Appeals, Nos. 85, 86, 87, 88, Oct. T., 1957, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Docket Nos. A. 82775, 82776, 82777, and 82778, in case of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Order reversed; reargument refused July 8, 1957.
Windsor F. Cousins, with him Charles E. Mechen, and Basil S. Cole, for railroad, appellant.
Howard L. Criden, Assistant Counsel, with him Thomas M. Kerrigan, Acting Counsel, for Public Utility Commission, appellee.
G. Levering Arnhold, for intervening appellees.
Before Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).
[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 229]
The Pennsylvania Railroad Company proposed to withdraw the ticket agents at four of its stations. On the Chesnut Hill Branch there are eleven stations, all but two of which are served by ticket selling agents. In addition, tickets can be purchased at two downtown stations. Chestnut Hill in the Germantown area is not too well patronized and its operation results in a loss in excess of $100,000.00 annually. Under the Company
[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 230]
plan, there would be five stations on the line over a distance of six and one-half miles at which tickets could be purchased. Under the proposed plan the company would reduce its losses by $18,000.00 annually without any inconvenience to the public. Ten patrons testified that they would be inconvenienced by the closing of two of the stations; that they would be inconvenienced in dealing with other local agents, and in purchasing tickets on the train. They testified that the waiting rooms would not be properly maintained without an agent. At the present time, the record shows that the agents are there only a third of the day and not at all on weekends.
The Commission denied the application, Commissioner Conly did not vote and Commissioner Houck dissented. The appeal before us is from that refusal.
The Upsal, Tulpehocken, Allen Lane, and St. Martins Stations are all within the City of Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Railroad is not the only transportation agency furnishing passenger service in this territory. Reading Company operates a parallel line. The Philadelphia Transportation Company operates several trolley car and bus routes. It is proposed to remove the agents at these four stations, but the facilities will remain open for the convenience of the patrons. The four stations involved are responsible for less than 30 per cent of the total revenue received at all agency stations on the line. Appellant testified that for the year 1955, the Company's deficit for passenger service was $49,976,138. Exhibits also show that the out-of-pocket passenger service losses on the Chestnut Hill Branch amounted to $122,633.00. In ...