Freehold Borough officials address regulations for taxis, limousines


FREEHOLD – Following complaints concerning the use of taxi cabs and limousines in Freehold Borough, the Borough Council has adopted an ordinance amending the municipality’s taxi cab ordinance to create new definitions and regulations for the transportation designations.

On Dec. 17, council members adopted the ordinance after borough representatives met with taxi and limousine owners and operators to discuss taxi regulations, enforcement and safety issues.

The ordinance states that the meeting and subsequent revisions were the result of numerous complaints from taxi owners and the public regarding the operations of taxi cabs and limousines operating as taxi cabs in the borough.

The ordinance states that a significant number of residents rely on taxis for transportation to shopping, medical appointments and for other basic needs.

Under the revisions, a limousine is defined as any automobile or motor car used in the business of carrying passengers for hire to provide prearranged transportation at a premium fare … that is not conducted on a regular route and with a seating capacity of no more than 14 passengers.

Vehicles used as limousines must be certified by the manufacturer of the original vehicle and, if applicable, the second stage manufacturer to conform to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

According to the ordinance, limousines are not taxicabs, hotel buses, buses employed only to transport school children or teachers, vehicles owned and operated directly or indirectly by a business engaged in the practice of mortuary science when used exclusively for providing transportation related to the provision of funeral services, autobuses subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation and interstate autobuses required to carry insurance against loss from liability imposed by law on account of bodily injury or death.

To establish a distinction between limousines and taxis, the ordinance defines a taxi as any automobile or motorcar engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire, which is held out, announced or advertised to operate or run, or operated or run over any of the streets or public highways in the state, and accepts and discharges passengers while offering themselves for transportation from points or places to points or places within or out of the state.

Individuals may not operate a limousine in the borough unless the limousine has been registered with the municipal clerk, has provided proof of insurance and has paid a $50 filing fee.

Individuals are not permitted to operate a vehicle registered as a limousine in the same fashion as a taxi and therefore are prohibited from cruising in or around bus stops to solicit or engage passengers. Limousines are only allowed to transport passengers who have pre-arranged a trip and are paying a minimum fare of $50 for a one-way trip or a round trip.

A limousine may not drive in the borough without passengers unless the operator is picking up passengers, receiving maintenance or returning to where the vehicle is normally stationed after transporting passengers on a pre-arranged trip, according to the ordinance.