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CITY PITTSBURGH v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (01/19/53)

January 19, 1953

CITY OF PITTSBURGH
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION



COUNSEL

Anne X. Alpern, City Sol., and John M. Marshall, Asst. City Sol., Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Vergil W. Thomas and Charles K. Robinson, Pittsburgh, for Pittsburgh Rys. Co., intervenor appellee.

John E. Fullerton, Asst. Counsel, and Lloyd S. Benjamin, Acting Counsel, Harrisburg, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

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

Author: Rhodes

[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 231]

RHODES, President Judge.

This is an appeal by the City of Pittsburgh from the order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission of September 4, 1951, at Complaint Docket No. 15135, dismissing the City's complaint against further fare increases by Pittsburgh Railways Company.

On January 18, 1951, Railways filed tariffs providing for increased rail, bus, incline plane and through motor coach fares. The increases included the following: Street car fare (token) 12 cents to 13 3/4 cents; bus ticket from 15 cents to 17 1/2 cents; incline plane (token) 12 cents to 13 3/4 cents. The basic cash fare of 15 cents remained. The Commission did not suspend the proposed tariffs and they became effective February 18, 1951. On January 27, 1951, the City of Pittsburgh filed its complaint, Complaint Docket No. 15135, with the Commission against the tariffs of January 18, 1951, charging that they were unjust, unreasonable, discriminatory, and would produce an excessive and unlawful return. Hearings were held before the Commission on April 23 and 24, 1951, May 22, 1951, and June 30, 1951. On August 10, 1951, before any determination by the Commission of the pending increases,

[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 232]

Railways filed a new schedule of rates, to be effective September 10, 1951, increasing the basic street car cash fare from 15 cents to 17 cents. Complaints against the increase to 17 cents were filed by the City of Pittsburgh and others.*fn1

On September 4, 1951, the Commission issued its order at Complaint Docket No. 15135, the subject of the present appeal, in which the Commission found that the amount available for return to Railways was not excessive on any finding of fair value which the Commission would be justified in making, giving consideration to the measures of value of Railways' plant as of December 31, 1950. The Commission further found the rates were not unjustly discriminatory, and dismissed the complaint of the City.

As stated, in addition to the tariffs of January 18, 1951, Railways has filed tariffs providing for further increases -- tariff filed August 10, 1951, increasing the basic street car cash fare to 17 cents, and tariff filed June 24, 1952, increasing such basic fare to 20 cents. The 17-cent fare is presently in effect. The increase to 20 cents has not become effective, an order of supersedeas having been issued by this Court. Pittsburgh v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 171 Pa. Super. 391, 90 A.2d 850. The tariffs, subject of complaint in this appeal, represent the fourth increase in the rates of Railways since January 1, 1948. The history of the proceedings before the Commission on these prior rate increases is given in earlier decisions of ...


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