Section 1. No person shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, operate any motor vehicle upon any public way in any city or town for the carriage of passengers for hire, in such a manner as to afford a means of transportation similar to that afforded by a railway company, by indiscriminately receiving and discharging passengers along the route on which the vehicle is operated or may be running, or for transporting passengers for hire as a business between fixed and regular termini, without first obtaining a license for such operation from the city council of such city or the selectmen of such town, in this chapter called the licensing authority; provided, that, in respect to any boulevard or way or turnpike or toll road under the jurisdiction of the metropolitan district commission or the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, such applicable commission or authority shall constitute the licensing authority; and provided, further, that the city council of a city and the selectmen of a town, with the advice and consent of the school committee, may issue a license for the use within the municipality of school buses for public events promoting the public good for any period not to exceed seventy-two hours. Any such license issued by a city council under this section shall be subject to the approval of the mayor. The amount of the fee for any such license shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven for the filing thereof. Such license may limit the number of vehicles to be operated thereunder. Any person, receiving a license under this section and operating a vehicle or vehicles thereunder, shall, in respect to such operation, be subject to such orders, rules or regulations as shall be adopted by the licensing authority under this chapter. No license, certificate or permit shall be required under this chapter in respect to such carriage of passengers as is exclusively interstate.
If any application for a license under this section is not favorably acted upon within a period of sixty days after the filing thereof, the applicant may appeal to the department of telecommunications and energy within five days following the expiration of said period or, if notice of unfavorable action is sooner given, within five days of said notice, upon a petition in writing setting forth all the material facts in the case. The commission shall hold a hearing on each such appeal, requiring due notice to be given to all interested parties. If the commission approves the action of the licensing authority, it shall issue notice to that effect, but if the commission disapproves of said action, it shall act as a licensing authority and may issue a license which shall specify the route or routes on which a motor vehicle subject to this section may be operated and the number of vehicles which may be operated under such license.