of trackless-trolley (trolley-bus) service or gas bus service where street car service is now, or probably soon will be, economically unwarranted; and above all, to the elimination from the reorganization of those interurban lines which do not now fully pay their own way and which cannot be counted upon to pay their own way for a long time into the future, if ever.'
'Our experience over a number of years has convinced us that the street car is disappearing as a medium of mass transportation, except in the congested parts of a few of our larger cities. We have seen city after city abandon street car service, in whole or in part, in favor of either bus service or trackless-trolley and bus service. And we have seen interurban line after interurban line substitute bus service for street car service. In the light of all this, it is strange that the trustee should propose a plan of reorganization which would leave the physical system as it is, except for the elimination of the Mount Oliver Incline Plane, which would be eliminated because the heights served by the incline plane are so adequately served by street car.'
'23. The Trustees filed a revised plan of reorganization dated June 2, 1941. In this revised plan, it was said, among other things: 'In an endeavor to comply with the suggestions of the Commission, this plan contemplates (a) the complete exclusion of certain companies and their properties from the reorganized system, and (b) the ultimate abandonment of all or part of the operating street railway facilities of certain other companies which are included in the plan, and the substitution of gas bus service for the abandoned street railway service in so far as that is deemed necessary.' The revised plan also said: 'It is not contemplated that the abandonment of street railway facilities and the substitution of service by gas bus, as above stated, would take place immediately upon consummation of the plan. It will be necessary for the New Company to make application for such abandonments and substitutions to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission as required by law, and for the Commission to give its approval before these changes can be put into effect."
'25. The Trustee filed amendments, dated December 15, 1941, to the revised plan of reorganization aimed to meet the Commission's objections thereto. These amendments were referred to the Public Utility Commission which made an order January 12, 1942, approving the plan dated June 2, 1941, as amended by the amendments dated December 15, 1941. In this order the Commission said, among other things: 'The revised plan also provides for the ultimate abandonment of parts or all of a number of other street railways routes, and the substitution of bus service on most of them. We concurred in that program, but said that the facilities marked for abandonment, although properly excluded from the capitalization base, nevertheless should be taken into the accounts of the reorganized company, with appropriate offsetting reserves."
'26. The revised plan as amended 'proposes the substitution of motor coaches for street cars on the shuttle routes, two routes in outlying districts and on the outer end of one route that operates to the downtown district. The substitution of motor coaches on one of the shuttle routes has already taken place. It is not contemplated that the abandonment of street railway facilities and the substitution of service by motor coach would take place immediately upon consummation of the reorganization plan, but that these routes would be re-studied in the light of conditions then existing, and if found desirable, application made to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to put these changes into effect."
'27. * * * The Trustees and their staff collectively reviewed all of the data and statistics concerning the routes of the railway system and on the basis of that data and their general knowledge and experience, selected the portions of the system which should be studied for substitution of gasoline buses or trolley buses.'
'40. Mr. Miles C. Kennedy, a member of the firm of Coverdale & Colpitts, consulting engineers, estimates that the cost of a survey such as he understands would be required, if the pending petitions were granted, would be upwards of $ 600,000.00, and that the making of the survey would require a year to fourteen months, if everything went reasonably well. His firm would not undertake the job at a fixed fee. Mr. Lawrence S. Waterbury, a member of the firm of Parsons, Brinckeroff, Hogan & MacDonald, consulting engineers, estimates that the cost of a survey such as he understands would be required, would be approximately $ 75,000.00, on the assumption that his firm would specify the amount of work and the type of work that it would do in satisfactorily answering the questions raised in conducting the survey, and estimates that the survey would take from four to six months. On the assumption just described this firm would be willing to take the work for a $ 75,000.00 fee.'
'42. The Alleghency Conference of Community Development a planning research organization, financed and operated by certain representative business interests in the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, is engaged in a study of community problems and is developing a total community improvement program. This Conference has authorized a study of the transportation problem in Pittsburgh, the object of which is to develop recommendations for a practical program of improvements in mass transportation for the peoples in the County, as determined by the needs of the area. * * * The estimates of the cost of the study under the plan which the Conference is operating is approximately $ 55,000.00 and it is contemplated that this study would take 18 months. * * * '
It seems evident from the facts in this case that a survey should be made, whether the result thereof is used in the present reorganization proceedings, or not. It also appears that such a survey may be of value in the reorganization proceedings.
Changes from street car to bus transportation have been made and are being made generally throughout the United States. Such a study has been recommended for Pittsburgh and the area covered by the Pittsbrugh Railways Company system. I am advised that the hearings in this action now being held before the Special Master and which relate to the subordination of the Philadelphia Company claims and the plan or reorganization, will take several months. If the survey petitioned for shows no substantial change necessary, there would probably be only a little delay, if any. If the survey shows a substantial change and that it should be a part of the reorganization plan, then whatever delay is required would be proper.
In the proceedings now before the Court, the only persons that have appeared in favor of the petitions were the Securities and Exchange Commission and the City of Pittsburgh. The only persons who opposed said petitions were the Trustees of the Debtor and its subsidiary.
At the hearing before the Court, the Securities and Exchange Commission attorney stated that at the hearing of the reorganization plan, it intended to have an expert engineer give evidence on the subject of a change from street cars to busses and that this would probably necessitate the employment then of an expert engineer by the Trustees. The attorney for the City of Pittsburgh stated that he concurred with all that was stated by the Securities and Exchange Commission attorney.
In making of the order in this case, I am not unmindful of the fact that the reorganization proceedings should be prosecuted with reasonable diligence.
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