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That the public has come to take the correct view of the jitney and bus situation seems to be clearly demonstrated where the matter has been brought directly to a vote of the people after the effects of jitney and bus competition have been demonstrated. Wherever any large city has been forced to rely on motor bus or jitney service as its only means of transportation, a chaotic condition has resulted.
The continuance of such a condition would be impossible. The jitney and bus service has never been able to provide and cannot physically provide the necessary vehicles to take care of the riding public. The fact of the matter is that the feet of space per passenger occupied by jitney or motor bus is much in excess of the feet of street car space per passenger occupied by the street car, and for that reasons alone the substitution of jitneys and motor busses for street railway transportation is impossible. Good illustrations of the failrue of motor busses to meet street urban requirements is found in such cases as those at Bridgeport, Toledo, Des Moines and other cities where they have been given full opportunity to show what they could do. In Des Moines, service was suspended for eleven weeks, during which time motor busses and jitneys attempted to take care of the traffic. During this period a canvass of 12,000 women was made by the Women's Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce. This canvass showed 9972 per cent. of the women favoring electric railways as against the busses. Ninety-four and onehalf per cent. voted for the 8-cent fare franchise provided fares were reduced as traffic increased. The street cars were voted back by a vote of nearly 17,000 to 8,700. The street railway company in Des Moines is now operated under a service-at-cost contract, and the receivership which had been in effect for more than three years was lifted in April, 1922. Toledo's experience for 27 days resulted in the return of street cars for service under new franchises amidst the general acclaim of the entire city. The experience at Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the jitneys and busses were given the opportunity of even a considerably longer trial, had the same result. Every city which has been without street car service for any period of time has recognized that street car service is not merely a matter of concern to the street car companies, but is vital to the social and economic welfare of the city. While the jitney situation and the bus situation has cleared itself generally in the public mind, the laws in many of the states and perhaps in most of the states are yet inadequate for handling this sort of competition. In many instances, municipal action has solved the question, but the situation demands general power in regulatory bodies to prevent competition of jitneys and busses with essential street car service. In the meantime, regulatory bodies and the public realize that transportation by electric railways will always be necessary; that no substitute has been found for it and that nowhere in the United States in any city of considerable size is transportation being exclusively furnished successfully by other agencies such as jitneys or busses.
This is not saying that there may not and is not a very proper field for motor busses. Recent developments indicate that they may have a very proper place in the scheme of urban street railway transportation as feeders to existing street railway lines and as a means of serving thinly settled territory where the traffic does not warrant the extension of the street railway system, but where the general welfare of the city requires that the residents of this section be furnished with some satisfactory means of transportation. Feeder service of this nature should be furnished by the street railways themselves in connection with their transportation system and coordinated with it.
Any analysis of the street railway situation develops at once the fact that these important factors of operation and costs, all the questions of the burdens which I have discussed, are in fact matters of deep concern to the street car rider himself. The relationship of the street car rider and the street car company is in fact one of mutual interest. Service at reasonable rates depends upon reasonable costs, and it is no longer possible in this country for the street car rider to look upon conditions surrounding street car operation with indifference.
All of this goes to show how essential it is that relations of mutual confidence and understanding should take the place of the old way of looking at street railway enterprises. There is no greater service which companies can themselves perform, both in their own interests and in the interests of the riding public, than the establishment of such relations by fair publicity, the taking of the riding public into its confidence and the going to the rider with the facts as they actually are. Such publicity can be of mutual benefit if carried out along correct lines with a careful unbiased statement of actual facts, uncolored by prejudice and unwarped by interest.
Another factor for good service will be the establishment of good relations with the employes rendering that service. The establishment of an enthusiastic interest in the welfare and service of the company by the employe and a corresponding concern of the employer in the real and substantial interests of the employe is one of the best guarantees of good public relations and if the employe's interest in the company is financially more substantial than that of a mere wage earner this fact will in itself tend to bring about a mutual relationship of benefit to all concerned.
The service performed by street railways in their relation to the car riding public has been greatly improved with the passage of years, but there are those who consider that urban street railway transportation is primarily a municipal function and that it should be performed by the city itself rather than be left to the field for the employment of private capital. It may be timely, therefore, to give some thought to the relative advantages and disadvantages of public operation of our urban street railways as contrasted with private operation.
Society, as constituted at present, has as yet evolved no successful substitute motive to replace the spur of individual initiative and reward for merit, and this is primarily the reason why private ownership and operation is generally more economical than public ownership and operation. In any business which is a large employer of labor, such as the street railway business, the advantage enjoyed by private capital is especially marked. Discipline in private employment is generally better maintained, and waste of effort more generally eliminated. At the same time the spur for economy in purchases and in all work is generally greater under the private incentive than under government control and operation. The three-year results of operation of the municipal plant at Seattle show a deficit before depreciation of $10 03, and on the basis of depreciation set up on the municipal books, the three years' operation resulted in a deficiency of nearly $2,000,000. When it is considered that this deficiency is before any charges for the taxes which would have been contributed by a private utility to the city, it can hardly be said that the experience of Seattle is encouraging to those who are weighing today the relative advantages of municipal and private operation.
