Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 140135
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File Number: 140135 File Type: Ordinance Status: Amended
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ORDINANCE RELATING TO TAXICAB TECHNOLOGY VEHICLE STANDARDS Introduced: 1/21/2014
Requester: Regulatory and Economic Resources Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 1/29/2014 Agenda Item Number:
Notes: SPECIAL ITEM NO. 1; SEE 141114 FOR FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. Title: ORDINANCE RELATING TO FOR-HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES; AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, ESTABLISHING TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS FOR TAXICABS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS, GLOBAL POSITIONING DISPATCH SYSTEMS, SUNPASS DEVICES, DIGITAL SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS, TOP LIGHTS AND WARNING LIGHTS; AMENDING VEHICLE AGE REQUIREMENTS AND STANDARDS; ESTABLISHING ADDITIONAL STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR CHAUFFEURS OPERATING TAXICABS; ESTABLISHING REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS AND PROVIDERS; EMPOWERING DEPARTMENT OF REGULATORY AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES TO APPROVE CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO TAXICAB FARES; AMENDING CHAPTER 8CC OF THE CODE TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 132051]
Indexes: TAXICAB TECHNOLOGY
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Juan C. Zapata, 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 1/29/2014 Special Item No. 1 Amended
REPORT: (See Agenda Special Item No. 1 Amended; Legislative File No. 141114 for the amended version.)

County Attorney 1/22/2014 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez

County Mayor 1/21/2014 Assigned County Attorney 1/29/2014
REPORT: RER (amended version to 132051) - Gerald Sanchez - Comm. Diaz Sponsor

