(a) Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to include persons and vehicles engaged in one or more of the following services by motor vehicle if not engaged at the time in the transportation of other passengers or other property by motor vehicle for compensation:
(1) Transportation of passengers or household goods for or under the control of the State of North Carolina, or any political subdivision thereof, or any board, department or commission of the State, or any institution owned and supported by the State;
(2) Transportation of passengers by taxicabs when not carrying more than fifteen passengers or transportation by other motor vehicles performing bona fide taxicab service and not carrying more than fifteen passengers in a single vehicle at the same time when such taxicab or other vehicle performing bona fide taxicab service is not operated on a regular route or between termini; provided, no taxicab while operating over the regular route of a common carrier outside of a municipality and a residential and commercial zone adjacent thereto, as such zone may be determined by the Commission as provided in subdivision (8) of this subsection, shall solicit passengers along such route, but nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a taxicab operator from picking up passengers along such route upon call, sign or signal from prospective passengers;
(3) Transportation by motor vehicles owned or operated by or on behalf of hotels while used exclusively for the transportation of hotel patronage between hotels and local railroad or other common carrier stations;
(4) Transportation of passengers to and from airports and passenger airline terminals when such transportation is incidental to transportation by aircraft;
(5) Transportation of passengers by trolley buses operated by electric power derived from a fixed overhead wire, furnishing local passenger transportation similar to street railway service;
(6) Transportation by motor vehicles used exclusively for the transportation of passengers to or from religious services or transportation of pupils and employees to and from private or parochial schools or transportation to and from functions for students and employees of private or parochial schools;
(7) Transportation of any bona fide employees to and from their place(s) of regular employment;
(8) Transportation of passengers when the movement is within a municipality exclusively, or within contiguous municipalities and within a residential and commercial zone adjacent to and a part of such municipality or contiguous municipalities; provided, the Commission shall have power in its discretion, in any particular case, to fix the limits of any such zone;
(9) through (17) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 523, s. 16.
(18) Charter parties, as defined by this subdivision when such charter party is sponsored or organized by, and used by, any organized senior citizen group whose members are sixty (60) years of age or older. Such charter party shall be subject to subsections (f) and (g) of this section. "Charter party", for the purpose of this subdivision, means a group of persons who, pursuant to a common purpose and under a single contract, and at a fixed charge for the vehicle, have acquired the exclusive use of a passenger-carrying motor vehicle to travel together as a group from a point of origin to a specified destination or for a particular itinerary, either agreed upon in advance or modified by the chartering group after having left the place of origin.
(b) The Commission shall have jurisdiction to fix rates of carriers of passengers operating as described in (5) and (8) of subsection (a) of this section in the manner provided in this Chapter, and shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine controversies with respect to extensions and services, and the Commission's rules of practice shall include appropriate provisions for bringing such controversies before the Commission and for the hearing and determination of the same; provided nothing in this paragraph shall include taxicabs.
(c) The Commission may conduct investigations to determine whether any person purporting to operate under the exemption provisions of this section is, in fact, so operating, and make such orders as it deems necessary to enforce compliance with this section.
(d) The venue for any action commenced to enforce compliance with the terms of this Article against any person purporting to operate under any of the exemptions provided in this section shall be in one of the counties of the superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 wherein the violation is alleged to have taken place and such person shall be entitled to trial by jury.
(e) None of the provisions of this section nor any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be construed so as to prohibit or regulate the transportation of property by any motor carrier when the movement is within a municipality or within contiguous municipalities and within a zone adjacent to and commercially a part of such municipality or contiguous municipalities, as defined by the Commission. The Commission shall have the power in its discretion, in any particular case, to fix the limits of any such zone. Nothing herein shall be construed as an abridgment of the police powers of any municipality over such operation wholly within any such municipality. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prohibit or regulate the transportation of household effects of families from one residence to another by persons who do not hold themselves out as being, and are not generally engaged in the business of transporting such property for compensation.
(f) Notwithstanding the exemption for transportation of passengers and household goods provided under subsections (a) through (e) of this section, all motor carriers transporting passengers for compensation under said exemptions or under any special exemptions granted by the Utilities Commission under G.S. 62-261 shall be subject to the same requirements for security for protection of the public as are established for regulated motor common carriers by the rules of the Utilities Commission pursuant to G.S. 62-268, and all such motor carriers transporting for hire under said exemption provisions shall further be subject to the same requirements for safety of operation of said motor vehicles as are required of regulated motor common carriers under the provisions of Chapter 20 and the regulations of the Division adopted pursuant thereto. The Division is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for the enforcement of said requirements in the case of all such exempt operations, and the officers and agents of the Division shall have full authority to inspect said exempt vehicles and to apply all enforcement regulations and penalties for violation of said security regulations and safety regulations as in the case of regulated motor carriers.
(g) The owners of all motor vehicles used in any transportation for compensation which is declared to be exempt under this section shall register such operation with the Division of Motor Vehicles and shall secure from the Division of Motor Vehicles a certificate of exemption. (1947, c. 1008, s. 4; 1949, c. 1132, s. 5; 1951, c. 987, s. 1; 1953, c. 1140, s. 2; 1955, c. 1194, ss. 1, 2; 1959, c. 102, c. 639, s. 15; 1963, c. 1165, c. 1; 1967, cc. 1135, 1203; 1969, c. 681; 1971, cc. 856, 1192; 1973, c. 175; 1977, c. 217; 1979, c. 204, s. 1; 1985, c. 454, ss. 9-11; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 94; 1995, c. 523, s. 16.)