In many cases the results of municipal operation are made to appear more favorable than they actually are because of the failure to make proper separation between the affairs of the municipal utility and the financial transactions of the municipality.
While the unprejudiced students of the relative merits of government ownership and operation will be nearly unanimous in favor of the private ownership and operation of such utilities as electric, gas and telephone utilities, the final judgment may not be as unanimous in regard to ownership of street railway systems in some of our cities. This service is of vital interest to the welfare of the community and the demands for capital investment to meet the growing requirements of some of the larger municipalities of the Union is very great. Meantime, the street car companies, in general, are just emerging from a period of extreme depression which has very greatly affected their credit. In some of the larger cities the demands for capital are such that the requirements can only be financed reasonably through munici
Experience in the past has been such that in some instances it may be impossible to attract private capital into this field upon reasonable terms, except upon some mutually arranged plan for municipal participation, and perhaps, in some instances, municipal ownership may be necessary. However, it would seem that even under such circumstances actual operation ought to be left to private enterprise. In some instances, the advantage of financing by the municipality will result in a lower cost of money than could be obtained through private enterprise. This is largely the result of the credit conditions affecting street railway enterprises in such places during the last few years, the results
of old fixed franchise requirements and the impairment of credit due to increased costs of service growing out of general increased costs. As said by the Federal Electric Railway Commission: “Unless the confidence of the investor in the securities of the companies furnishing this essential public service be restored, that the public itself must in some way assume the burden of supplying the funds necessary for their continuance."
In many instances it has been found practicable to establish cost of service contracts with the municipalities upon a fair and equitable basis assuring fair protection to the capital invested in the enterprises and reasonable fares to the riding public. The service rendered is so intimately connected with the daily welfare of the rider and the social and economic conditions of the municipality that such contracts are to be encouraged wherever they can be obtained upon a reasonable basis. If such contracts shall have the effect of removing street railway problems from the turmoil of local politics, a great public advantage will be secured.
The transportation problem is constantly becoming more difficult and more important. As the congestion of traffic increases in our large cities, the difficulty of rendering adequate railway service becomes more acute. The result of this situation is that the public relations problem for the street railways is in general probably more difficult than the same problem as it confronts other utilities.
More and more the well-being of the people and the growth and prosperity of the communities served by the street railways is becoming dependent on good transportation. It is to be hoped that a way may be found through better public relations, through relief from unjust burdens and unfair competition, and through decreasing the cost of capital, for the stabilization of the street railway industry and for the fair treatment of both the rider and the investor. Certainly no reasonable street car rider would desire to deprive the privately-owned and operated street railway from a fair return upon the investment or the necessary credit to adequately perform the important functions cast upon it.
PRESIDENT TODD :- I am sure we are all greatly indebted to Mr. Jackson for his most interesting address.
The first consideration of electric railways is safety. Primarily for the reason that it is our sacred duty to guard in every way known to human ingenuity the life and limbs of every passenger, and secondly, for the reason that in exercising the greatest care and precaution we are conserving the funds of our respective companies for many needed purposes. It is for this reason that the electric railways of the country are conducting Safety First Campaigns among the employes and the public. We therefore welcome today in an especial manner an outstanding national figure in safety work. It is my privilege to present to you Marcus A. Dow, President of the National Safety Council, who will address us on "Accident Prevention Work and Public Safety.”
ACCIDENT PREVENTION WORK AND PUBLIC SAFETY
By Marcus A. Dow, President,
CHICAGO, ILL. Gentlemen of the Convention, I assure you that this is a very great privilege to me to be invited to come here and talk to you for a few minutes on the subject of a safety campaign. I am sure that the first question that you practical operating men would want to ask is whether a safety campaign is worth while, and whether in fact a safety campaign will prevent accidents. The answer is yes, it will, if properly organized and conducted under the right kind of leadership, a safety campaign will prevent accidents. It will do more than that. It will conserve human life, it will increase efficiency in the industrial plant, and it will reduce economic waste, and last, but not least, it will prevent an untold amount of suffering.
We know that a safety campaign will conserve human life, because remarkable accident reductions, which I shall speak of in a moment, have been effected in industries and upon railroads and in communities wherever this work has been continuously and systematically carried on.
We know that a safety campaign will increase efficiency in an industrial plant, because it has been clearly demonstrated that to make a plant reasonably safe, to guard all dangerous places, and to educate the employes in the plant to use a degree of care and caution in their work that will reduce the frequency of accidents, will also eliminate the fear of injury from the mind of the worker and make him capable of doing a better day's work.
A safety campaign will reduce economic waste, because it has been the experience of leading railroads and industries throughout the country, that wherever the work is continuously and effectively carried on, there is a substantial saving in casualty expense, over and above the cost of carrying on safety work.
It seems to me, perhaps, the most important reason for the phenomenal growth of safety work throughout the United States is the fact that the average business man possesses something greater than