County Mayor 1/21/2014 Assigned Jack Osterholt 1/21/2014

Transportation & Aviation Committee 11/13/2013 1F1 AMENDED Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Bruce Libhaber read the foregoing proposed ordinance (Item 1F1) into the record. Regarding Vice Chair Barreiro’s inquiry of whether the public hearings on all the ordinances pertaining to taxicabs could be heard together, Chairman Moss noted some concerns had been expressed regarding that process; therefore, the items would be heard separately. Chairman Moss opened the public hearing for persons wishing to speak in connection with the foregoing ordinance, and the following individuals appeared: 1. Ms. Wendy Kallergis, President/CEO, Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association, 1674 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, appeared on behalf of 13 tourist businesses and organizations, in support of this ordinance. 2. Mr. Joseph Bessard, American Association for Taxicabs, 6700 NW 27 Ave, supported this ordinance, but felt more should be done to protect the taxicab drivers, such as partitioning the driver’s seat from the rider; spoke of an incident that occurred in Canada involving a taxicab driver that was attacked by a rider with a knife. 3. Mr. Brock Rosayn, President of Metro Taxi/Chair of Palm Beach County’s Vehicle For-Hire Advisory Committee/Member of the Steering Committee and Board of Directors for the Taxicab, Limousine, Para Transit Association (TLPA), 1587 SW 4 Ave, Delray Beach, appeared on behalf of the taxicab industry and spoke about the superiority, durability, space and comfort of the Crown Victoria sedan compared to other for-hire vehicles. He provided pictures for the Commission to review (See Exhibit). 4. Mr. Miguel Lantigua, taxicab driver, 12304 SW 122 Street, noted he supported real reform for the taxicab industry, but opposed the Ambassador Cab ordinance. 5. Mr. Robert Puente, 924 NE 199 Street, NMB, supported this ordinance, except for the security camera requirement. 6. Mr. Roko Aparicio, 4464 SW 136 Place, spoke through interpreter Jon Ocampo, and requested the taxicab drivers be allowed to have their own permits. 7. Ms. Orlie Jedwab, 199 NW 79 Street, opposed this ordinance, but supported Commissioner Zapata’s ordinance and the Lincoln Town Car; urged the Committee to support both or wait for a forthcoming vehicle to replace the Lincoln Town Car. 8. Mr. Lorne A. Wray, 11825 Island Lakes Lane, Boca Raton, noted he supported the credit card processing system, GPS Dispatch, Sunpass Device and security camera system requirements and to add a partition, but suggested an amendment to replace the vehicle age requirement with vehicle mileage up to 300 miles, increase the meter rates within 12 months, and that it be in conjunction with Commissioner Zapata’s proposed ordinance. 9. Mr. Diego Feliciano, President, South Florida Taxicab Association, 3111 NW 27 Ave, opposed this ordinance, but wholeheartedly supported Commissioner Zapata’s proposed ordinance and reforming the taxicab industry. 10. Mr. Geoffrey Radlein, 21226 SW 197 Place, opposed this ordinance, but supported the taxicab vehicle improvements, with strong reservations about the proposed Ambassador Cab Program and the cost for drivers to comply with the required technical improvements. He suggested more vehicle inspections be implemented and enforcement be stepped up for non-compliance. 11. Mr. Jackson Rip Holmes, 915 Palermo Avenue, Coconut Grove, supported this ordinance and the Ambassador Cabs Program, but expressed disappointment with the outcome of the previous ordinance in Item 1F3. He noted the importance of a visitor/tourist’s first impression of Miami-Dade County, especially at the airport and seaport. He noted the need for cameras at airports and in taxicabs to circumvent terrorist attacks. 12. Mr. Jerry Moskowitz, 2284 NW 36 Street, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program, but supported the required technology improvements except for the credit card system; opposed the change in the vehicle age requirements, and supported Commissioner Zapata’s proposed ordinance and credit card system; suggested one public medallion and that mini-inspection stations be placed at the airport and seaport for vehicle inspections. 13. Mr. Bill Talbert, President/CEO, GMCVB, 701 Brickell Avenue, appeared on behalf of 14 business groups, in full support of this ordinance, the Ambassador Cabs Program, and all the proposed technical improvement requirements. 14. Mr. Les Eisenberg, representing the taxicab industry, 3600 NW 37 Court, opposed this ordinance, but supported the Ford Crown Victoria as the best taxicab model; opposed the penalty of suspending the Hack license indefinitely for two violations; supported Commissioner Zapata’s ordinance; and urged the Commission to wait for a better car and bring back the inspection stations. 15. Ms. Alyce Robertson, Executive Director, Miami Downtown Development Authority, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd, supported this ordinance and the Ambassador Cabs Program. 16. Mr. Rudy Gonzalez Jr., USA Taxis, 3620 NW 22 Avenue, opposed this ordinance and the Ambassador Cabs Program; noted it would cost him between $7,000 and 10,000 to replace his car, which he could not afford; supported Commissioner Zapata’s proposed ordinance and credit card processing system. 17. Mr. Terry Eisenberg, 3600 NW 37 Court, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program and eliminating the Ford Crown Victoria model, which provided more trunk space to carry luggage in than the newer models, which he demonstrated through photos and a video (See Exhibits). 18. Mr. Raymond Francois, Director of New Vision Taxi Drivers Association, 11970 NE 16 Ave, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program. 19. Mr. Salomon Cenord, 240 NE 152 Street, spoke through certified Haitian interpreter Fabie Bodek, in opposition to this ordinance. 20. Mr. Dieufils Desir, New Vision Tax Drivers Association, 16030 Miami Drive, NMB, opposed this ordinance and the Ambassador Cabs Program. 21. Mr. Marcos Feldman, Professor at Center of Labor Research and Studies, Florida International University, 511 Beacom Blvd, shared some preliminary findings of a study he conducted this summer on taxicab drivers; noted most taxi drivers agreed with reform and modernizing the taxicab industry, but were concerned with who would bear the costs of the required upgrades, and with the harsh penalties for non-compliance. 