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INVESTIGATION UPON COMMISSION MOTION INTO INSTALLMENT SALE PURCHASE PROGRAM METRO TRANSPORTATION COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (02/21/85)

decided: February 21, 1985.

INVESTIGATION UPON COMMISSION MOTION INTO THE INSTALLMENT SALE PURCHASE PROGRAM OF METRO TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, T/A YELLOW CAB COMPANY AND RELATED MATTERS I-840378. YELLOW CAB OWNERS AND DRIVERS ASSOCIATION, A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION INCORPORATED IN PENNSYLVANIA, ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, SHAREHOLDERS, PETITIONERS METRO TRANSPORTATION CO., T/A YELLOW CAB CO., PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Original jurisdiction in case of Investigation upon Commission Motion into the Installment Sale Purchase Program of Metro Transportation Company, t/a Yellow Cab Company and Related Matters I-840378, Yellow Cab Owners and Drivers Association, a non-profit corporation, incorporated in Pennsylvania, its Board of Directors, Officers, Shareholders; and Appeal No. 1709 C.D. 1984, from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Metro Transportation Co., t/a Yellow Cab Co. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, No. I-840378, dated May 14, 1984.

COUNSEL

Kathleen Herzog Larkin, with her, Zenola Harper, Lawrence J. Beaser and Norman E. Greenspan, Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley, for petitioner, Metro Transportation Co., t/a Yellow Cab Co.

Val Pleet Wilson, with him, Herbert Somerson, Somerson and Bomze, P.C., for petitioner, Yellow Cab Owners and Drivers Association.

Alphonso Arnold, Jr., Assistant Counsel, with him, J. Kenneth Simms and Kenneth L. Mickens, Assistant Counsels, for respondent.

Judges Williams, Jr. and MacPhail and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Macphail

[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 628]

This case arises in both our original and appellate jurisdictions. Metro Transportation Company (Metro) and Yellow Cab Owners and Drivers Association (Association) have filed a petition for review in our original jurisdiction seeking a writ of prohibition to prohibit the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) from proceeding with its investigation at Docket No. I-840378. Metro and the Association also petition for review of an order of the PUC dated May 14, 1984, which denied Metro's Motion to Clarify and Motion to Sever in regard to the proposed investigation. This Court by order dated June 15, 1984, preliminarily enjoined the PUC from proceeding with its investigation pending disposition of the merits of the petitions for review.*fn1

[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 629]

The PUC has filed preliminary objections to the petition filed in our original jurisdiction and a motion to quash or dismiss the actions filed in our appellate jurisdiction. We will first consider the preliminary objections.

For the purpose of ruling upon the preliminary objections, we must accept as true all of the factual averments of the petitions. Stabatrol Corporation v. Metzval Corporation, 72 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 188, 190, 456 A.2d 252, 253-54 (1983).

Metro is a Pennsylvania corporation and a public utility. In 1981 Metro acquired 800 Certificates of Public Convenience and other assets from the trustee in bankruptcy of the Yellow Cab Company of Philadelphia. This acquisition was subject to the condition that the PUC permit Metro, inter alia, to sell, 300 of the 800 Certificates to members of the Association. The Association is a not-for-profit Pennsylvania corporation which was created for the purpose of acquiring the 300 Certificates to be sold to its members. Metro and the Association are separate legal entities.

Because members of the Association were unable to purchase Certificates from Metro for cash, the PUC approved installment sales agreements between Metro and approximately 180 individual buyers. Title to the Certificates remains in Metro's name until the full purchase price has been paid.*fn2

Metro has relied upon the PUC's approval of these agreements in various ways which substantially ...


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