CITY OF BOSTON IN CITY COUNCIL

ORDINANCE OF COUNCILLOR SALERNO

AN ORDINANCE CONCERNING THE REGISTRATION OFCOMMERCIAL BICYCLE SERVICES AND THE LICENSING OF COMMERCIAL MESSENGERS

WHEREAS: On any given day, it is estimated that 100 to 150 bicycle couriersride through Boston streets making deliveries or pick-ups of packages,documents or other small items: and

WHEREAS: Their activities are commercial in that they are compensatedby commercial delivery services or directly by firms which engage them;and

WHEREAS: Due to the pressure of deadlines or the demands of increasingbusiness volume, couriers may abandon caution while travelling in streetsand at times on sidewalks; and

WHEREAS: Near accidents, endangerment to pedestrians, and traffic fatalitiesof bicycle couriers emphasize the need for city oversight and intervention;and

WHEREAS: In the interest of public safety, the city properly has responsibilityfor identifying and holding accountable those persons who operate withoutconsideration of others; therefore be it:

Ordained by the City Council of Boston as follows:

The following is inserted as an addition to the Boston City Code:

REGISTRATION OF BICYCLE MESSENGER SERVICES AND LICENSING OF COMMERCIALMESSENGERS.

SECTION ONE: PURPOSE

The purpose of this Ordinance is to establish a mechanism for registeringcommercial bicycle messenger services and licensing commercial messengersas a traffic safety control measure.

SECTION TWO DEFINITIONS:

Where used in this Ordinance, the following terms shall mean:

"Commercial bicycle messenger service" any firm, association,corporation, partnership or joint venture which hires or engages bicyclistsfor local pick-up, transport, and delivery of small packages, letters,documents, or other articles, including food.

"Commercial bicycle license plate a numbered or letter identificationof such material, form, design, and dimension as the Commissioner shallprescribe by regulation.

"Commercial messenger" any person compensated for using abicycle to carry or transport any article over the public ways in Boston.

"Commissioner Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department.

"Independent contractor" any person engaged directly by aclient or through a commercial bicycle messenger service to pick up, transport,and deliver small packages, letters, documents, or other articles, includingfood within the local area, at the same time travelling streets in Boston.

"Commercial Bicycle Messenger's License" a numbered permitissued by the Commissioner which includes, but not limited to, the nameand address of the applicant.

"Local the metropolitan Boston area.

"Local Delivery" the carrying of any small package, letter,document, or other article, including food, by a bicyclist who travelsover the public way in Boston.

"Messenger service bicycle" any self-propelled vehicle havingone to three wheels ridden by a commercial messenger.

"Registration" -registration issued by the Commissioner toa commercial bicycle messenger service.

"Rider" a person operating a bicycle while rendering a commercialmessenger service.

SECTION THREE: REGISTRATION OF COMMERCIAL BICYCLE MESSENGER SERVICES

(a) Every business which employs or engages a commercial messenger tomake local deliveries shall register with the Commissioner or his/her designee.

(b) A registration shall be on a form approved by the Commissioner andshall state, among other information:

1) Name, address and telephone number of the firm or association. 2)Name and address of owner (owners) unless full names are included in titleof the business. 3) Statement, updated every six months, indicating numberof licensed bicyclists employed by the business and number of licensedindependent contractors engaged by the business for delivery services.

(c) As a condition of registration, the commercial bicycle messengerservice shall:

1) Keep available for inspection the lists of current employees andindependent contractors. 2) Maintain a list of licensed bicycles ownedby the business. 3) Be responsible for indoctrinating each employee orindependent contractor in safe bicycling techniques.

SECTION FOUR: LICENSING OF COMMERCIAL MESSENGERS.

(a) Each rider using a messenger service bicycle on Boston public waysmore than two times a month and receiving compensation for his or her efforts,shall apply for a commercial bicycle messenger's license with the Commissioneron an approved form. This provision shall apply to commercial messengerswho reside outside Boston as well as to Boston residents.

(b) The application shall request the applicant's name and home addressand such information as the Commissioner deems reasonably necessary. Theapplication may require a signed statement that the registrant is familiarwith traffic regulations applying to the operation of bicycles on publicways. The statement may also pledge intention to obey traffic safety ruleswith respect to the rights of pedestrians. (c) The Commissioner will issuethe rider a commercial bicycle messenger's license.

(d) When operating a messenger service bicycle a commercial messengermust carry the commercial bicycle messenger's license that has been issuedto him or her by the Commissioner.

(e) A commercial bicycle messenger service which has itself been registeredis authorized to receive personal applications from its employees for acommercial bicycle messenger's license. In such instances the firm shallbe responsible for obtaining the application to be filed with the Commissionerand obtaining the license to be carried by the employee.

SECTION FIVE: MESSENGER SERVICE BICYCLE LICENSE PLATE

(a) A commercial messenger with a current, valid commercial bicyclemessenger's license may apply to the Commissioner for a commercial bicyclelicense plate for his or her messenger service bicycle. Upon approval ofthe application, the Commissioner or his or her designee shall issue acommercial bicycle license plate of such material, form, design and dimensionas the Commissioner shall prescribe by regulation.

(b) Such bicycle license plate shall be affixed to the rear of the bicycle,the bicycle seat, or the delivery basket or in such manner as the Commissionershall prescribe.

(c) No rider shall engage in any activity for which a commercial bicyclemessenger's license is required hereunder unless such license plate isaffixed to his or her bicycle in the manner prescribed.

(d) A commercial bicycle messenger service which has itself been registered,is authorized to apply to the Commissioner for a commercial bicycle licenseplate for each messenger service bicycle that is owned by the service.Upon approval of the application, the Commissioner or his or her designeeshall issue a commercial bicycle license plate of such material, form,design and dimension as the Commissioner shall prescribe by regulation.

SECTION SIX: HEALTH INSURANCE

Every commercial messenger service employing more than six persons otherthan the owner and manager shall provide medical insurance coverage asrequired by state statute.

SECTION SEVEN:COSTS 

Registrations, commercial bicycle messenger's licenses, and commercialbicycle license plates shall be issued for two-year periods at reasonablecost to encourage participation. A registration of a commercial bicycledelivery service shall not be more than $20. for two years. A commercialbicycle messenger's license shall not be more than $5. for two years. Acommercial bicycle license plate shall not be more than $5. for two years.

SECTION EIGHT: RENEWALS

It will be the responsibility of the owner of the commercial messengerservice to renew its registration with the Commissioner It will be theresponsibility of the individual rider to renew his or her commercial bicyclemessenger's license with the Commissioner. It will be the responsibilityof the owner of the messenger service bicycle to renew the commercial bicyclelicense plate with the Commissioner.

SECTION NINE: PENALTIES

A fine of not less than $20 nor more than $100 may be imposed on convictionof a commercial bicycle delivery service rider for violation of this Ordinance.Any person observing reckless operation by a commercial messenger servicebicycle rider may file a complaint with the Commissioner or his or herdesignee citing the commercial bicycle license plate number. As a resultof inquiry the Commissioner or his or her designee may convene a hearingat which complainant and rider shall present their statements. If the Commissioneror hearing officer finds there was reckless or negligent operation, heor she may suspend or revoke the commercial bicycle messenger's licenseof the rider. Appeal of the decision may be made to the District Courthaving jurisdiction over the situs of the incident.

SECTION TEN: Severability

If any part of this Ordinance is found to be unconstitutional, the remainingportion shall not be disqualified.


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