22. Mr. Syed Quadri, taxicab driver, 7946 Highsmith Court, Lake Worth, opposed this ordinance, noting very little was said about the treatment of taxicab drivers and how they are compensated for their services in this industry. 23. Mr. Niaz Mohammed, 17922 SW 145 Avenue, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program, noting drivers could not afford it; suggested issuing permits to the taxicab drivers to relieve them of expensive leases and allow them to provide excellent services. 24. Mr. Charles Elsesser, Attorney for New Vision Taxi Drivers Association, Florida Legal Services, 3000 Biscayne Blvd, noted the proposed technology and vehicle changes required by this ordinance would be too costly for the drivers and the consequences too severe, including loss of the Hack license after two citations; noted this system provided for additional costs and penalties, but no provision to guarantee adequate compensation for the drivers. 25. Mr. Jon Ocampo, 5700 SW 127 Ave, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program, and stated the ordinance was unjust, not feasible, and did not stipulate who would pay for the upgrades; noted the owning companies and medallion owners were at fault for the taxi system being broken; urged the Board to consider the Taxicab Industry’s proposal for reform, which would provide permits to taxicab drivers in lieu of a lease and provide the County additional revenues of $6,000 per year per driver, affording the drivers the ability to pay for the required upgrades and to provide superior service for the County. 26. Mr. Joanel Ceremy, taxicab driver, 12930 NW 21 Ave, spoke through certified Haitian interpreter Fabie Bodek in opposition to this ordinance. 27. Mr. Ernst Derizier, 830 NW 143 Street, spoke through certified Haitian interpreter Fabie Bodek in opposition to the Ambassador Cabs Program, but supported a credit card processing system in taxicabs. 28. Mr. Luckenson Mompremier, 17215 NW 12 Court, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program ordinance, but agreed with the credit card processing system for taxis. 29. Mr. Paul Phanor, 1620 NW 120 Street, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program. Chairman Moss opened the public hearing on Item 1F2 in conjunction with Item 1F1 because speakers were addressing both items. He asked that the ordinance be read into the record. Assistant County Attorney Bruce Libhaber read the foregoing proposed ordinance of Agenda Item 1F2 into the record. Mr. Joe Mora, Division Director, Transportation Regulatory/Business Affairs Division, Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), explained the difference between the two ordinances. He noted Agenda Item 1F2 addressed the Ambassador Cabs Program, which required all taxicab drivers transporting passengers to and from Miami International Airport and the PortMiami to be designated and registered as an Ambassador Cab with the RER Department, and it contained certain vehicle equipment criteria. Agenda Item 1F1 addressed the countywide cab services and contained longer timeframes of 24 to 30 months that were longer than the timeframes of the Ambassador Cabs Program to comply with the required vehicle standards. He explained that concerns were raised at the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Committee of the Whole meeting held last September that implementation of an Ambassador Cabs Program would create a two-tier system; therefore, two ordinances were introduced with different timeframes for complying with the required equipment standards. Mr. Mora clarified that the penalties mentioned by speakers regarding two violations resulting in the loss of the Hack license pertained to the Ambassador Cabs Program; however, it would not prevent cab drivers from operating countywide, outside the airport and seaport. In response to Chairman Moss’ question regarding whether the penalties were prospective, Mr. Mora noted they were prospective and the revocation only applied to the Ambassador Cabs Program. Chairman Moss continued the public hearing to include persons wishing to speak in connection with either ordinance, and the following persons appeared: 30. Mr. Les Eisenberg, 3600 NW 37 Court, opposed the ordinance, noting the penalties were too harsh and would cripple the taxicab industry, plus no funding existed to cover the costs of the required equipment. He urged the Board to wait for a more practical car than the Toyota Prius before changing the vehicle requirements, and to bring back the inspection stations and the regulations in year 2008. 31. Mr. Jerry Moskowitz, 2284 NW 36 Street, echoed Mr. Eisenberg’s comments, noting 70 percent of taxicab drivers owned their own vehicles. He urged the Board to allow them to purchase the old police vehicles and to comply with the technology requirements within one year, except for the camera equipment. He supported Commissioner Zapata’s ordinance, which provided for a cash payment discount. 32. Mr. Lorne A. Wray, 11825 Island Lakes Lane, Boca Raton, supported the ordinance in Agenda Item 1F1, but opposed the ordinance in Agenda Item 1F2. 33. Mr. Salomon Cenord, 240 NE 152 Street, spoke through certified Haitian interpreter Fabie Bodek in support of reforming the industry, but allowing all concerned parties to come to the table to discuss a solution. 34. Mr. Roberto Puente, 927 NE 199 Street, NMB, opposed the Ambassador Cabs Program, and reminded Board members that people are ambassadors, not equipment; noted that the Crown Victoria was no longer produced by Ford; suggested the County train drivers to be good ambassadors when they apply for the Hack license, and use the training model used in London, England. 35. Mr. Joseph Bessard, American Association for Taxicabs, 6700 NW 27 Ave, opposed the penalties stated in Agenda 1F2 for two violations of the Ambassador Cabs Program, since many taxicab drivers work at the airport and seaport. 36. Mr. Dieufils Desir, representing New Vision Tax Drivers Association, 16030 Miami Drive, NMB, spoke through certified Haitian interpreter Fabie Bodek in opposition to the ordinances of Agenda Items 1F1 and 1F2, noting neither were fair to the taxicab industry; neither provided a process for appealing the tickets, and both placed drivers at risk of losing their livelihood. 37. Mr. Niaz Mohammed, 17922 SW 145 Avenue, opposed the penalties in this ordinance and urged the Board to allow taxicab drivers to obtain an affordable permit. 38. Mr. Jackson Rip Holmes, 915 Palermo Avenue, Coral Gables, supported both ordinances; and the countywide ambassador services; urged the Board to allow drivers to purchase former police cars for taxicab vehicles because they were more durable. 