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G.G. & C. BUS CO. v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL. (05/02/79)

decided: May 2, 1979.

G.G. & C. BUS CO., INC., PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL., RESPONDENTS. G.G. & C. BUS CO., INC., PETITIONER V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION AND WASHINGTON CITY BUS LINES, INC., RESPONDENTS



Appeals from the Orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in cases of In Re: Application of G.G. & C. Bus Co., Inc., Application Docket No. 96279, Folder 3, Am-D; and In Re: Application of Washington City Bus Lines, Inc., Docket No. 234.

COUNSEL

Stephen I. Richman, with him Greenlee, Richman, Derrico & Posa, for petitioner.

Lawrence R. Zewe, Charles J. Streiff, William T. Hawke, with them Henry M. Wick, Jr.; Wick, Vuono & Lavelle; Melville G. M. Walwyn, Assistant Counsel; Alfred N. Lowenstein, Deputy Chief Counsel; and Kathleen Herzog Larkin, Chief Counsel, for respondents.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt and MacPhail. Judges DiSalle and Craig did not participate. Opinion by Judge Rogers. Judge Mencer dissents.

Author: Rogers

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 385]

G.G. & C. Bus Co., Inc. (G.G. & C.) has filed petitions for review of two orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. We have consolidated the appeals for argument and disposition.

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 386]

The first order, entered on February 8, 1978, in proceedings to which G.G. & C. was a party, modified certificates of public convenience theretofore issued to Washington City Bus Lines, Inc. (City Bus) to operate a scheduled bus service in Washington, Pennsylvania so as to include the condition, "[t]he rights contained herein shall expire on April 30, 1979 unless cancelled or extended prior to said date"; and required City Bus to petition the Commission for permanent deletion of the condition just mentioned within three months before April 30, 1979. The second order, entered on February 16, 1978, denied G.G. & C.'s application for an amendment to its existing authority which would grant it the additional right to provide scheduled bus service in the City of Washington and surrounding areas and terminated G.G. & C.'s preliminary and interim permission which had been granted on April 17, 1975 to operate over routes certified to City Bus.

City Bus has operated a scheduled bus service in the City of Washington, Pennsylvania under the Commission's authority since 1957. Beginning in 1973, City Bus intermittently failed to provide bus service for periods of from six days to seven months because the company was unable to meet its operating expenses. During the seven month cessation of City Bus operations, G.G. & C., whose authority included transporting children under school bus contracts, charter bus service and scheduled bus service in the Canonsburg area, filed an application for additional rights to provide bus service for the Washington City area and also to provide integrated bus service between the communities of Washington and Canonsburg. Suburban Lines, Inc., which has intervened in G.G. & C.'s appeal from the Commission's order denying G.G. & C. additional rights and which operates scheduled and chartered bus service over interstate and intrastate routes, filed protests to G.G. & C.'s application because

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 387]

    the routes requested would have placed G.G. & C. in competition with Suburban in providing bus service between Canonsburg and Washington. Five days after G.G. & C.'s application, filed on December 11, 1974, the Commission issued a rule on City Bus to show cause why its certificate should not be cancelled.

As we have noted, the Commission by an order dated April 17, 1975 had granted G.G. & C. preliminary and interim permission to operate over the City Bus's routes. City Bus resumed operations on May 14, 1975 and both companies have been operating over the same routes since that date.*fn1

On October 29, 1975 the Commission discharged the rule on City Bus to show cause why its certificate should not be cancelled and instituted on its own motion an investigation to determine whether City Bus was presently rendering adequate service under its certified authority and whether it could continue to do so in the future. Action on G.G. & C.'s application for additional rights was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. After the completion of the investigation, the Commission on May 4, 1977 issued a second rule to show cause on City Bus to ...


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