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PUROLATOR COURIER CORP. v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (05/15/80)

decided: May 15, 1980.

PUROLATOR COURIER CORP., PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. MAIL DELIVERY, INTERVENOR. PUROLATOR COURIER CORP., PETITIONER V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Public Utility Commission in case of In Re: Application of Colonel C. Heeter, t/d/b/a Mail Delivery, No. A 97384, F. 1, Am-D.

COUNSEL

James W. Patterson, with him Larry R. McDowell, of counsel, Harper, George, Buchanan & Driver, for petitioner.

Eric A. Rohrbaugh, Assistant Counsel, with him Alfred N. Lowenstein, Deputy Chief Counsel and George M. Kashi, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Colonel C. Heeter, for intervenor.

Judges Mencer, Blatt and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 378]

Purolator Courier Corporation (petitioner) appeals here from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) which approved the application of Mail Delivery (applicant) to amend its certificate of public convenience.

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 379]

Mail Delivery is currently authorized to transport mail from post offices to business customers, and vice versa, in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. Its application sought to expand its operation to include the transportation of property, no single shipment to exceed 10 pounds in weight, between points in the above-mentioned counties. The application was opposed by the petitioner, which provides similar service in the area concerned. After a hearing, Administrative Law Judge Alvin Ludwig issued an order which held that the applicant had demonstrated only a limited need for the proposed service and, therefore, granted authority to serve only certain named shippers. The applicant took exceptions to the order before PUC, arguing that the evidence justified granting the application in its entirety. The PUC agreed and accordingly granted the exceptions and approved the application in its entirety. From this order, the petitioner now appeals.

This Court has consistently held that:

An applicant for a certificate of public convenience carries the burden of proving (1) a public need for the proposed service, (2) the inadequacy of the existing service to satisfy the need, and (3) the capacity of the applicant to satisfactorily meet the need.

Applications of L.P. Transportation, Inc., 25 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 412, 414, 359 A.2d 848, 849 (1976). The petitioner argues here that, as to the territory for which the applicant seeks certification, the applicant has shown neither a public need nor the inadequacy of the existing service.

Regarding need, the applicant presented nine supporting witnesses who testified as to their businesses' need for the applicant's services. The witnesses represented a cross-section of business shippers ...


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