39. Mr. Raymond Francois, Director, New Vision Taxi Drivers Association, 11970 NE 16 Ave, opposed both ordinances and the Ambassador Cabs Program. 40. Mr. Diego Feliciano, President, South Florida Taxicab Association, 3111 NW 27 Ave, noted the required credit card equipment was too expensive for taxicab drivers; attempts were made in previous ordinances to implement a credit card processing system, but were voted down; supported newer technologies, but not the Mayor’s ordinance because no funding existed to pay for it. 41. Mr. Brock Rosayn, President, Metro Taxi of Palm Bch, 1587 SW 4 Ave, Delray Beach supported restoring use of the Ford Crown Victoria as a taxicab because the frames were stronger and safer than the newer, smaller hybrid vehicles required by this ordinance. 42. Mr. Terry Eisenberg, 3600 NW 37 Court, suggested the Committee defer these ordinances and pass Commissioner Zapata’s ordinance, increase the meter rates and enforcement, and then everything else would fall in place. He noted the work and service of taxicab drivers has not been portrayed accurately in the media. 43. Mr. Bill Talbert, President/CEO, GMCVB 701 Brickell, spoke on behalf of 14 local business organizations in support of Items 1F1 and 1F2 for an Ambassador Cabs Program at MIA and the PortMiami; noted 1F2 would help to accomplish the County’s goal to have a ‘world class’ transportation system for a world class destination. 44. Mr. Syed Quadri, 7946 Highsmith Court, Lake Worth, opposed all of the ordinances presented today; said they were unfair, not needed, not inclusive of all respective parties and would choke out the poor working class. 45. Ms. Lise Registre, 18928 NW 63 Court Circle, Hialeah, supported Commissioner Zapata’s ordinance, but opposed the ordinance requiring hybrid vehicles. She urged the Board to allow continual use of the Ford Crown Victoria as a taxicab vehicle. 46. Mr. Miguel Lantigua, 12304 SW 122 Street, representing New Vision Taxi Drivers Association, opposed this ordinance, but spoke in support of real reform for the taxicab industry and the medallion system that would be beneficial to the taxicab drivers. 47. Ms. Wendy Kallergis, President/CEO, Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association, 1674 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, supported the ordinances, especially the Ambassador Cabs Program; and offered to assist the taxicab drivers/industry in this process. 48. Ms. Alyce Robertson, Executive Director, Miami Downtown Development Authority, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd, supported the ordinances and the goal to provide a world class destination for 14 million tourists that visit the County each year. 49. Ms. Susan Fried, 1875 NE 197 Terrace, opposed these ordinances and pointed out that 14 million tourists visited Miami last year despite the poor condition of the County’s taxicab industry. Chairman Moss closed the public hearing, after no one else appeared to speak. Vice Chair Barreiro noted he supported these ordinances in part and supported Agenda Item 1F2 as the template for the countywide ambassador cab services. He noted the issue with using police and government vehicles as taxicabs was the age of the vehicle, and not the model, and said he agreed with using newer models. However, he disagreed with the permanent revocation penalty for two or more violations and said he could support a five year suspension instead. He also noted he supported the proposed credit card processing system in Commissioner Zapata’s ordinance and the required technology upgrades for a Global Positioning System (GPS) and digital security camera equipment, but with a thirty (30) month timeframe to comply. Responding to Vice Chair Barreiro’s inquiry regarding the necessity of the GPS, Mr. Mora noted GPS was necessary for digital dispatch technology because it was designed to interface with the digital dispatch service companies; however, drivers may not need to purchase it separately since most credit card processing devices come with a GPS in it. Commissioner Bovo noted he supported both ordinances (Agenda Items 1F1 and 1F2) and was prepared to offer a motion to move them forward. In response to Chairman Moss’ inquiry regarding the type of vehicles NYC acquired for its current taxicab fleet and what were the vehicle age requirements there, Mr. Mora noted NYC’s taxicab fleet included the Prius, the Ford Escape and a Nissan model and it’s vehicle age requirements were: in brand new and out by 3 years old for fleet vehicles, and in brand new and out by 5 years old for vehicles owned by a driver. In response to Chairman Moss’ request for clarification on the penalty provisions in the countywide ordinance, Ms. Theresa Therilus, Legal Advisor for the RER Department, noted the penalties were the same in both ordinances except for refusal of service, for which this ordinance required a 30 day suspension for one violation, a 60 day suspension for two violations, and removal from the program for a violation thereafter. Mr. Mora clarified that under the countywide ordinance, a driver could acquire several violations without incurring any penalties, unless it was for a specific violation such as refusal to provide service, and a driver with three violations for refusal of service would be removed from the program. Commissioner Moss asked staff to explain the difference in the penalties of the two ordinances -the countywide services and the Ambassador Cabs Program under Agenda Item 1F2. Ms. Therilus explained that under the Ambassador Cabs Program (Agenda Item 1F2), a chauffeur would not be permitted to transport passengers to/from Miami International Airport (MIA) or the Port Miami for one year, if they received two citations for refusal of service, but could reapply to participate in the Program after one year; whereas, under the countywide ordinance, a chauffeur found guilty of committing two violations of refusal of service would be suspended for 60 days. Chairman Moss asked what type of violations would result in a permanent revocation and removal from the Ambassador Cabs program. Mr. Mora explained that under the Ambassador Cabs Program, a chauffeur would be removed one year from the Program for committing any two violations of Chapter 31 or one violation of overcharging or refusal of service to transport, but could reapply to participate in the Program after one year; however, the Chauffer could still continue to operate as a countywide taxicab, outside the airport and seaport. Chairman Moss noted, while on county business in the City of San Diego, he made it a point to use the