evidence upon any subject related to the issues on said appeal concerning which evidence was improperly excluded in the hearing before the Commission or upon which the record may contain no substantial evidence. Upon receipt of such requirement and direction the Commission shall receive such evidence and without unreasonable delay shall transmit to the said court the findings of fact made thereon by the Commission and the conclusions of the Commission upon the said facts.
'Upon the conclusion of its hearing of any such appeal the court shall either dismiss the said appeal and affirm the order or decision of the Commission or sustain the appeal and vacate the Commission's order or decision. In either event the court shall accompany its order by a statement of its reasons for its action, and in the case of the vacation of an order or decision of the Commission the statement shall relate the particulars in and the extent to which such order or decision was defective.' (Italics supplied.)
By the terms and provisions of the above section of the statute the Court is empowered to require the reopening of the hearing in P.U.C. No. 3489, Formal Case No. 383, as amended, and to direct the P.U.C. to receive additional evidence of the W.M. & A. and of any other interested party. The Court concludes that such an order is proper in the circumstances so that evidence may be presented with respect to the effect of the proposed order upon the public interest in connection with transportation in the area affected by the order, including the effect of said order upon the ability of the W.M. & A. to serve the public interest in the operation of its facilities in connection with the proposals of extension and alteration of bus lines of the C.T.C. involved in P.U.C. No. 3489, Formal Case No. 383.
The Court holds:
As to the points raised by the C.T.C.
1). That the provisions of Section 43-208 and 43-411 of the District of Columbia Code of 1940, and the provisions of Section 11 of Public Resolution 47, 72d Congress, 2d Sess., Approved Jan. 14, 1933, 47 Stat. 752, 761, commonly referred to as 'Section 11 of the Merger Act', empowers the P.U.C. to order an extension of a bus line into the area in question notwithstanding the absence of an application on the part of C.T.C. to make such extension.
The Court is of the opinion that the determination of this point is based upon and must be resolved by the provisions of the statutes under which the C.T.C. functions in the District of Columbia. Section 43-208 of the District of Columbia Code for 1940 provides in part as follows:
'Whenever the commission shall be of opinion * * * changes in * * * the facilities of any common carrier ought reasonably to be made, or that any addition of service or equipment ought reasonably to be made thereto # # # the commission shall have power to make and serve an order directing that such * * * changes, or additions to service or equipment be made within a reasonable time and in a manner to be specified therein, and every such public utility is hereby required and directed to obey every such order of the commission.'
Section 43-411 provides in part:
'* * * upon any investigation for the purpose of determining upon and requiring any reasonable extension or extensions of lines or of service that shall promise to be compensatory within a reasonable time, the commission shall have power to fix, determine, and require every such extension or extensions to be made and the terms and conditions upon which the same shall be made: Provided, That no hearing shall be had and no order shall be made respecting such extension or extensions, without notice to the public utility affected thereby, as provided in section 43-410.'
Section 11 of the Merger Act, supra, reads as follows:
'Sec. 11. It is understood and agreed that nothing herein shall be construed as creating any new rights of franchise to use the streets in the District of Columbia for transportation purposes: Provided, That the Capital Transit Company shall exercise and succeed to all of the property, rights, and franchises of the Capital Traction and the Washington Railway and Electric Companies, which they are required herein to vest in the Capital Transit Company, subject, however, to the right of the Public Utilities Commission to order reasonable extension or reasonable abandonment of tracks and facilities.' (Italics supplied.)
The Court feels that in the light of existing conditions it is only proper to call attention to the commonly accepted and rapidly developing trend of abandonment of street car rail lines and the substitution therefor of motor bus lines. It is the apparent contention of the C.T.C. (Brief of C.T.C. page 37) that Section 11 of the Merger Act by which the Commission is empowered 'to order reasonable extensions or reasonable abandonment of tracks and facilities' is to be construed in so limited a way as to exclude from the scope of the Commission's powers under said Section, the power to order reasonable extension or abandonment of bus lines. A strict compliance with said interpretation of the C.T.C. could well result from a practical standpoint, in a situation in which, in order to secure service, the P.U.C. might be compelled to report to an order of extension of tracks into an area requiring additional public street transportation where an extension of bus service would be vastly more beneficial to the public and equally vastly more beneficial to the C.T.C. The illustration of the absurdity of such a necessity, of course, on the part of the P.U.C. to accomplish or produce adequate transportation is, in the Court's opinion, a sufficient answer to the contention that the provision of the Act must be limited to the extension of tracks, and that the word 'facilities' in the Act should not be construed to include buses.
With respect to the contention of the C.T.C. that the extension of the C-2 line was duplicative of the present lines, and was ordered without adequate findings or supporting evidence, in violation of Section 43-411, District of Columbia Code 1940, the Court in resubmitting the proceeding to the Commission affords the P.U.C. opportunity to give such consideration to the making of such findings of fact of the character referred to in the contention of the C.T.C. as it may deem prudent in the circumstances.
In resubmitting this proceeding to the Commission with the direction to permit W.M. & A. to introduce evidence concerning the extension of the C-2 line and the establishment of a W-4 line, the Court also directs that C.T.C. be permitted to offer in evidence testimony with regard to the proposals which it did not have an opportunity to introduce in the prior hearing.
Wherefore, the premises considered, it is by the Court this 8th day of April, 1950,
Ordered that this case be returned to the Public Utilities Commission for proceedings not inconsistent with the foregoing opinion.
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