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Complaints, Meetings And Hearings During the year the Commission received 7,891 complaints, an increase of 1,772 over 1916. Of the complaints received 1,982 related to transportation matters and 5,909 to gas and electric matters. Included, however, in the gas and electric complaints were 4,409 applications for tests of gas meters and 557 applications for tests of electric meters, so that the informal gas and electric complaints in relation to service conditions not involving tests of meters numbered 943. During 1917 the Commission's experts tested 328,199 gas meters; and since the establishment of the Commission in 1907 there have been tested a grand total of 3,785,348 gas meters.

The Commission considered 264 formal cases in 1917, of which only 78 remained open on December 31. Of the cases still open 37 were commenced in 1917. Final orders to the number of 102 were issued during the year, and 99 new cases were begun. A total of 490 hearings was held. The Commission held 146 meetings, of which 43 were stated meetings, 92 adjourned meetings and 11 special meetings.

The.following tables show the number of cases considered in 1917 and the years preceding it, together with the nature of the cases:

Classification Of Formal Cases Before The Commission (from July 1, 1937, To December 31, 1017)

Subject Matter

Applications for approval of stocks, bonds, etc

Applications for certificates of convenience and necessity

Applications as to exercise of franchises and rights

Applications for approval of miscellaneous franchise rights

Applications for approval of leases and contracts

Applications as to acquisition of corporate stock

Applications as to abandonment of routes

Applications as to grade crossings

Applications for approval of discontinuance and relocation of stations

Applications for approval of change of motive power

Miscellaneous applications

Cases on complaint:

Facilities, service and equipment

Rates or transfers

Grade crossings

Cases on motion of the Commission:

Facilities, service and equipment

Rates or transfers

Grade crossings

Filing information or investigations

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Totals 2,301 78

Classification Of Formal Cases Before The Commission

(during 1917)

Subject Matter

Applications for approval of stocks, bonds, etc

Applications for certificates of convenience and necessity

Applications as to exercise of franchises and rights

Applications for approval of miscellaneous franchise rights

Applications for approval of leases and contracts

Applications as to acquisition of corporate stock

Applications as to abandonment of routes

Applications as to grade crossings

Applications for approval of discontinuance and relocation of stations.

Application for approval of change of motive power

Miscellaneous applications

Cases on complaint:

Facilities, service and equipment ^

Rates or transfers

Grade crossings

Cases on motion of the Commission:

Facilities, service and equipment

Rates or transfers

Grade crossings

Filing information or investigations

Totals.

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Gas And Electric Corporations

As the fiscal year for gas and electric corporations is synchronous with the calendar year, the most recent statistics available of these companies are for the year ended December 31, 1916. In that year gas companies operating in the First District sold 44,565,753,000 cubic feet of gas and received from the sale thereof $36,372,618. This was at the average rate of 81.62 cents per 1,000 cubic feet and represents an increase in consumption of 4.76 per cent for the year. In the same twelve months the electric companies sold 846,201,369 kilowatt hours, and received from sales $38,687,806. The sales of electric current represented an increase of 16.40 per cent. The gas and electric companies combined paid aggregate dividends of $14,625,935, and together showed an accumulated surplus of $73,865,734. The receipts from gas sales were substantially $6.61 per capita, and the receipts from sales of electric current about $7.03 per capita. The grand total of money paid to transportation, gas and electric companies was $170,263,301, almost $2,000,000 more than was paid for the same services in 1915 and represented a per capita payment of approximately $31 for the twelve months for transportation, gas and electric services.

Transportation Corporations Due to the surface railroad strikes in 1916 the figures of transportation corporations, including street railroads and rapid transit lines, show less than the normal increase for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1917. There were carried on these lines 1,918,812,226 passengers, as against 1,898,735,615 for the preceding year, an increase of only 20,076,611, and less by 70,000,000 than that of 1916. The loss in the rate of increase, however, was almost entirely confined to street railroad lines, which showed a net decrease of 84,426,068 over 1916, confined to Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens, where the effect of the labor difficulties was chiefly felt.

In Brooklyn, where there was no strike, surface railroad operation showed an increase of "more than half a million passengers over the preceding year, while in the Borough of Richmond, which suffered very little from strike conditions, only a small decrease in the rate of increase was shown. Traffic increased very greatly on Interborough elevated and subway lines, a. fact generally attributed to the opening of a number of new rapid transit lines. Street railway travel in New York City has increased rapidly in the last half century. Figures collected by experts show that the rate of increase in travel is much greater than the rate of increase of population. These computations are based upon the number of fares collected. In 1860 fares collected per capita were 43; twenty years later 152; twenty years later 246; ten years later 321. In 1916 the figure was 356, but fell off to 353 for 1917 on account of the strikes, about half of the calendar year of 1916 being represented in the 1917 figures. Statistics of travel also more or less indicate general business conditions, as, in years in wThich there is a depression, the number of fares collected, and hence the number of passengers carried, is materially reduced.

The receipts from passenger fares for 1917 amounted to $94,547,916 as against $93,176,216 in 1916, the increase being

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