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CITY PITTSBURGH v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (01/12/51)

January 12, 1951

CITY OF PITTSBURGH
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION



COUNSEL

Anne X. Alpern, City Solicitor, John M. Marshall, Asst. City Solicitor (Julius J. Strba, Pittsburgh, filed brief amicus curiae, for himself and others), for appellant.

John E. Fullerton, Asst. Counsel, Charles E. Thomas, Counsel, Harrisburg, William Anderson, C. K. Robinson, Pittsburgh, for Elmer E. Bauer and Thomas Fitzgerald, Trustees, Pittsburgh Railways Co., Debtor, and Pittsburgh Motor Coach Co., Subsidiary.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 97]

RHODES, President Judge.

These appeals by the City of Pittsburgh are from the order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission of July 25, 1950, allowing further increases in fares for street railway, incline plane, and feeder and street car type bus service of Pittsburgh Railways Company,*fn1 and for through-bus service of the Pittsburgh Motor Coach Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pittsburgh Railways Company.

On November 19, 1948, the Trustees of Pittsburgh Railways Company and of Pittsburgh Motor Coach Company filed tariff increases with the Commission under which the basic street car fare was increased from 10 cents to 12 cents, and the through-bus fare from 12 1/2 cents to 15 cents. The Commission, by its orders of June 15, 1949, permitted such increases. The City of Pittsburgh appealed from those orders of the Commission to this Court, and we directed that the appeals should operate as a supersedeas. On November 15, 1949, we terminated the supersedeas, vacated the orders of the Commission, and remanded the matter to the Commission for further proceedings. City of Pittsburgh v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 165 Pa. Super. 519, 69 A.2d 844. The increased fares under the tariffs filed November 19, 1948, became effective on November 23, 1949. Beginning December 14,

[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 981949]

, the Commission conducted further hearings on the matters then before it. Meanwhile, on January 4, 1950, Railways and Motor Coach filed new tariffs which made further increases and changes in fares to become effective February 4, 1950. Such new tariffs provided for an increase in the basic street car fare from 12 cents cash to 15 cents plus a 1-cent transfer, or 8 tokens for $1 (12 1/2 cents) plus a 1-cent charge for transfer. The bus tariff increased the cash fare from 15 cents to 20 cents or 10 tickets for $1.50. Complaints against the proposed increases were filed by the City of Pittsburgh and others. The Commission suspended the effective date of the proposed tariffs from February 4, 1950, to August 4, 1950. The proceedings relating to the new rates as proposed by both companies were consolidated by order of the Commission for the purpose of hearing with those proceedings which followed the remission of the record to the Commission by this Court on the former appeals. City of Pittsburgh v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, supra, 165 Pa. Super. 519, 69 A.2d 844.

The Commission by its order of July 25, 1950, found that the proposed rates would not yield an excessive return upon any finding of fair value and fair rate of return thereon that the Commission would be justified in making. The Commission concluded, however, that the 1 cent transfer charge and the basic street car fare (15 cent cash or 12 1/2 cent token) discriminated in favor of those using transfers as compared to the single vehicle passenger. Accordingly the Commission ordered Railways to revise its tariff, canceling the proposed 12 1/2 cent token fare and the proposed 1 cent transfer charge and all proposed 15 cent cash fares and substituting therefor a 12 cent token fare available at five for 60 cents and a 3 cent charge for transfers, and a 15 cent cash fare which should include the transfer at no additional charge. It appears that the increase

[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 99]

    in the transfer charge from 1 to 3 cents was made by the Commission in order to retain the basic fare at the token rate of 12 cents with a return substantially equivalent to that provided for in the proposed tariffs.

The City appealed to this Court from the Commission's order of July 25, 1950, and at the same time petitioned for a supersedeas. On August 2, 1950, we granted a rule to show cause why the appeals should not operate as a supersedeas. After hearing on August 10, 1950, we refused a supersedeas upon the condition that Railways issue ...


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