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It is impossible for you gentlemen in charge of this transportation business with the responsibility for the care and management of millions of dollars of property to tell the public what they have got to do. There are some of the electric railway men that still think they can do that. I would like to say to the members of the American Electric Railway Association (this is my nineteenth convention) and I should like to say to you transportation men — I use that term in preference to electric railway men - I should like to say to you transportation men that you gentlemen are all experts in furnishing transportation. I do not think you ought to sit by and let any baker buy a truck and put some seats on it and go into this business as a novice and a piker, merely because you say they have got to ride in your cars. The transportation manager should not hold any such idea.

Therefore, I want to see the men whom I have known so well for so many years become transportation men and undertake to successfully furnish that character of transportation which the people want and for which they will pay, and which will insure a fair return on the amount of money invested in it. It is to my mind immaterial whether this transportation be by aeroplane, electric bus, or an ether bus or a perpetual motion machine or anything else. If I want to go home from my office, you are the men who can make it possible for me to do so, but you must not tell me I must ride in car number 203 which leaves a certain point at 8:06 if I prefer to ride in a bus.

I saw recently some buses running on a road I built some years ago, and the steel rails had all been taken up. I do not care whether they ride in buses or wheelbarrows, but why permit these parties to come in and undertake to furnish something which you have been trained throughout your lives to furnish and to embark in competition with your business in which you are experts ? I make a prophecy that five years from today you will find I am right.

One more suggestion. Mr. Wheeler talked about service, and the Mayor of Toledo in his excellent address referred to service. That is one of the elements we put forward in any

accomplishment in advancing public relations, and one of the things which these gentlemen must do in a public relations campaign, which I assume is a 24-hour campaign, 365 days in the year, is to recognize the fact that the word "service" not only involves the movement of cars and the carrying of passengers, but also involves payments to the men who furnish the service in the form of capital.

You will not get me to put my money into an electric railway property unless there is a reasonable assurance of some return on the investment of my money. The same holds true in the peanut business. You cannot shanghai people to putting their money into a business. All they have to do is to look over the financial reports in the newspapers and find out what the street railways of the country have been doing in the past five years and then decide whether they will invest their money in the street railways or purchase liberty bonds yielding 3-5 per cent and many of them would have been better off if they had done that. You cannot talk people into doing something for you unless their interest is involved.

(Mr. Brush then introduced the various speakers, and the responses of the speakers follow :)

CHAIRMAN BRUSH :- Mr. Herbert B. Flowers, Second Vice-President and General Manager, United Railways and Electric Company: Mr. Flowers is a graduate of the University of Michigan and after working for a telephone company in Detroit finally started in the street railway business in that city under Lord Ashfield, then known as Albert H. Stanley, and became thoroughly grounded in the essentials of operation in that busy city. He has been in Baltimore for ten years, where he has risen from the position of Assistant Superintendent of Transportation to be Vice-President and General Manager. He operates 420 miles of track, owning 1,900 cars. He has been one of the earnest advocates of Motor Bus operation, and today one of the largest fleets of passenger buses operated by an electric railway company is under his direction. His ability to talk and meet people freely and frankly has gained a host of friends both for himself and for his com


pany. Although only about forty years old, he is one of the best-known men in his adopted city.

Mr. Flowers will address us on the subject "Keeping in Touch with Local Organizations."


BALTIMORE, MD, Every community is replete with organizations — improvement associations, lodges, church clubs, etc. The improvement association is usually born because people living in a certain community are dissatisfied with conditions generally; started because streets have not been paved nor sidewalks laid, water and gas mains not extended, transportation facilities lacking or inadequate. These associations are generally headed by officers who, naturally, are able to dominate others and usually also have influence outside of their own direct circle of associates.

It is very seldom that moves for extensions to existing car lines and other added facilities, or complaints about rates of fare, character of service, etc., are started outside of organizations of this kind, but frequently organizations result on account of what would appear to be a concerted effort on the part of a few to obtain betterments, etc.

Most street railway men are of the opinion that local organizations (and by that I mean neighborhood improvement associations and citywide organizations for the promotion of civic progress) are nuisances. They find themselves frequently in a permanent state of irritation because of the demands made by representatives of these organizations - demands which the street railway officials too often regard as unreasonable.

