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TRIAGE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/10/88)

decided: February 10, 1988.

TRIAGE, INC., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT



Original Jurisdiction in the case of Triage, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation.

COUNSEL

Joseph A. Meo, Markovitz & Meo, for petitioner.

Kate L. Mershimer, Deputy Attorney General, with her, Andrew S. Gordon, Chief Deputy Attorney General, LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.

Author: Narick

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 349]

Petitioner Triage, Inc. (Triage) filed a petition for review in this Court's original jurisdiction in the nature of

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 350]

    actions in mandamus, declaratory judgment and equity. Respondent, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation (DOT), in response to Triage's petition for review, has filed preliminary objections and a motion to quash. Triage then filed preliminary objections to DOT's preliminary objections and an answer to DOT's motion to quash. Triage also filed with its responsive pleadings, an appendix to its brief which included various documents not attached to the original pleadings filed by Triage. Thereafter, DOT filed a motion to strike Triage's appendix.

Triage is a private transportation company which provides "shared-ride" transportation to senior citizens under the Pennsylvania Urban Mass Transportation Law (PUMTL), Act of January 2, 1968, P.L. 42, as amended, 55 P.S. ยงยง 600.100-600.407 (Supp. 1987). DOT is the government agency statutorily authorized to administer the "shared-ride" program also known as the "203" program.*fn1 Under the "203" program, a senior citizen pays $.25 or 10% of the cost of an individual fare, whichever is greater. As long as a transportation company does not exceed certain reimbursement limitations, DOT will reimburse the transportation company for 90% of the fare.*fn2

The events leading to Triage's filing of a petition for review on May 12, 1987 can be divided into two categories: (1) Triage's and DOT's interactions regarding "shared-ride" services in Philadelphia County; and (2) Triage's and DOT's interactions regarding the extension of "shared-ride" services to Delaware County.

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 351]

The background of this case is somewhat complicated; therefore, we will commence with a summarization of the petition for review filed by Triage. Triage first asserts with respect to "shared-ride" services in Philadelphia County that an action in mandamus lies against DOT because DOT has wrongfully refused to reimburse Triage for "203" services it provided. More specifically, Petitioner asserts in the petition for review that "On September 21, 1984, Triage and the Department entered into a written Section 203 Program Agreement" and that "On August 16, 1985 Triage and the Department entered into a written Section 203 Program Agreement".*fn3 Both contracts are attached to the petition for review and essentially provided that Triage would receive reimbursement from DOT not to exceed 90% of the regular adult fare rate. Losses were reimbursable only if each senior citizen or a third party sponsor, previously approved in writing by the Commonwealth, paid $.25 or 10% of the regular adult fare, whichever was greater. The September 21, 1984 contract also provided that Triage must comply with the "203" program guidelines and procedures, ...


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