Is Testimony of Actual Users Required to Justify the Public Need of a Proposed Transportation Service ?
In Re Blue Bird Coach Lines, Inc., 72 Pa.P.U.C. 262, 274 (1990), the Commission made the following pronouncement:
Both appellate court decisions and Commission orders have confirmed that, in the context of subsection 1103(a) 66 Pa.C.S. 1103(a), a public demand/need for an applicant's proposed transportation service may be proven through witnesses comprising a representative sampling of the public that will use the applicant's proposed service within the territory encompassed by the application.
The decisions in Blue Bird and Yellow Cab make clear that the Commission and the Court have required the testimony of actual users, not testimony of persons seeking to refer the proposed service to actual users.
In Blue Bird, the Commission stated
The particular circumstances of a case determine what constitutes sufficient evidence of a public demand/need for the applicant's proposed service.
Therefore, the number of witnesses which will comprise a cross section of the public on the issue of the public demand/need will necessarily vary with the circumstances of the case such as the breadth of the applicant's intended operating territory, the population density in the intended operating territory, and the scope of the requested operating authority.
Where the intended operating territory is broad and heavily populated and the applicant seeks an expansive grant of operating authority, more witnesses are required to show a cross section of the public needing the applicant's proposed transportation in the intended operating territory.
Conversely, where the intended operating territory is restricted and not populous and the applicant seeks a narrow grant of operating authority, fewer witnesses are required to show a cross section of the public needing the applicant's proposed transportation in the intended operating territory. Blue Bird, 72 Pa.P.U.C. at 274-5.