City’s taxicab services and noticed a difference in the standards for its airport cabs versus its community cabs working outside the airport. He commented that the Committee had talked about potentially increasing the taxicab fares with an objective of providing taxicab drivers additional revenues to help offset some of the costs of the required technology. He asked if this issue had been addressed by RER. Mr. Mora noted both foregoing ordinances contained a provision requiring RER’s staff to come back to the Board with a resolution for a fare increase to help offset the cost of the technology requirements. Chairman Moss pointed out that even with a fare increase, the County had no way of controlling the revenues that the drivers would receive to help them pay for the equipment costs. Mr. Mora agreed that the County had no control over the lease agreements, but said the fares are collected by the drivers. He noted the resolution for a fare increase could possibly include adding a surcharge that would be strictly used for purchasing the required technology equipment within the compliance timeframes. Chairman Moss asked Mr. Mora if he had spoken with the representatives of Verifone or any other credit card company about installing the required equipment in taxicabs at no cost to the drivers. Mr. Mora noted most of these companies were willing to install the credit card processing devices in the backseat of the taxicab vehicles at no cost to the driver, since the companies earned their revenues from the processing fees. Chairman Moss said he felt the County needed to be more aggressive and responsible in reforming its taxicab industry, without overburdening the drivers in the process. He suggested sending legislation to the State Legislature urging them to reconsider their policies on regulating the medallion lease prices. He expressed concern for fairness and equity in this process, and said he would support the ordinance because it needed to move forward, but he would like to continue looking at these issues in order to lessen the burden on the drivers. Assistant County Attorney Gerald Sanchez noted the amendments proffered by Commissioner Bovo were as follows: 1) to provide a discount for cash payments as provided for in Commissioner Zapata’s ordinance; 2) to allow utilization of police cars as taxicab vehicles; and 3) to change the penalty provision for a third violation of failure to discharge or refusal to transport, from a permanent revocation to a five year suspension. Discussion ensured between members of the Committee and staff regarding the proposed amendments, and the rationale for barring the use of former police cars as taxicab vehicles if in good condition. Mr. Mora noted the purpose was to improve the appearance of the fleet. Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt noted one of the issues regarding the police vehicles was their large interceptive engines that met certain performance standards, but did not get good gas millage, and it would compromise the need discussed to reduce the drivers operating costs. Chairman Moss inquired about the amendment allowing former police cars to be used as taxicab vehicles since concern was expressed about the performance of the older models. He asked if the amendment would apply to the police vehicles that had passed inspection and were found to be in good condition. Commissioner Bovo noted he had no problems allowing them if passengers felt safer in a larger vehicle, as long as they were inspected for safety by the RER Department. He noted the ultimate goal was to ensure the passenger had a positive experience and felt safe. Commissioner Barreiro noted he opposed the provision that totally prohibited using police vehicles as taxicabs and would support eliminating it. He said he did not want to discriminate against police cars since some were good performing cars, noting other high performance cars such as the Ford Crown Victoria were converted to street vehicles and were gas guzzlers too. Commissioner Bovo noted he was primarily concerned with the other two amendments than with the vehicle model/age requirement amendment, and said he could forego it in order to move these ordinances forward. In response to Chairman Moss inquiry of whether the amendment should remain, Commissioner Barreiro said he would like it to remain. It was moved by Commissioner Bovo that the foregoing proposed ordinance in Agenda Item 1F1 be forwarded to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation with the following committee amendment(s): -to add a provision under Sec. 31-89(c) (1), handwritten page 6, entitled, “Credit Card Processing System” that mirrored the ordinance language in Agenda Item 1F5, sponsored by Commissioner Zapata, which offered a discount in taxicab fares or rates where payment is made by cash, check or other means not involving the use of a credit card, as permitted by section 501.0115, Florida Statutes; -to delete the words ‘police vehicle’ from Sec. 31-89(f) (1) on handwritten page 9, in order to permit the use of police vehicles as taxicabs; and -to change the penalty provision on handwritten page 8 for an operator or chauffeur that commits a third violation of Section 21-82(j)(12), 31-303(i)(4) or 31-304(10) or any combination thereof, such person’s chauffeur’s registration shall be automatically suspended for five years, rather than be permanently revoked and ineligible for a chauffeur’s registration in the future. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Barreiro, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 3-0; (Commissioner Monestime was absent). Mr. Sanchez noted the third amendment would not apply to the ordinance in Agenda Item 1F2. It was moved by Commissioner Bovo that the foregoing proposed ordinance in Agenda Item 1F2 be forwarded to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s): -to add a provision under Sec. 31-93 (1), handwritten page 7, entitled, “Credit Card Processing System”, that mirrored the ordinance language in Agenda Item 1F, sponsored by Commissioner Zapata, which offers a discount in taxicab fares or rates where payment is made by cash, check or other means not involving the use of a credit card, as permitted by section 501.0115, Florida; and -to delete the words ‘police vehicle’ from the Sec. 31-93(b) (8), on handwritten page 9, entitled, “Vehicle Age Requirements and Standards”, in order to permit the use of police vehicles as taxicabs. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Barreiro, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 3-0; (Commissioner Monestime was absent).

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE RELATING TO FOR-HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES; AMENDING CHAPTER 31 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, ESTABLISHING TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS FOR TAXICABS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS, GLOBAL POSITIONING DISPATCH SYSTEMS, SUNPASS DEVICES, DIGITAL SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS, TOP LIGHTS AND WARNING LIGHTS; AMENDING VEHICLE AGE REQUIREMENTS AND STANDARDS; ESTABLISHING ADDITIONAL STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR CHAUFFEURS OPERATING TAXICABS; ESTABLISHING REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS AND PROVIDERS; EMPOWERING DEPARTMENT OF REGULATORY AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES TO APPROVE CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SYSTEMS; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO TAXICAB FARES; 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. Chapter 31 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
CHAPTER 31
VEHICLES FOR HIRE
ARTICLE II. LICENSING AND REGULATION OF FOR HIRE MOTOR VEHICLES
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Sec. 31-89. Vehicle Standards.
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(c) [[Reserved.]]>>Required Technology. Beginning twenty-four (24) months of the effective date of this ordinance, any taxicab that picks up passengers in Miami Dade County shall be required to have the following required technology:

(1) Credit Card Processing System. Each taxicab shall be equipped with an operable back of seat credit card processing system.
(i) The credit card processing system shall allow the passenger to utilize his or her credit card in the rear compartment of the taxicab without handing the card to the chauffeur. Said equipment shall list tips, fares, tolls and fees separately. The credit card payment display terminal shall be interfaced with the vehicle’s taxi meter and shall be programmed to display all authorized meter and flat fare rates. The meter shall be used for all fares, including flat fare trips. A taxicab equipped with a credit card processing system shall not pick up passengers when the required credit card processing system is not operational. Operational failure of said system shall require the immediate vehicle removal from service until said equipment is repaired and re-inspected at the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources Vehicle Inspection Facility;
(ii) No credit card processing fee, convenience fee, equipment rental fee or any other additional fees or charges are to be paid by the passenger when using a credit card to pay the fare. A receipt shall be provided for all trips. All customer receipts shall be generated by a taximeter or other electronic device and shall contain the date and time that the trip starts, the time the trip ends, and total distance traveled. The receipt shall also include the fare charged, the name and telephone number of the passenger service company, the operating permit number, the chauffeur registration number, and the telephone number and e-mail address for filing complaints with the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources. Chauffeurs shall be prohibited from refusing to accept payment by a credit card;
(iii) Any and all credit card service providers shall utilize a paycard or direct deposit system and establish an account directly with each chauffeur that provides for electronic payments. Payments for taxicab fares shall be credited to a chauffeur's paycard or bank account within two (2) business days. Only credit card processing systems approved by the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources may be utilized in taxicabs. The processing of credit card payments shall comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard;<<
>> (iv) The County Commission shall adopt a resolution within one hundred and fifty (150) days after the effective date of this ordinance which offers a discount in taxicab fares or rates where payment is made by cash, check or other means not involving the use of a credit card as permitted by section 501.0117, Florida Statutes. Within ninety days (90) days from the effective date of this ordinance, the Mayor shall prepare a fare resolution pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-87 which shall offer a discount in taxicab fares or rates where payment is made by cash, check or other means not involving the use of a credit card. The discount shall be offered to all prospective passengers. The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources shall consult with the industry and any existing taxicab advisory group prior to completing the fare resolution required by this subsection.<<
(2) Global Positioning Dispatch System. Taxicabs must be integrated with a global positioning dispatch system capable of determining the location of each taxicab utilizing the system twenty-four (24) hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five (365) days a year. All taxicabs shall have a mobile two-way radio or electronic dispatch system, installed and operating properly that is connected to and subscribed to by a passenger service company that has a fixed-base call center operated twenty-four (24) hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five (365) days a year. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the requirements of this subsection shall not take effect until thirty (30) months after the effective date of this ordinance;
(3) SunPass Device. Taxicabs picking up passengers must have and utilize a SunPass device where the toll is fixed. Where the “SunPass Only” or “SunPass Express” toll is not fixed, the chauffeur shall determine whether the passenger desires to use the “SunPass Only” or “SunPass Express” lane and comply with the wishes of the passenger;
(4) Digital Security Camera System. Taxicabs shall have an operable digital security camera system in accordance with the requirements stated in Chapter 31, Section 31-82(o)(7)(iii) of the Code of Miami-Dade County. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the requirements of this subsection shall not take effect until thirty (30) months after the effective date of this ordinance;
(5) Warning Lights. Taxicabs shall be equipped with operable warning lights, in accordance with the requirements stated in Chapter 31-82(o)(7)(v) of the Code of Miami-Dade County for the purpose of advising others and law enforcement agents that an emergency situation exists within the vehicle. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the requirements of this subsection shall not take effect until thirty (30) months after the effective date of this ordinance;
(6) Top Lights. Taxicabs shall be equipped with a “vacant” light attached to the top of the roof or to the top of the dome light. Such light unit shall be connected to a contact switch attached to the taximeter, and such contact switch shall operate automatically to illuminate the “vacant” light when the taximeter is not in operation, indicating the cab is vacant and for hire, and to extinguish such light when the taximeter is in operation. No person shall drive or operate any taxicab with such a light illuminated when such taxicab is transporting a passenger. Such top light must utilize equipment with the requisite wattage to ensure that the top light is visible to passengers and the public from a reasonable distance.
All taxicabs shall be inspected by the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources and shall receive and be required to display a decal issued by Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources demonstrating compliance with technology requirements.
* * *
(f) Taxicab vehicle age limits and inspection schedules. >>Twenty-four (24) months after the effective date of this ordinance, t<<[[T]]axicab vehicle age limits and frequency of for-hire inspections are as follows provided, however, that the [[CSD]]>>Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources<< may inspect a for-hire vehicle at any time. Any vehicle initially placed into service, shall not have been previously used as a taxicab, [[police vehicle,]] >>or have a “rebuilt” or “salvage” title<< and shall be no greater than [[five (5)]] >>three (3)<< model years of age. Any vehicle over [[eight (8)]]>>six (6) model<< years of age shall not be operated as a taxicab. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any taxicab:
(1) [[Twelve (12) through fifteen (15) model years of age as of the effective date of this ordinance, which is being used as a taxicab in Miami-Dade County on the effective date of this ordinance, may continue to be operated until May 1, 1999;]] >>That operates as a Wheelchair Accessible Cab initially placed into service shall not have been previously used as a taxicab<<[[police vehicle,]]>>or have a “rebuilt” or “salvage” title and shall be no greater than three (3) model years of age. Any vehicle over eight (8) model years of age shall not operate as a Wheelchair Accessible Cab;<<

