20.90.02.16

.16 Taxicabs and Equipment.

A. Identification of Taxicab.

(1) Every company, partnership, association, or individual operating one or more taxicabs under permits issued by the Public Service Commission shall have the full name of the owner of each taxicab for which a permit has been issued, permanently painted on one door on each side of the taxicab in letters at least 2-1/2 inches high. The word "Taxicab", "Taxi", or "Cab" shall also appear conspicuously on the vehicle. Every company, partnership, association, or individual operating five or more taxicabs under permits issued by the Public Service Commission may adopt and employ a distinctive color scheme or insignia which shall be approved by and registered with the Public Service Commission. An owner of a taxicab may not paint the vehicle or vehicles to so closely resemble the distinctive color scheme or insignia of other taxicabs as to mislead the public as to the identity of the owner.

(2) The number by which a taxicab is identified shall also be prominently displayed both inside and outside in numerals at least 4 inches high and color contrasted so as to be readable.

(3) It shall be the obligation of an owner when withdrawing a taxicab from service to obliterate all markings identifying the vehicle as a taxicab.

(4) In a contrasting color, every wheelchair accessible vehicle used for the transportation of wheelchair users shall display the international symbol of accessibility in a clearly visible position on the rear of the vehicle and on the front of the vehicle in a position other than on the windshield.

B. Type of Vehicle to be Used. Every vehicle used as a taxicab, for which a permit is issued or renewed, shall be a van or four door vehicle type, approved by the Public Service Commission.

C. Physical and Mechanical Condition. All taxicabs operating under the Public Service Commission's permits shall at all times be kept in proper physical and mechanical condition to render safe, adequate, and convenient public service in accordance with Maryland Law. Failure to keep a taxicab in proper condition shall be sufficient ground for the revocation or suspension of the permit.

D. Vehicle Replacements. A motor vehicle that is 10 model years old or older may not be used as a taxicab.

E. Permissible and Prohibited Equipment.

(1) Permissible Equipment. The following equipment may be installed in or on a taxicab:

(a) Two-way communication radios used between dispatchers employed by the companies or operating associations to service their radio systems and drivers; and

(b) Smart phones, tablets, computers, or other electronic devices used for taximeter, dispatch, payment, or navigation functions in accordance with Maryland law.

(2) Prohibited Equipment. The following equipment may not be installed in or on taxicabs:

(a) All other two-way communication devices not otherwise permitted;

(b) All other one-way communication devices not otherwise permitted, such as radio contact signal ("beepers");

(c) Commercial advertising, except as permitted by the Public Service Commission; and

(d) All other equipment, not otherwise permitted, which, in the opinion of the Public Service Commission, is not reasonably useful in the furnishing of safe, adequate, and convenient taxicab service.

F. Lights. In addition to the outside lights prescribed by law, every taxicab operating under permit issued by the Public Service Commission shall be equipped with a dome light within the passenger compartment of the vehicle, capable of being lighted or extinguished by the passenger or controlled by operation of the doors.

G. Taximeter.

(1) General Requirements.

(a) All taxicabs operating under permit issued by the Public Service Commission shall be equipped with a taximeter of a make and design satisfactory to the Public Service Commission.

(b) A taximeter may be:

(i) A mechanical or digital device that calculates distances traveled by a physical connection to the transmission or speedometer cable of a taxicab; or

(ii) Another device the Public Service Commission approves for measuring the charges for service.

(c) A person may not operate a taxicab, or permit one to be operated, unless the taximeter has been first inspected, tested, and approved by a representative of the Public Service Commission.

(d) A person may not operate, or permit to be operated, a taxicab equipped with a taximeter not having its case sealed and intact, or without another device the Public Service Commission approves for measuring the charges for service, and which has received Public Service Commission certification of calibration.

(2) Periodic tests of taximeters will be made by representatives of the Public Service Commission. The interval between tests may not exceed 12 months, unless exceptional circumstances, in the discretion of the Public Service Commission, require variation from that interval. A meter with an error in registration not exceeding 3 percent will be considered correct.

(3) Except as otherwise specified, the requirements for approval, and methods of testing, of taximeters shall conform to "Specifications and Tolerances of Taximeters" as set out in the National Bureau of Standards Handbook.

(4) Multiple tariff meters may not be used.

(5) Calculation of Distance.

(a) Except as provided in §G(5)(b) and (c) of this regulation, a taximeter shall be mounted and connected to the transmission or speedometer cable of a taxicab in an approved manner.

(b) Another device approved by the Public Service Commission to measure charges for service may not be required to mount or connect the taximeter to the transmission or speedometer cable of the taxicab.

(c) The Public Service Commission may authorize a flat rate fare between specified locations that is not calculated by a taximeter.

H. Sanitary Condition. Every taxicab shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.

I. Inspection.

(1) At the discretion of the Public Service Commission, an owner of a motor vehicle shall present the motor vehicle for inspection by a Commission representative.

(2) Upon presenting proper identification, the Public Service Commission or its representative may enter a motor vehicle for the purpose of inspecting the vehicle, vehicle equipment, or records of the carrier.

(3) A representative of the Public Service Commission, after inspection and a determination that a motor vehicle does not comply with the requirements of this chapter, may require:

(a) The repair or replacement of the motor vehicle;

(b) That the motor vehicle be removed from service pending the repair or replacement; or

(c) That an owner of a taxicab, which has been removed from service for repair, provide evidence of the repair.

(4) The Public Service Commission may require an owner of a taxicab to provide an inspection certificate from a facility licensed by the State to perform motor vehicle inspections.

