commissioner Edmonson’s question as to whether taxicab drivers could purchase their own insurance, Mr. Goderich stated that pursuant to state law, permit holders were responsible for insurance on the cabs. He noted if a driver wanted to have PIP insurance on himself, he would have to purchase it. Mr. Goderich said the Department currently tracked the permit holder’s insurance and would not be impacted by the proposed amendment. In response to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry, Mr. Goderich provided an overview of the current endorsement process. He explained that a driver would go to a permit holder seeking an endorsement from that entity for the privilege of driving for that passenger service company. He said that the permit holder would perform a background check and verify the driver’s license. The driver would then come to SPEED with the endorsement for his hack license, Mr. Goderich noted, and SPEED would perform another background check. He indicated that if this proposed ordinance was approved, the driver would first obtain his hack license and would then seek an agreement with the taxicab company, at which point the company would review the driver’s record to determine whether this individual should be hired. Mr. Goderich said the issue of having the endorsement from a taxicab company as part of the pre-requisite for a hack license (Chauffeur’s Registration) was considered many years ago. He noted the endorsement was a separate agreement between the driver and various passenger service companies. Chairman Barreiro noted under this proposed ordinance the license would be issued at the inception of the process without the endorsement; however, once the chauffeur was licensed, the County would be involved to a certain extent in negotiations between the passenger service company and the chauffeur, which he did not support. He observed that the County would issue licenses with no guarantee that the drivers would find employment, and this would create false expectations. Chairman Barreiro indicated that the number of licenses issued by the County Commission should be a separate issue based on an appropriate formula. He noted he could not support the foregoing proposed ordinance at this time and believed the industry should seek to develop more appropriate solutions. Commissioner Edmonson seconded Commissioner Suarez' motion to forward the foregoing proposed ordinance to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation with Committee amendment(s). Commissioner Heyman noted she suggested a workshop because of the lack of communication from all affected parties. She expressed concern regarding the potential competition among taxicab drivers currently struggling to make a living if the endorsement provision was placed at the end of the process. Commissioner Heyman said she would prefer that the County’s resources be used when a taxicab driver had an employment commitment from a passenger service company. She suggested Mr. Goderich ensure that an industry workshop was held and come back to the Committee for proposed legislative change. Commissioner Heyman noted she could not support this proposal in its entirety as she believed it was anti-driver and onerous for government oversight. Commissioner Moss asked Commissioner Suarez, as the maker of the motion, if he would be willing to bifurcate the proposed ordinance in order to vote on the remaining portions, except the endorsement provision; or to forward this item to the County Commission without a recommendation. Commissioner Monestime noted he was satisfied with the proposal made by Mr. Goderich that a certificate, not a hack license, would be issued to a chauffeur upon application; the hack license would be issued after the endorsement was provided and this suggestion was made by taxicab industry members. Commissioner Monestime suggested as a compromise that the time period to provide an endorsement be reduced from five days to 24 hours; otherwise Commissioner Suarez could bifurcate the item. Commissioner Suarez accepted Commissioner Moss’ recommendation to bifurcate the foregoing ordinance. It was then moved by Commissioner Suarez that the foregoing proposed ordinance be bifurcated to remove the language pertaining to endorsements and to forward the remaining portions to the County Commission with Committee amendment(s). This motion was seconded by Commissioner Edmonson, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 5-0; (Commissioner Souto was absent). Assistant County Attorney Libhaber advised that the foregoing proposed ordinance was amended incorporating the amendments initially proffered by Commissioner Monestime, with the exception of the endorsement provisions.

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO FOR-HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES; AMENDING REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO CHAUFFEUR AGREEMENTS WITH FOR-HIRE LICENSE HOLDERS AND PASSENGER SERVICE COMPANIES; AMENDING CHAUFFEUR’S REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS AND RULES GOVERNING DISTRIBUTION OF NEW FOR-HIRE LICENSES; AMENDING SECTION 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. Chapter 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. 31-82. For-hire licenses.

* * *
(j) Rules of operation. For-hire license holders shall abide by all rules and regulations applicable to for-hire license holders and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions contained in this chapter and chapter 8CC of the Miami-Dade County Code. A for-hire license holder and her, his or its agents shall comply with the following regulations:

* * *

(13) Each for-hire license holder shall enter into a written chauffeur's agreement with each chauffeur it allows to operate any for-hire vehicle. The written chauffeur's agreement:

* * *

(d) Shall state and itemize the compensation to be paid by the chauffeur for the right to operate a for-hire vehicle authorized by a for-hire license. Such itemization shall separately list the amount of compensation that is attributable to the lease, insurance, dispatch>>,<< >>and<<2 deposits, [[and any other charges or costs]] if any. It shall be unlawful for the for-hire license holder to receive any compensation from the chauffeur which is not specified in the existing chauffeur's agreement. The Agreement shall specifically provide that the compensation to be paid by a chauffeur may be paid utilizing any of at least two of the following: (1) cash, (2) money order, (3) certified check, (4) cashier's check, (5) valid traveler's check, (6) valid bank credit card, or (7) valid personal check showing on its face the name and address of the chauffeur. The chauffeur shall be allowed to make payment as provided in the preceding sentence, and shall be provided with a written receipt which contains the name of the license holder or passenger service company, whichever is applicable, and the name of the driver, the for-hire license number, payment amount and form of payment utilized, date of payment and the period covered by the payment[[;]]>>. Such receipt shall be itemized so as to separately list the amount of compensation that is attributable to the lease, insurance, dispatch,<< >>and<< >>deposits<<[[, and any other charges or costs,]] >>if any;<<

* * *

>> (j) It shall be unlawful for any for-hire license holder to require that a chauffeur purchase a taxicab, lease a taxicab or
finance the purchase of a taxicab as a condition of entering into a chauffeur’s agreement.<<


* * *

(p) Rules governing the distribution of new for-hire licenses.