(2) [[Nine (9) through eleven (11) model years of age on the effective date of this ordinance, which is being used as a taxicab in Miami-Dade County on the effective date of this ordinance, may continue to be operated until May 1, 2000; and]]>>that is initially placed in service within twenty-four (24) months of the effective date of this ordinance, may continue to operate until the taxicab has reached eight (8) model years of age. At the expiration of eight (8) model years, each taxicab shall be required to adhere to the vehicle age requirements mandated by this subsection.<<

[[(3) [[Six (6) through eight (8) model years of age on the effective date of this ordinance, which is being used as a taxicab in Miami-Dade County on the effective date of this ordinance, may continue to be operated until December 31, 2000.
The grace period provided for in the preceding sentence shall not apply to taxicabs operated pursuant to the random selection process implemented after the adoption of this ordinance.]] Taxicabs shall minimally meet the following inspection schedule:
(1) Taxicabs 1 through 2 model years of age shall be inspected annually;
(2) Taxicabs 3-through 3 model years of age shall be inspected semi-annually;
(3) Taxicabs 5 model years of age or more shall be inspected quarterly.
* * *
>>(h) The County Commission shall, as deemed appropriate, adopt within (12) twelve months of the effective date of this ordinance a fare increase pursuant to the provisions of section 31-87 in light of the additional technology requirements mandated by subsection 31-89(c).<<
* * *
Sec. 31-92. Violations; penalties.

(a) In addition to any other penalties provided by law, including but not limited to those provided in this article, a violation of any applicable provision of this article by a for-hire license holder, registered passenger service company or registered chauffeur shall constitute a civil offense punishable by the applicable civil penalty as provided in the schedule of civil penalties in Section 8CC-10 of this Code. Failure of a person to pay a civil penalty within sixty (60) days of the due date for paying such fine as specified on the civil violation notice or within sixty (60) days of the date of the final outcome of any timely filed appeal of such violation notice, whichever is later, shall result in automatic suspension of such person's for-hire license, passenger service company registration, operating permit and chauffeur registration and all for-hire operations shall cease until such fine is paid in full. If a person commits five (5) violations of the same section of this chapter during any twelve-month period, such person's for-hire license, passenger service company registration, operating permit or chauffeur's registration shall be automatically revoked. If a person commits five (5) violations of this chapter during any twelve-month period, such person's for-hire license, passenger service company registration, operating permit or chauffeur's registration may be suspended for a period of up to six (6) months or revoked. [[Provided however, if a person commits three (3) violations of Section 31-82(j)(12) or 31-303(i)(4) or any combination thereof during any twelve-month period, such person's for-hire license, operating permit or chauffeur's registration may be suspended for a period of up to six (6) months or revoked.]] Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, if a person commits two (2) violations of Section 31-303(i)(23), such person's chauffeur's registration may be suspended for a period of up to six (6) months or revoked. >>Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary: (i) if a person commits one (1) violation of Section 31-82(j)(12), 31-303(i)(4) or 31-304(10), such person's chauffeur's registration shall automatically be suspended for a period of thirty (30) days; (ii) if a person commits a second violation of Section 31-82(j)(12), 31-303(i)(4) or 31-304(10) or any combination thereof, such person's chauffeur registration shall automatically be suspended for a period of sixty (60) days; and (iii) if a person commits a third violation of Section 31-82(j)(12), 31-303(i)(4) or 31-304(10) or any combination thereof, such person's chauffeur’s registration shall be<<>>automatically suspended for a period of five (5) years<<[[automatically and permanently revoked, and such person shall not be eligible for a chauffeur's registration in the future]].

