Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Application of Cora E. Miles and William W. Miles, co-partners, t/d/b/a Deluxe Cab Co., for amendment to their common carrier certificate, which grants the rights to transport by motor vehicle persons upon call or demand in the city and county of Philadelphia, limited to one (1) motor vehicle: So As To Permit the addition of three (3) motor vehicles, making a total of four (4) motor vehicles, No. A. 86495, F-1, Am-B.
Herbert Somerson, for petitioners.
Marlane R. Chestnut, Assistant Counsel, with her Alfred N. Lowenstein, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Joseph J. Malatesta, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Blatt, MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
This is an appeal by Cora E. Miles and William W. Miles (Petitioners) from an order of the Public Utility
Commission (Commission) which denied Petitioners additional operating authority under their common carrier certificate.
This case dates to September 1973 when Petitioners, partners t/d/b/a Deluxe Cab Company,*fn1 filed with the Commission an application for additional taxicab authority. At that time, the Commission was conducting a broad investigation into taxicab service in Philadelphia and Petitioners' application was consolidated with other applications pending the outcome of the investigation. On June 27, 1978, the Commission sent letters, by certified mail, to all parties whose applications had been consolidated, including Petitioners. The letters requested additional information to enable the Commission to determine which applications should be considered still active after the five year lapse during the investigation. On March 22, 1979, having received no response to its June 27, 1978 letter,*fn2 the Commission adopted an Order Nisi dismissing Petitioners' application for lack of prosecution. The order was entered on April 9, 1979 and service was accepted by William Miles on April 14, 1979.
There is dispute in the briefs regarding whether exceptions to the Order Nisi were timely filed.*fn3 Nevertheless,
a hearing on the application was scheduled and held on April 30, 1980 before an administrative law judge. An additional hearing was held on September 10, 1980, and on May 14, 1981, the administrative law judge issued a decision and order denying additional operating authority. Petitioner filed exceptions to this order and on July 17, 1981, the Commission denied the exceptions and adopted the decision of the administrative law judge.
Our review of decisions by the Commission is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed or findings of fact are unsupported by substantial evidence. Yellow Cab Co. of Pittsburgh v. Public ...