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1.47 per cent. Active passenger car miles operated during the year decreased 7,146,733, the first important decrease since 1907 and unquestionably due to the street surface railroad strike. The largest single traffic increase for the year was shown upon the First Subway, where a total of 414,193,992 passengers was carried, an increase of 42,688,674 over 1916. The elevated lines of the Interborough Company also showed a remarkable increase of 37,133,297, and a total passenger traffic of 349,380,093. The elevated and subway lines of the B. R. T. system showed an increase of 19,417,243 passengers, its total traffic amounting to 226,515,512. On the basis of a population in New York City of 5,500,000, the street railroad fares paid were about $17.19 per capita.
Publicity Axd Demonstration
A department of Publicity and Demonstration is maintained by the Commission, the purpose* of which is to acquaint the public with the nature and extent of the Commission's activities and to furnish useful information anjd statistics to the general public as to both the phases of regulation of public utilities and construction of rapid transit lines. This work is carried on through publications issued by the Commission, through accounts of its proceedings furnished to the daily, weekly and monthly press, including technical papers, and through exhibits made at public expositions or other gatherings.
A monthly publication, the title of which is the Public Service Record, is issued by the Commission and contains contributions of technical articles by engineers of the Commission's staff and other engineers, detailing certain interesting and important features of the rapid transit work now in progress. There are also published in this magazine, from time to time, articles prepared by other members of the staff, dealing with various phases of the regulation work of the Commission. The publication was started in 1914 and now has a circulation of about 3,000 copies, there being several universities and technical schools, some of them in foreign countries, upon its mailing list.
There is issued a weekly bulletin, giving briefly a description of the principal acts of the Commission and a calendar of the principal hearings to be held before the Commission in the succeeding week. ■ This bulletin is transmitted to weekly and monthly publications in New York City and to daily papers in other parts of the State.
The Commission regularly publishes its reports of decisions monthly in pamphlet form and annually in bound volumes. These are sold at the rate of $2 per volume. The proceedings of the Commission are also published in pamphlet form monthly and in bound volumes yearly. Summaries of reports of street railroads and gas and electric companies are also published and distributed wherever there is a demand for the information which they contain. Explanatory and descriptive pamphlets containing a description of the Dual System Contracts and of the new lines under construction have been issued in several editions. More than 15,000 of these pamphlets have been distributed to date and another issue is contemplated in the near future. The Commission has also had prepared and is about to publish a list of all the stations upon the new Dual System lines, both Cityowned and company-owned, giving a brief description of each line, its character, the territory it traverses and the location of the station platforms and entrances.
At the close of the year 1917 the Commission and staff were organized as follows:
Commissioners: Oscar S. Straus, Chairman; Travis EL Whitney and Charles S. Hervey.
Secretary: James B. Walker.
Counsel: William L. Ransom.
Chief Engineer: Daniel L. Turner; Consulting Engineer: Alfred Craven; Engineer of Subway Construction: Eobert Ridgway; Electrical Engineer: Clifton W. Wilder.
Chief of Rapid Transit: Le Roy T. Harkness.
Secretary of the Bureau of Gas and Electricity: Thomas D. Hoxsey.
Chief of the Bureau of Statistics and Accounts: A. E. Weber.
Chief of the"Transit Bureau: J. p. H. De Windt.
Chief of Accounts: Frederick W. Lindars.
STOCK AKD BOND AUTHORIZATIONS
Under the provisions of the Public Service Commissions Law, companies subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission may issue capital stock and evidences of permanent debt only after obtaining consent from the Commission, which is required to certify the purposes of the issue in each case. The amount of securities authorized by the Commission in the year 1917 aggregated $44,167,200 face*value, as follows:
Stock And Bond Issue3 Authorized By The Commission In 1917
The amount authorized by the Commission was $2,632,572 less than the amount applied for.
All but $5,000,000 of the securities authorized was applied for by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company for the purpose of carrying out its obligations to the City under Rapid Transit Contract ~No. 3 and affiliated certificates. The company made two applications, one for $25,483,772 face amount of bonds to be used to complete the equipment of the subways constructed under Contract No. 3, and a second application for $16,436,000 face amount of bonds to complete the elevated improvements. The need for additional funds was ascribed by the company mainly to the rise in prices since the original estimates were made, to certain omissions in the estimates, and to enlargement of the scope of the undertaking subsequent to the making of the original estimates. The Commission found that approximately $2,500,00-0 of the proposed expenditures would constitute replacements and accordingly withheld its approval from such portion of the bonds applied for.
The application of the Dry Dock, East Broadway and Battery Railroad Company, one of the Third Avenue Railway subsidiaries, was acted upon under direction of the court. The amount of bonds originally applied for by this company was $2,800,000. The amount finally authorized by the Commission was $1,828,200. This was entirely for refunding purposes.
N"o securities were authorized in 1917 under Section 69 of the Public Service Commissions Law relative to gas and electrical corporations. There was one issue authorized under Section 82 relative to steam companies. It was the first application on the part of the New York Steam Company and necessitated a complete examination by the Commission of the financial condition of the company. An inventory and appraisal of the physical property and a detailed examination of the company's accounting and financial history were made. As a. result of the investigation the full amount of the bonds applied for was authorized under a general and refunding mortgage. The bonds were sufficient to refund $565,500 of real estate mortgages and notes issued for construction purposes, to reimburse the company's depreciation fund and income account for approximately $350,000 and to provide approximately $1,050,000 for construction subsequent to October 31, 1915.
Applications calling for upwards of $10,000,000 of securities were either denied by the Commission or were withdrawn by the applicants. A plan of consolidation was submitted by the Richmond Light & Railroad Company and the Staten Island Midland Railway Company involving the issue of certain securities by these companies and also by a proposed new company to be formed by consolidation. The Commission found that the reorganization plan if approved would mean the capitalization of operating losses, etc., and accordingly denied the application for permission to issue $4,6-11,000 par value of stock and for approval of proposed mortgages.
Certain long pending cases as to which, the Commission had been awaiting further proof were reopened in 1917 and were then finally withdrawn. Among these were the applications of the Brooklyn, Queens County & Suburban Railroad Company for consent to issue approximately $300,000 of bonds and the Coney Island & Gravesend Railway Company for permission to issue approximately $3,000,000 of notes for the purpose of acquiring the capital stock of the Coney Island & Brooklyn Railroad Company.
At the close of the year there were pending four applications
for approval of security issues, as follows:
New York Connecting Railroad Co. (Case 2195) .$1,500,000
New York Municipal Railway Corporation (Case 2075) 697,500
Kings County Electric Light & Power Co. (Case 1477) 1,000,000
New York & Richmond Gas Co. (Case 2189) 2,214,400
The proceedings in respect of the application of the Isew York Connecting Railroad Company were held in abeyance at the request of the company. The Commission has under consideration the brief recently filed in behalf of the apjDlication of the New York Municipal Railway Corporation for permission to issue stock to cover the expense of floating a loan. The Kings County case is one that required the examination of upwards of $10,000,000 of capital expenditures in former years, most of which had been capitalized prior to the creation of the Commission. The company believed that there was still property acquired in the period which had not yet been capitalized, amounting to at least $1,000,000. The application of the New York &r Richmond Gas Co. covered a refunding mortgage and necessitated an examination of the company's financial history and condition. This had been completed and a brief submitted by the company before the close of the year.
The total amount of security issues authorized by the Commission to the end of 1917 was $696,134,677. The amount disapproved was $172,559,308 besides $12,527,444 withdrawn. The division of these amounts between common carriers and light,, heat and power companies is shown in the following summary: