APPEAL FROM THE ORDER DATED JULY 11, 1985 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, CIVIL NO. 4830 JAN. TERM 1985. APPEAL FROM THE ORDER JULY 11, 1985 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, CIVIL NO. 3029 DEC. 1984.
Carl T. Bogus, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Robert M. Sitoski, Philadelphia, for Rogers, appellees (at 2034).
David M. McCormick and Gary B. Cutler, Philadelphia, for Travelers, appellee.
Lawrence R. Pierce, Philadelphia, for Bruno, appellee (at 2035).
Cirillo, President Judge, and Cavanaugh and Wickersham, JJ.
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This case involves a consolidated appeal from orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. We are called upon to determine whether a trackless trolley is a
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"motor vehicle" under the Pennsylvania No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act, 40 Pa.C.S. § 1009.*fn1
Appellee Edward T. Bruno and appellees Derrick Rogers and James Price (hereafter "passengers") instituted separate actions against appellant Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (hereafter "SEPTA") and appellee Travellers Insurance Company (hereafter "Travellers"). The passengers alleged in their complaints that they were injured while passengers on a trackless trolley owned by SEPTA, and that they had no insurance policies of their own because they did not own automobiles. Thus, they alleged they were entitled to basic loss benefits from either SEPTA or Travellers, which is the named assigned servicing carrier under the Assigned Claims Plan. Travellers filed motions for judgment on the pleadings, urging that the trackless trolley involved is a "motor vehicle" such as to put the burden of payment on SEPTA (the vehicle owner) pursuant to traditional application of the No-Fault Act. The trial court agreed with Travellers' analysis and granted the motions, leaving SEPTA as sole defendant. These appeals by SEPTA followed.
At the outset, we note that all parties agree that a determination of whether a trackless trolley is a "motor vehicle" is dispositive of this appeal. If the trolley is a motor vehicle, then SEPTA must provide the security for the passengers' injuries; as owner of the vehicle on which the uninsured person was injured, this would be its general duty under the No-Fault Act. 40 Pa.C.S. § 1009.204(3). We agree with the trial court that the trolley is a motor vehicle, and thus need not discuss the ramifications of any finding to the contrary.
SEPTA's argument can be summarized as follows. Trackless trolleys need not be registered under the Motor Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. § 101, not because they are listed as an ...