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PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. (09/13/62)

September 13, 1962

PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.



Appeal, No. 153, Oct. T., 1962, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Application Dockets Nos. 59145, Folder 123, Am-A, 60298, Folder 10, Am-I, and 88334, in case of Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Carl Helmetag, Jr., for railroad protestant, appellant.

Louis J. Carter, Assistant Counsel, with him Joseph I. Lewis, Chief Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

Peter Platten, with him Hamilton C. Connor, Jr., and Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, for applicant transit company, intervening appellee.

Edward F. Cantlin, with him J. H. Ward Hinkson, for applicant transit company, intervening appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (watkins, J., absent).

Author: Flood

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 160]

OPINION BY FLOOD, J.

Over the protest of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued certificates of public convenience authorizing the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (Red Arrow) and the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) to operate a joint through bus service from Ardmore, Montgomery County, to 5th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. Service along that part of the route in Philadelphia, from 54th Street and City Line to City Hall had been furnished theretofore in the morning and late afternoon hours by PTC's Bus Route 44. Service along the part from Ardmore to 54th Street and City Line had been furnished by Red Arrow as

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 161]

    part of its Bus Route I. Persons who wished to go by bus from Ardmore to central Philadelphia could have done so before over substantially the same route by making a change at City Line. There were, however, no transfer privileges between the two routes.

The net result of the protested certificates is that a passenger may, under the joint route, make an uninterrupted trip from Ardmore to any point along the former PTC Route 44 and along Market Street from City Hall to 5th Street, whereas previously he had to take one of the lines from Ardmore to City Line and then change to the other line for the balance of the ride to City Hall, but without transfer privileges. There will be service on the joint route throughout the day five days a week and on Wednesday evenings.

1. There is a preliminary dispute as to whether the proposed joint operation must be authorized by a certificate of public convenience issued by the commission.

The commission contends that a certificate is unnecessary because of the provisions of Sections 401 to 405 of the Public Utility Law, 66 PS §§ 1171-1175, requiring every public utility to furnish adequate service and make such extension and improvements as shall be necessary or proper for the convenience of the public in conformity with the regulations and orders of the commission ( § 401, 66 PS § 1171); to make such arrangements for adequate service for the accommodation, convenience, and safety of the public as the commission may require ( § 403, 66 PS § 1173); to make convenient adjustments and arrangements of schedules with those of like contiguous or connecting common carriers whenever the commission shall deem it necessary or proper for the accommodation, convenience and safety of the public ( § 404, 66 PS § 1174) and to "construct and maintain, whenever the commission may, after hearing had upon its own motion or upon complaint,

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 162]

    require the same, such switch or other connections with or between the lines of a like common carrier, where the same is reasonably practical, to form a continuous line of transportation, and to cause the transportation of passengers or property between points within this Commonwealth to be without unreasonable interruption or delay, and shall establish through routes and service therein, and joint rates applicable thereto, and, where practicable, shall transport passengers or property over the same without transfer from the originating facilities." ( § 405a, 66 PS § 1175(a)).

These sections give the commission broad powers to authorize or require carriers whose lines meet at any point to establish a jointly operated route over territory only part of which each is authorized to serve singly, but there is nothing in the language of the statute which permits such carriers to establish a joint route without a certificate of public convenience from the commission. With regard to motor carriers of freight, the establishment of through routes and interchange privileges has been held to require a certificate granted after proof that it is necessary or proper for the public service: Lancaster Transportation Co. v. Pa. P.U.C., 169 Pa. Superior Ct. 284, 82 A.2d 291 (1951); Motor Freight Express v. Pa. P.U.C., 180 Pa. Superior Ct. 622, 121 A.2d 617 (1956). Nothing in the public utility law indicates that there should be a different rule with regard to motor carriers of passengers. On the contrary, Section 202 of the Public Utility Law, 66 PS § 1122, would seem definitely to require commission authorization. However, we need not decide this question since a certificate of public convenience was actually granted and the evidence sustains the commission's action in granting it.

2. The commission found that the proposal of the applicants to do in one joint operation what they are

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 163]

    now authorized to do separately in disjointed segments "will result in the elimination of needless inconvenience, hazard and waste of time, all to the benefit and convenience of the public". The railroad assails this finding as not consistent with the evidence

It must be remembered that the heart of the application is the combination of two existing services the necessity for each of which has been presumably already demonstrated. We must also consider the mandate as to contiguous carriers in Section 405 of the Public Utility Law, 66 PS § 1175, above quoted, requiring them to establish through routes without transfer and joint rates when the commission requires them to do so, either upon complaint or upon its own motion. It is to be noted, too, that the commission's authority to direct continuous service exists under § 405 whenever it is "reasonably practical", and is not ...


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