Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Application of Robert A. Ashby to transport persons upon call and demand in Carbondale, Lackawanna County, and within fifteen miles of said city, No. A.100947.
Joseph Lach, with him James E. Pocius and John R. Lenahan, Lenahan, Dempsey, Murphy & Piazza, for petitioner.
Robert A. Christianson, Assistant Counsel, with him Alfred N. Lowenstein, Deputy Chief Counsel and George M. Kashi, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Blatt and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 617]
Modad Taxicab Company and Carbondale Transfer Company (petitioners), common carriers under joint ownership serving carbondale, Lackawanna County, appeal here from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) granting a certificate of public convenience to Robert R. Ashby (applicant) to operate a competing taxicab service. At the time of the hearing, the petitioners operated five taxicabs in a service area of approximately 30,000 people, while the applicant proposed to operate four taxicabs.
Section 1103 of the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa. C.S. § 1103, requires that the Commission shall grant a certificate of convenience only if it determines that the
[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 618]
additional service is necessary or proper for the accommodation, convenience or safety of the public. This requires that the applicant prove the public need for the proposed service, the inadequacy of existing service to satisfy that need and its own fitness to meet the need. John Gibbons, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 114, 334 A.2d 806 (1975).
The sole issues presented in this appeal are the petitioner's contentions that the following three of the Commission's findings of fact are not based on substantial evidence:
The applicant obtained the signatures on a petition in support of additional taxi service in the City of Carbondale containing approximately 2800 signatures.
The present taxi service is curtailed in the City of Carbondale from 11:00 P.M. until 6:00 A.M.
Residents of the City of Carbondale testified that they are unable to obtain taxi service after 11:00 P.M. until 6:00 A.M. the next morning and that ...