Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Upper Darby Cab Company, dated December 15, 1975, Docket No. 20953.
Joseph R. Young, with him Butler, Beatty, Greer & Johnson, for appellant.
William T. Hawke, Assistant Counsel, with him Edward J. Morris, Counsel, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 637]
The Upper Darby Cab Co. (Upper Darby) appeals an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) fining the company $1,000 for violating Section 202(e) of the Public Utility Law*fn1 and a PUC Bus and Taxicab Regulation,*fn2 requiring Upper Darby
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 638]
to cease conducting business in a manner which effectively transfers use, control and operations of its taxicabs to certain of its drivers, and also requiring the company to use proper accounting procedures so that actual gross revenues will be reported.
Upper Darby offers an optional compensation arrangement elected by approximately one-third of its drivers who, under the plan, retain all gross receipts in excess of $70 per week paid to Upper Darby. Each driver pays for fuel and repairs to an assigned taxicab which remains out of service when the driver is off-duty. All of Upper Darby's drivers are assigned to work specific shifts and are required to submit logs of fares collected.
After a hearing on a complaint instituted by its own motion, the PUC found that Upper Darby transferred the use, control, and operation of its taxicabs to one or more drivers by oral rental-lease agreements and that the company's bookkeeping failed adequately to reflect gross revenues. Upper Darby has admitted that prior accounting practices were faulty, has taken corrective action, and does not now contest this finding. It argues, however, that the record does not support a finding that control of its taxicabs has been transferred to its drivers.
Without detailing all of the evidence, the record here includes testimony that some drivers do not adhere to their assigned schedules, that some operate outside the territorial boundaries of the certificate holder, that titles to taxicabs are transferred from Upper Darby to individuals who terminate their employment, that assigned vehicles may be kept in the
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 639]
possession of the driver during off-duty hours, and that some drivers permit persons other than Upper Darby employes to drive their assigned cab. This, in our opinion, ...