* * *

ARTICLE V. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
* * *

Sec. 31-304. Chauffeur's registration – Additional taxicab requirements.

Each chauffeur shall:

* * *

>>(6) Have and utilize a SunPass device where the toll is fixed as mandated by 31-89(c). Where the “SunPass Only” or “SunPass Express” toll is not fixed, the chauffeur shall determine whether the passenger desires to use the “SunPass Only” or “SunPass Express” lane and comply with the wishes of the passenger;

(7) Open doors for passengers;

(8) Load and unload luggage, unless otherwise instructed by the passenger;

(9) Be prohibited from refusing to accept payment by a credit card if a credit card processing system is required; and

(10) Not discharge a passenger prior to reaching the passenger’s requested destination.<<

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

>>31-89(c) Violation of Section $250.00
31.89(c) Mandating
Required Technology


31-304(6)-(9) Taxicab Chauffeur $250.00<<
Standards Violation

31-304(10) Failure to Discharge $500.00<<
at Requested Location

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.

Date:

To: Honorable Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa
and Members, Board of County Commissioners

From: Carlos A. Gimenez
Mayor

Subject: Ordinance Relating to Taxicab Technology/Vehicle Standards and Chauffeur Requirements


This item was amended at the Transportation and Aviation Committee meeting on November 13, 2013 as follows: (1) delete the words ‘police vehicle’ from Section 31-89(f) in order to permit the use of police vehicles as taxicabs; (2) add language which mirrors the ordinance language in Legistar Number 131883, sponsored by Commissioner Zapata, which offered a discount in taxicab fares or rates where payment is made by cash, check or other means not involving the use of a credit card, as permitted by section 501.0115, Florida Statutes; and (3) change the penalty provision for an operator or chauffeur that commits a third violation of Section 21-82(j)(12), 31-303(i)(4) or 31-304(10) or any combination thereof, such person’s chauffeur’s registration shall be automatically suspended for five years, rather than be permanently revoked and ineligible for a chauffeur’s registration in the future.

Recommendation
It is recommended that the Board of County Commissioners (Board) approve the attached ordinance amending Chapter 31, Article II of the Code of Miami-Dade County (Code) relating to taxicab vehicle standards and chauffeur requirements.

Scope
The ordinance applies countywide to any taxicab picking up passengers in Miami-Dade County.

Fiscal Impact/Funding Source
Licensing, operating permit and inspection fees are collected by the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) to support regulatory functions. Taxicabs will be inspected to ensure compliance with the new vehicle standards. Vehicle inspection fees are $70 per vehicle for new inspections and $38 per quarterly, semi-annual and annual vehicle inspections.

Track Record/Monitor
The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources For-hire Division Chief Joe Mora will be responsible for monitoring ordinance compliance.

Background
Under separate cover, the Board has been presented with an Ambassador Cab program proposal mandating certain technology and vehicle standards and chauffer requirements for cabs picking up passengers at Miami International Airport and PortMiami. The attached ordinance implements those standards on a countywide basis under a longer phase-in period.

The proposed ordinance requires all taxicabs servicing Miami Dade County to be equipped with credit card technology within twenty-four (24) months of ordinance adoption. The new technology must have credit card acceptance via a passenger terminal located in the rear seat compartment which affords passengers the ability to pay the fare with the convenience and privacy of the backseat of the taxicab. Chauffeurs will be prohibited from imposing passengers with a credit card handling fee, processing fee, convenience fee, or other additional processing fees. SunPass transponders and top lights will also be required within twenty-four (24) months of ordinance adoption.

Thirty (30) months from the effective date of the ordinance, all taxicabs must be integrated with a global positioning dispatch system capable of determining the location of each taxicab utilizing the system twenty-four (24) hours a day, 365 days a year. Moreover, a digital security camera system and warning lights will be required.

With the purpose of improving the overall condition and appearance of the County’s taxicab fleet, this amendment proposes an entry vehicle age of three (3) model years of age and a maximum of six (6) model years of age. Wheelchair accessible cabs will be allowed to operate until they turn eight (8) model years of age.

In light of the additional technology requirements and to assist in defraying these costs, the ordinance provides that the Board shall, as deemed appropriate, adopt a taxicab fare increase within twelve (12) months of the effective date of this ordinance. The Board adopted their last fare increase in October 2005.

The proposed ordinance also amends Code provisions governing taxicab chauffeur requirements. Chauffeurs will be required to utilize a Sun Pass transponder, open doors for passengers, and load and unload luggage. In addition to the above, chauffeurs will be prohibited from refusing to accept payment by a credit card and from discharging a passenger prior to reaching the passenger’s requested destination. Furthermore, the ordinance imposes stricter penalties for refusal and discharging passengers prior to reaching the passengers’ requested destination, including a 30-day suspension after first violation, 60-day suspension after a second violation and an automatic and permanent revocation of the chauffeur’s registration after a third violation.





______________________________
Jack Osterholt, Deputy Mayor
Honorable Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa
and Members, Board of County Commissioners
Page 2




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