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PEOPLES CAB COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (12/11/69)

decided: December 11, 1969.

PEOPLES CAB COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION



Appeal from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, No. I. D. 92, in re investigation into management of Peoples Cab Company of Pittsburgh.

COUNSEL

Robert A. Cohen, for appellant.

Morton Krase, Assistant Counsel, with him Paul Silverstein, Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J. Wright, P. J., dissents.

Author: Hoffman

[ 216 Pa. Super. Page 19]

This is an appeal by Peoples Cab Company from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission rescinding and canceling Peoples' certificate of public convenience unless it conforms to a prior order of the Commission which we affirmed in Peoples Cab Co. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 185 Pa. Superior Ct. 628, 137 A.2d 873 (1958).

In that case, certain of Peoples drivers operated under a plan whereby the company failed to regulate

[ 216 Pa. Super. Page 20]

    shifts, hours and areas of operation, leaving all to the discretion of the drivers. We affirmed the Commission's order directing Peoples to desist from the practice of allowing drivers to operate at times and places selected by them, and to supervise and control regular periods of operation and establish areas within which cabs operated so that a comprehensive coordinated taxicab system would be inaugurated in the certificated area.

In support of this conclusion we stated:

"The Commission found that the resulting operation at the whim of each of the operators has failed to furnish a complete, comprehensive, co-ordinated utility service. Section 401 of the Act of May 28, 1937, P. L. 1053, 66 PS § 1171, provides that the service furnished by every public utility 'shall be reasonably continuous and without unreasonable interruptions or delay.' Section 403 of the same act, 66 PS § 1173, provides that every common carrier 'shall operate its facilities with sufficient frequency, at such reasonable and proper times, and to and from such stations or points, as the commission, having regard to the accommodation, convenience, and safety of the public, may require. . . .' The legislature clearly granted to the Commission control over the times and places of operation and the distribution of facilities over the area served by the utility."

In 1968, the Commission instituted a further investigation of Peoples. The investigation revealed that as of June 1, 1967, Peoples had instituted a lease program whereby it agreed to lease a taxicab to a driver as an independent contractor. Under this lease the driver agreed to be liable for all federal, state and local taxes including social security, and that as an ...


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