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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-773


Limousine Carriers Operating Within Allegheny County

[32 Pa.B. 2176]

Public Meeting held
April 11, 2002

Commissioners Present: Glen R. Thomas, Chairperson; Robert K. Bloom, Vice Chairperson; Aaron Wilson, Jr., Concurring and Dissenting Statement follows; Terrance J. Fitzpatrick; Kim Pizzingrilli

Regulation of Limousine Carriers Operating within Allegheny County; Doc. No. M-00021609


By the Commission:

   On April 2, 2002, Act No. 23, HB 1402 was enacted. HB 1402 amended the Public Utility Code by providing, inter alia, for Commission oversight of limousine service in counties of the second class. HB 1402 provides that in order to operate limousine service in a county of the second class, a carrier must have a certificate of public convenience issued by this Commission. Prior to passage of HB 1402, the Commission lacked jurisdiction over limousine service provided within counties of the second class by virtue of the Second Class County Port Authority Act (55 P. S. §§ 551--563.5). See Also: Port Authority of Allegheny County v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 431 A.2d 243 (Pa. 1981); 52 Pa. Code § 41.13.

   In light of the extension of Commission jurisdiction granted by HB 1402, all carriers providing service within Allegheny County must file applications for authority with the Commission.1 Given the exigency of a carrier's business demands, the Commission will endeavor to process these applications as quickly and efficiently as possible. Toward this end, we will provide all applicants with Emergency Temporary Authority (ETA), since an immediate need for limousine service can be assumed. 52 Pa. Code § 3.384.2 Carriers are required to submit an application3 for ETA immediately, but no later than 60 days from the date of entry of this Order. Given the unique circumstances involved, we will waive the filing fee for ETA applications filed within the 60-day period.

   Carriers must file simultaneously with the ETA application acceptable evidence of insurance. Initially, the Commission will accept temporary proof of insurance, including an insurance binder, a copy of the declaration page from an insurance policy, or a copy of the Form 'E' certificate of insurance. 52 Pa. Code § 32.2. Within 60 days of the grant of ETA, a carrier will be required to file a Form ''E'' certificate of insurance. Failure by a carrier to file a Form 'E' within 60 days of the grant of ETA will result in revocation of the ETA.

   Following approval of an ETA application, a carrier will be required to file an application for Permanent Authority, with the required fee, within 30 days of date of approval.4 Filing of an application for Permanent Authority automatically extends a carrier's ETA.5 ETA will automatically be revoked for carriers who fail to file an application for Permanent Authority within 30-day period.

   Following the submission of applications for Permanent Authority, the Commission will process these applications in the normal course, including publication. It will be incumbent upon applicants to comply with our evidentiary criteria outline in 52 Pa. Code § 41.14.

Therefore, It Is Ordered:

   1.  Any carrier providing limousine service within Allegheny County must file an application for ETA with the Commission within 60 days of the date of entry of this Order. The filing fee is hereby waived.

   2.  Any carrier filing an application for ETA must file acceptable temporary proof of insurance simultaneously with its application.

   3.  Within 60 days of the date of approval of the ETA by this Commission, a carrier must file an acceptable Form 'E' certificate of insurance with this Commission.

   4.  Failure to file the Form 'E' certificate of insurance within the 60 day period will be cause for cancellation of the ETA.

   5.  Applications for Permanent Authority must be filed within 30 days of the date of approval of an application for ETA. The filing of an application for Permanent Authority automatically extends the ETA. There is no requirement to file for Temporary Authority following the approval of the ETA. If a carrier fails to file an application for Permanent Authority within the 30 day period, the ETA will automatically terminate.

   6.  Any applications for ETA filed more that 60 days after the date of entry of this Order will be subject to the requirements of 52 Pa. Code Chapter 3, including payment of the applicable fees.

   7.  This Order shall be served on all currently certificated limousine carriers as well as on all noncertificated limousine carriers listed in the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County telephone directory. We direct the Bureau of Transportation and Safety to provide these lists to the Secretary's Bureau for service.

   8.  This Order shall be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and posted on the Commission's website.


Concurring and Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Wilson

   On April 2, 2002, the General Assembly passed a new law that now regulates limousine service in counties of the second class (Allegheny County). Nine days later, the Commission issues this expedited order implementing that legislation because, in part, the law was effective on April 2, 2002.

   I generally support issuance of the Implementation Order. However, I dissent from the proposal to waive the $100 filing fee for Applicants seeking Emergency Temporary Authority (ETA) in Allegheny County. I do so for several reasons.

   First, the Commission's resources are already constrained by multiple revocation, suspension, and reinstatement cases in which the Commission does not recover any application fee. Second, this exemption applies only to ETA Applicants in Allegheny County and not to all applicants seeking ETA authority anywhere in the Commonwealth. This denial of equal protection is unreasonable and cannot be justified by any express language or exigent circumstances in the law. Third, the waiver imposes unequal regulatory costs and may result in unreasonable discrimination in rates and services in violation of sections 1304 and 1502 of the Public Utility Code. Finally, the application fee is not so burdensome as to constitute a regulatory barrier to competition nor is there evidence that the economic vitality of transportation services in Allegheny County is jeopardized by a $100 filing fee.

   I also have one other concern. Although we have no exact number on the pool of potential applications, the Implementation Order does not inform any Applicant of their right to formally appeal any decision of our Staff directly to the Commissioners under 52 Pa.Code § 5.44 or our regulations. By advising the regulated community of their appeal option, we minimize the potential for uneven or arbitrary decisions given the press of time.

   1 We note that some limousine carriers currently hold authority from the Commission to serve all points in Pennsylvania. This authority was granted prior to enactment of HB 1402 and, by necessity, did not include authority to serve points with Allegheny County, since the Commission never had jurisdiction over those services.
   2 We will dispense with the requirement for supporting shipper statements, normally required to be filed with ETA applications. However, an applicant will need to include an applicant's statement as well as all other required documentation. 52 Pa. Code § 3.383(c).
   3 Forms are available at our web site,, or from our Pittsburgh office upon request.
   4 We waive any conflicting filing requirements. 52 Pa. Code § 3.383.
   5 Our regulations envision filing an application for Temporary Authority in order to extend ETA. 52 Pa. Code § 3.383(c). We are waiving this requirement and permitting extension of ETA by the timely filing of an application for Permanent Authority.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-773. Filed for public inspection April 26, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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