Whatever may be the experience of those of you from other cities, we in Baltimore have found that these organizations, instead of giving trouble, actually save it. The reason is this: If in a certain locality there reside six “kickers," it is almost humanly certain that each of these six will have a different idea as to how to improve the street car service in his locality; each of the six heads a group which he dominates and which shares sympathy for his particular hobby. You seek to create good-will in that locality. What happens is that whatever change is made suits but one group and only causes greater irritation to the five other groups, because these others think that they have not only been disregarded but the plan actually put into effect has been a slap in their faces."

Take this same locality, and create in it an improvement association. It is reasonable to assume that these six " kickers” will be members of it, securing membership with the definite purpose of gaining strength for their particular hobby or idea of improving the street car service. The various voices of these six will be aired in the meetings of the improvement association. When the time comes to make a change in service in that locality the street railway company has it comparatively easy. It must do business with the improvement association, and, in doing business with it, naturally has to do not six different and varying things, but the one plan for the improvement of the service which the organization, in meeting and after considerable discussion, has determined is the best in its plans for that locality. It is collective bargaining with the people just the same as with our employes, and the similarity goes even further in that when you, by agreement with an improvement association, make a change in the street car service of its particular locality, the association must and does accept its part of the responsibility for not only approving the plan but seeing that the residents of that locality give it a fair trial, and no individual in that locality is allowed, because of the sentiment behind the organization, to attempt to get the street railway company to change over to some plan which he might personally favor.

It is not well to expect trade organizations, or lodges, of which your officers, or employees, may be members, to “pull your chestnuts out of the fire.” To establish confidence in these organizations is the utmost that could be expected. The good effects are reflected in the individual members who are also interested in the improvement association organized to deal with matters in which utilities are concerned.

CHAIRMAN BRUSH : Martin Schreiber, Manager, Southern Division of the Public Service Railway Company of New Jersey: Mr. Schreiber has been with this company for many years, first as Engineer, Maintenance of Way, and then as Chief Engineer, and is now Chief Engineer and Manager of the Southern Division, which includes the territory around Camden and the southern section of this State. Mr. Schreiber has had much success in improving and making cordial relations between the citizens in the communities served by the Southern Division and his company, and getting the employees under his jurisdiction to take a more active and personal interest in the company for which they are working. His success, in this respect, has been quite marked, and is worthy of emulation by every man in our industry. He is a great believer in company sections, and is Chairman of that Committee and also a past President of the Engineering Association. At present, he is Chairman of the Committee on Standards, and represents the American Electric Railway Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers on the American Engineering Standards Committee. Mr. Schreiber has gained an excellent reputation for himself in fields of Public Relations, Engineering and Management.

MARTIN SCHREIBER :- Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: Mr. Emmons said that speakers are to take up about five mnutes. If public support and service can be separated, all may be expressed as to what is necessary for public support in one word. This you may elaborate any way you choose. That word is confidence. Confidence in turn rests on honest and sincere efforts made for a worthy cause. Analyze any successful business and you will find the same answer.

Now, unfortunately, the utilities, led by the railroads, built a sort of unpopular screen around themselves for many years, principally on account of the nature of the development of the business and partly on account of too much indifference towards their patrons.

Public feeling against the utilities probably reached its most intense stage during the controversy between Harriman and Roosevelt. But any close student can now observe that the pendulum is swinging the other way. Indeed, during the war the government actually carried out the principles that they had prohibited Harriman to do.

How fast the utilities come back will depend in a large measure upon its representatives, like you gentlemen and others. In order for a railway company to get the support of the public, the first requisite is to create an organization to work with you. It is foolish to have the general staff of a company struggling for public support and at the same time that the rank and file is giving the opposite impression. This holds irrespective of any pretty posters or trite official statements. Some of the general officers of a company rarely see the car riders, while there are trainmen that may see a regular rider 600 times a year. So, your first job is to get your own employees working with you. That task properly done is probably the greatest one thing to beget public confidence.

There is where a company section and a publication can do

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