* * *

(2) Public Hearing. The commission shall hold a public hearing to consider the [[County Manager’s]] >>Mayor’s<< report and the results of the study required by Section 31(82)(p)(1) to determine the need for additional for-hire taxicab licenses no later December [[2006]] >>2013<<. The commission by ordinance shall establish a formula for determining the number of for-hire taxicab licenses authorized after January 1, [[2007]] >>2014<<. In reaching its decision, the commission shall consider the results of the study required by Section 31(82)(p)(1), the recommendation of the [[County Manager]]>>Mayor<< and all evidence produced at the public hearing. >>The Mayor shall submit to the commission quarterly reports regarding the development of this formula, pursuant to the criteria provided for in Section 31(82)(p)(1) beginning three (3) months after the enactment of this ordinance.<<

* * *

Sec. 31-100. Passenger Service Companies.

* * *

(j) Requirement for chauffeur's agreement. Each passenger service company shall enter into a written chauffeur's agreement with each chauffeur it allows to operate any for-hire vehicle for which the passenger service company provides passenger services. Each passenger service company shall post a sign summarizing the chauffeur agreement requirements stated herein. This sign shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the point of payment by the chauffeur and shall be written in a legible manner and preapproved by [[CSD]] >>the Department of Sustainability, Planning and Economic Enhancement or successor department (hereinafter “the Department”)<<. The written chauffeur's agreement:

* * *

(4) Shall state and itemize the compensation to be paid by the chauffeur for the right to operate a for-hire vehicle authorized by a for-hire license. Such itemization shall separately list the amount of compensation that is attributable to the lease, insurance, dispatch>>,<< >>and<< deposits, [[and any other charges or costs]], if any. It shall be unlawful for the passenger service company to receive any compensation from the chauffeur which is not specified in the existing chauffeur's agreement. The Agreement shall specifically provide that the compensation to be paid by a chauffeur may be paid utilizing any of at least two of the following: (1) cash, (2) money order, (3) certified check, (4) cashier's check, (5) valid traveler's check, (6) valid bank credit card, or (7) valid personal check showing on its face the name and address of the chauffeur. The chauffeur shall be allowed to make payment as provided in the preceding sentence, and shall be provided with a written receipt which contains the name of the license holder or passenger service company, whichever is applicable, and the driver, the for-hire license number, payment amount and form of payment utilized, date of payment and the period covered by the payment[[;]]>>. Such receipt shall be itemized so as to separately list the amount of compensation that is attributable to the lease, insurance, dispatch,<< >>and<<
>> deposits,<< [[and any other charges or costs]]>>, if any.<<

* * *

>>(10) It shall be unlawful for any passenger service company to require that a chauffeur purchase a taxicab, lease a taxicab or finance the purchase of a taxicab as a condition of entering into a chauffeur’s agreement.<<

* * *

ARTICLE V. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

* * *

Sec. 31-303. Chauffeur’s registration; all types.

* * *

(b) Initial application for a chauffeur's registration shall be on forms provided by [[CSD]] >>the Department<< and shall be accompanied by a non-refundable payment of an application and processing fee. Application for renewal of chauffeur's registration shall be accompanied by a non-refundable payment of a renewal fee. Registration applications whether initial or for a renewal shall contain all information required by this chapter. [[Such applications shall also contain an agreement that the Miami-Dade County operator or for-hire company shall provide for a color scheme including trade name, customer lost and found services and a system for handling customer complaints.]]

* * *
Sec. 31-304. Chauffeur's registration—Additional taxicab requirements.
Each chauffeur shall:
(1) Only transport passengers or goods with a properly sealed and operating taximeter with the flag down if so equipped and meter running.

(2) When parked in a designated taxi stand remain adjacent and in attendance to his or her vehicle at all times. All doors on the vehicle are to be closed except when loading or unloading passengers.

(3) Only transport passengers or goods with a lit tell-tale light.

(4) Inquire of a disabled passenger whether he or she requires assistance from the chauffeur to or from the nearest accessible door both at the origin and destination of a trip.

(5) Not accept any other fare while en route to a dispatched call for an accessible vehicle.

[[(6) Notify the Department within five (5) business days on a form provided by the Department after he or she has entered into a chauffeur’s agreement with a for-hire license holder or a passenger service company. No endorsement from a Miami-Dade County for-hire license holder or passenger service company shall be a prerequisite for registration as a chauffeur.]]

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
>>31-82(j)(13)


Failure to include required provisions in chauffeur’s agreement
$100.00<<
>>31-82(j)(13)


Failure to comply with required provisions in chauffeur’s agreement

$500.00<<
>>31-82(j)(13)(d)


>>31-82(j)(13(d)(j)



Failure to provide itemized receipt

Requiring chauffeur to purchase, lease or finance purchase of taxicab

$100.00<<


$500.00<<
>>31-100(j)


Failure to include required provisions in chauffeur’s agreement
$100.00<<
>>31-100(j)


Failure to comply with required provisions in chauffeur’s agreement

$500.00<<
>>31-100(j)(4)


>>31-100(j)(4)(10) Failure to provide itemized receipt

Requiring chauffeur to purchase, lease or finance purchase of taxicab $100.00<<


$500.00<<


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.

1 Words 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.

2 Committee amendments are indicated as follows: Words double stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] are deleted, words double underlined and/or >>double arrowed<< are added.



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