Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Carol Lines, Inc., No. C-80102219.
Val Pleet Wilson, Somerson and Bomze, P.C., for petitioner.
Michael C. Schnierle, Assistant Counsel, with him, Kenneth E. Nicely, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Williams, Jr., MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 394]
This is an appeal from a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) order that directed Carol Lines, Inc. (Carol) to obtain a certificate of public convenience and imposed a $100.00 fine.
In October 1980 the Commission instituted a complaint alleging that Carol violated either Sections 1101 or 2503 of the Public Utility Code (Code), 66 Pa. C.S. §§ 1101 or 2503, by transporting for compensation -- without a certificate of public convenience or permit for contract carriage -- members of a Philadelphia branch of the Jewish Youth Center (Center) to the Bavarian Festival in Schuylkill County. Carol admitted to the complaint's factual allegations, but denied any Code violations because the carrier service provided
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 395]
was beyond the Commission's jurisdiction. Transportation to the Bavarian Festival was furnished pursuant to an agreement between Carol and the Center's Teen Tours Program (Program). The agreement required Carol to transport the Program's staff and teenage enrollees to myriad places and events during the summers of 1980 and 1981, some of which included: Seaside Heights beach; Ocean City beach; Asbury Park beach; Great Adventure amusement park; a Phillies baseball game; Bucks County playhouse; Bass River state park; Valley Forge park; French Creek state park; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and the Bavarian Festival.
Although the Program lacked a formal classroom instructional identity, the Administrative Law Judge dismissed the complaint because the religious, cultural and educational values imparted on the tours exempted Carol from the definition of "common carrier by motor vehicle" under Section 102(2) of the Code, 66 Pa. C.S. § 102(2); thus, the necessity for a certificate of public convenience or contract carrier permit was eliminated. Section 102(2) pertinently excludes from the definition of "common carrier of motor vehicle," any motorized carrier that provides
transportation of school children between their homes and school or to and from school-sponsored extra curricular or educational activities whether as participants or spectators . . . if the person performing the extra curricular transportation has a contract for the transportation of school children between their homes and school, with the private or parochial school . . . [or] school district. . . .
The Commission, however, reversed the Administrative Law Judge's Initial Decision," and sustained the complaint, upon ...