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diction which have resulted in loss of life or injury to persons or property. Recommendations have been made in a number of investigations for the purpose of preventing a recurrence of a similar accident. The number of these accidents investigated during the year was 126 while written reports of 39 accidents have been made.
The number of accidents at grade crossings of electric railroads. and highways outside of cities and villages has not increased over that of last year. Of the eight persons killed in this class of accidents, five were killed in an accident which occurred at Stop 131⁄2 on the Schenectady-Troy Road when a five passenger car with curtains up, traveling in the same direction as the electric car, attempted to cross its path. Collisions of electric cars with automobiles and trucks in cities and villages due probably to the increased use of such vehicles have increased at an alarming rate.
AUTOMOBILE BUS LINES AND TRACKLESS TROLLEYS AS AIDS TO ELECTRIC RAILROADS
One of the developments of the past year has been the tendency towards the formation by electric railroad corporations of subsidiary companies for the operation of motor bus lines. Bus lines. organized in this manner have as their object mainly the covering of new territory in or near cities, in which territory the expenditure of the sums necessary to construct extensions of street railway lines would not be justified by the probable revenue to be derived therefrom. These motor bus lines thus supplement existing street railroads and furnish transportation facilities in sections not contiguous to them.
It is believed that the extension of such bus lines as feeders to existing electric railroads will increase. The cost of constructing street surface railroads, together with the accompanying paving expense, seems at present day prices to be almost prohibitive.
A further development in the furnishing of transportation facilities in urban sections will doubtless be more extensive use of trackless trolleys, so-called. These lines consist of cars or large buses receiving their motive power from overhead wires by the trolley method. No tracks are required. The two poles connecting the car and the overhead wires are so constructed that it is possible for the car to be operated in any portion of the highway, turning aside from other vehicles or stopping at the curb to receive or discharge passengers, contact with the overhead wires being maintained at all times.
The operation by electric railway corporations, through subsidiary companies, of motor bus lines and lines of trackless trolleys, is yet in a more or less experimental stage. The determination of the most economical method of service, street railroad, motor bus or trackless trolley, seems to depend upon the territory to be served and the frequency of operation required. Results of operations
of this character will be closely observed in order that a proper appraisal may be made of their economy and value.
AUTOMOBILE BUS REGULATION
In the last annual report to the Legislature, the Commission recommended that the laws on the subject of automobile bus regulation should be stated in as complete detail as are the statutory provisions governing other carriers and utilities. The Commission renews this recommendation for the consideration of the Legislature. The growth in the number and extent of operations of motor bus lines has continued during the past year. The powers of the Commission in dealing with matters pertaining to the operation of motor bus lines are so limited that it cannot exercise the same regulatory effectiveness that is possible in the case of other utilities.
At the last session of the Legislature bills were introduced setting forth in very complete terms regulatory powers proposed to be granted to the Commission. These bills were not enacted into law. While such bills were not prepared by the Commission and certain modifications may be necessary, it is believed that they form a very satisfactory basis for legislation upon this subject.
The matter of additional statutory provisions on the subject of motor bus regulation is of such continuing and increasing importance as to justify the early enactment of a general and comprehensive statute dealing with all phases of the subject. It is suggested that such legislation might properly take the form of a new article to be added to the present Public Service Commission Law covering fully such powers and jurisdiction as the Legislature may desire to confer upon the Commission.
There have been no developments of moment in connection with the steam business during the past year. An informal inquiry from the City of Auburn in connection with the distribution of steam in a portion of that city was the subject of a conference. On account of the age of the present system, and the expense of rehabilitating it, the corporation desires to discontinue the service and has served notice of its intention upon the city, such discontinuance to become effective following the present heating season. No formal action has developed, the city not having determined whether it desires to oppose the company's intention.
During the past year 263 applications for the issuance of securities have been filed with the Commission by public utility corporations. A complete table of the number of applications
filed in each of the years since the inception of the original Public Service Commissions in 1907 is as follows:
The progress in cases received, closed and orders entered authorizing the issuance of securities during the year 1923 is shown in the following table:
In the annual report for the year 1922 it was stated that public utility corporations in the State of New York were availing themselves of the provisions of article 24, as amended, of the Stock Corporation Law which permits public utility corporations to issue stock without nominal or par value. During the present year the total authorization for stock without nominal or par value totaled $38,721,025 which was accounted for principally by the following issues:
In addition to the above issues the principal authorizations of securities during 1923 were as follows:
The following summary shows the amount of securities authorized by this Commission during the year 1923:
Of the total authorized securities amounting to $143,464,075 approximately 60 per cent were in stock and the remainder in bonds and notes. This indicates a healthy financial condition which is further evidenced by the fact that bonds sold at a higher rate during the past year than since pre-war days.
The total securities authorized by all Public Service Commissions of this State since 1907 amounted to approximately $3,540,000,000 which is practically 50 per cent of all the outstanding securities reported by public utility corporations for the year ended December 31, 1922, which amounted to $7,090,256,000.
Dr. Adna F. Weber, who for a number of years held the position of chief of the bureau of statistics and accounts of the former First District Commission and, upon the consolidation of the First and Second District Commissions into the present Commission, was appointed chief of the accounting division, retired from service in July. He was succeeded by Walter J. Fitzpatrick, former deputy chief of the accounting division, who for many years was connected with the capitalization and accounting divisions of the present Commission and the former Second District Commission.