J. Partition.

(1) A Baltimore City taxicab may be equipped with an approved partition separating the driver from the backseat passenger compartment, or an approved video monitoring system.

(2) The partition shall be transparent and constructed of material approved by the Public Service Commission.

K. Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.

(1) Every wheelchair accessible vehicle used for the transportation of wheelchair users shall be equipped with wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility aid securement devices that limit the forward, backward, rotational, lateral, and vertical motion of every wheelchair in the vehicle at the points of contact of the wheelchair with the vehicle while the vehicle is in normal operation.

(2) For the purpose of §K(1) of this regulation, normal operation includes full throttle acceleration and maximum braking and cornering.

(3) Every wheelchair, scooter or other mobility aid securement device in a wheelchair accessible vehicle shall:

(a) Be securely anchored to the vehicle;

(b) Include retractable, self-tensioning belts and straps; and

(c) Be capable of withstanding a load in any direction of not less than 2,500 pounds for a period of 10 seconds.

(4) Where more than one wheelchair securement device is used to secure a wheelchair in an accessible vehicle, §K(3)(b)of this regulation applies to the combination of devices used and not to each single device.

(5) Every designated wheelchair position in a wheelchair accessible vehicle shall be equipped with an occupant restraint assembly:

(a) Securely anchored to the vehicle; or

(b) Capable of securing a wheelchair occupant to the wheelchair by encircling both the occupant and wheelchair.

(6) The slope of an external boarding ramp may not exceed:

(a) 1 in 14 for unassisted access;

(b) 1 in 8 for unassisted access where the ramp length is less than 1520 mm/60 inches; and

(c) 1 in 4 for assisted access.

(7) External boarding ramp flooring shall have an anti-skid surface having a static coefficient of friction on wet and dry ramp surfaces not less than 0.5.

(8) An external boarding ramp shall operate in all weather conditions.

(9) External boarding ramp side barriers shall automatically swing up to prevent wheelchair run-off during use.

(10) An external boarding ramp shall provide white center stripe for wheelchair guidance.

(11) External boarding ramps shall also be secured by means other than a support or lug in the door while the vehicle is operated on a highway.

(12) Every power lift used on a wheelchair accessible vehicle shall:

(a) Have a skid resistant platform surface;

(b) Have the sides of the platform fitted with guards extending the full length on each side and of sufficient height to prevent a wheelchair from rolling off the platform during vertical operation of the lift;

(c) Have a retractable lip on the outer edge of the platform of sufficient height to prevent a wheelchair from rolling off the platform during vertical operation of the lift;

(d) Be secured by means other than a support or lug in the door while the vehicle is operated on a highway;

(e) Be capable of raising and lowering a minimum weight of 606 pounds;

(f) Shall include a handrail on the lift;

(g) Shall include a manual backup pump that shall be incorporated with the lift;

(h) Shall incorporate an electrical automatic circuit breaker to isolate the hoist electrical system from the vehicle's electrical system to reduce the likelihood of fire; and

(i) Where hoist controls are mounted inside the accessible vehicle in a position accessible to the passenger system, shall incorporate an isolation switch to avoid inadvertent operation of the hoist.

(13) A boarding device shall be able to support a total weight of up to 660 pounds at mid-span and be clearly labeled with the maximum load that it can carry, both on the boarding device and next to the accessible entrance on the outside of the conveyance.

(14) The minimum allocated space for a single wheelchair or similar mobility aid shall be 800 mm/31.5 inches by 1300 mm/51.2 inches.

(15) At least one allocated space shall be provided in each wheelchair accessible vehicle.

(16) The minimum head room in an allocated space shall be 1500 mm/59 inches.

(17) Automatic or Power-Assisted Doors.

(a) Doors may be fully automatic.

(b) Power-assisted doors may not require passengers to grip or twist controls in order to operate opening devices.

(c) Operators may provide equivalent access to conveyances by opening manual doors for people with disabilities.

(18) The passenger access and seating area:

(a) Shall be equipped with an interior mirror designed to provide the driver with a view of the passengers;

(b) Shall be equipped with lights arranged to illuminate all of the interior of the vehicle that shall be constantly lit during the loading or unloading of passengers;

(c) Shall be equipped with a light above or beside each passenger access door to illuminate the loading equipment or step nosings, as the case may be, and such lights shall be constantly lit during the loading or unloading of passengers;

(d) Shall be equipped with a means of securing in the open position each passenger access door that could be subject to unintentional closing during the loading or unloading of passengers;

(e) Shall have an interior that is free of any sharp projections that may constitute a hazard to passengers and is free of any item, object, or otherwise (i.e., spare tires, folded seats) that protrudes into the interior space;

(f) Shall have mats permanently bonded to the floor, in the aisle and on the steps;

(g) Shall have yellow or white step nosings;

(h) Shall have the capability to transfer a reduced mobility rider from the curb to the taxicab (i.e., via a turn-out seat);

(i) Shall provide strategic placement of bright yellow easy-to-grab handrails and stanchions to assist limited mobility riders;

(j) Shall provide nonslip floor covering;

(k) Shall provide clearly marked seat edges;

(l) Shall provide contrasting delineation of any gap for passing money through a screen, if applicable;

(m) Shall provide strong illumination of roof sign with clear indication of wheelchair accessibility;

(n) Shall have the capacity to allow access to, and to carry, at least one person using a wheelchair, scooter, or other large (ride-on) mobility aid within its allocated passenger space; and

(o) Shall have provision for the rapid release of each wheelchair or other mobility aid and its occupant in the case of an accident or emergency.