Page images

(3) Demand for service is relatively inclastic (almost all passengers surveyed would pay increased fares’ rather than seek other means of travel).

(4) The use of weekend service is extremely limited (5 southbound, 9 northbound on Saturday; 7 southbound, 4 northbound on Sunday).

(5) The average number of cars per family of those riding trains on weekdays was 1.18 (73 percent, car; 45 percent_2 or more cars).

(6) Over 50 percent of the weekday passengers had never used the alternative C&NW service between Chicago and Lake Geneva or Harvard.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Based on these and other results of the survey, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation concluded that the Milwaukee should revise schedules to provide for an after 5 p.m. weekday departure from Chicago and should experiment with means of encouraging increased patronage such as excursion and reduced fare incentives to groups, students, and aged persons, as well as other promotional compaigns aimed particularly at obtaining additional needed weekend patronage. The experimental operations should be financed by increased regular fares. If the experimental promotional compaigns are unsuccessful, the department concedes that the weekend service should be eliminated. The department asserts that Walworth is a growing economic community, and that the expanding population and business activity should be channeled to increased use of the passenger rail service.

Environmental considerations. -The environmental impact of the proposed discontinuance would in all probability, be negligible. The additional private automobile travel required by the approximately 33 average daily passengers in traveling to C&NW stations 8.5 and 12.5 miles from Walworth, must be weighed against the operation of the 1,500 to 2,700 horsepower locomotives over 48 less miles each day. Some riders, depending on the locations of their homes, would not have to travel the entire additional distance to the C&NW station. Some might be closer to C&NW stations requiring less private auto travel. Few, if any, would drive to Fox Lake, or switch entirely from rail to private auto for the 74 mile commutation. It, therefore, appears that, in all probability, no significant adverse environmental impact would result from the proposed discontinuance. However, in view of our conclusion to require continued operation of the weekday service, no adverse impact will result from the displacement of the between four and nine riders per weekend trip.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"Out of 52 passengers on Thursday, 39 responded. On Friday, 33 out of 65 passengers responded. Duplications were eliminated.

'A 12-percent increase figure was used in the survey. This is in addition to the 10-percent increase already in effect for Wisconsin riders.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The elements requiring consideration in section 13a(1) proceedings are well established and include, the population of the community served; the public use of the service, the financial losses borne by the carrier in providing the service; the general condition of the carrier, and the burden on interstate commerce resulting from the operation. Erie Lackawanna Ry. Co. Discontinuance of Trains, 336 I.C.C. 206, 234. No single factor is determinative of the issue. The emphasis of the evidence in this proceeding is on the public need, or lack thereof, for the service, the financial burden of the carrier, the availability of reasonable alternative means of transportation, the environmental impact of discontinuance, and the effect of the operation in terms of constituting a burden on interstate commerce.

The evidence of record indicates that the Walworth area is growing and that utilization of the subject trains, although far below capacity, is on the upgrade. The Milwaukee's general financial condition has been described by us as “anemic" (Great Northern Pac. Merger-Great Northern, 328 I.C.C. 460, 488), and nothing in this record requires a finding of any substantial change in that condition.

Alternative rail transportation is available, but the alternatives, requiring additional automobile travel for utilization, are not considered reasonable by the riders of the subject trains, particularly in light of environmental considerations and the fuel shortage crisis. Impending environmentally motivated restrictions on the use of private automobiles in large urban centers must also be considered as having a direct bearing on the future public convenience and necessity of maintaining adequate rail commutation services. As far as most of the 30 to 40 regular weekday riders are concerned, the subject service is vital to their continued commutation. However, weekend utilization, between four and nine passengers per trip, is so low as to make continuation of the service entirely unrealistic.

Considering the fact that the Milwaukee's own data indicate improving utilization of the service without any demonstrated financial savings through discontinuance thereof, the only logical result is to require continued operation of the weekday service. The savings resulting from elimination of the obviously uneconomical weekend runs should enhance the financial picture with respect to the weekday service. Furthermore, the Milwaukee should give serious consideration to revised scheduling of its trains to provide Walworth


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

area patrons with an after 5 p.m. departure from Chicago so as to
attract more 9-5 working people as riders. It should also give con-
sideration to further rate increases. First, effort should be made to
obtain increases in intrastate rates to the current interstate rate
levels under the provisions of section 13(4) of the act. Secondly, if it
becomes necessary, further increases in interstate fares should be

It is well established that the Commission has no authority to im-
pose employee protective conditions in a section 13a dis-
continuance case, although the probable adverse effect of dis-
continuance upon employees is a factor to be considered in
evaluating the requirements of the public convenience and
necessity. In our opinion, the adverse effect upon employees re-
sulting from discontinuance of the subject weekend trains, would
not justify the continued operation thereof.

Contentions of the parties as to fact or law not specifically discussed herein have been considered and found to be without material significance, or not justified.

This proceeding does not involve a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

We find that the operation by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad of train Nos. 601, 604, 605, and 610 between Fox Lake, Ill., and Walworth, Wis., is not required by the public convenience and necessity and that the continued operation thereof would constitute an undue burden on interstate commerce.

We further find that continued operation by the Chicago, Mil-
waukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company of train Nos. 118
and 119 between Fox Lake, Ill., and Walworth, Wis., is required by
the public convenience and necessity and that continued operation
for a period of 1 year from the date hereof will not constitute an un-
due burden on interstate or foreign commerce.

An appropriate order will be entered.
347 I.C.C.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »