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Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Co. v. City of Chicago

January 17, 1957


Author: Schnackenberg

Before MAJOR, SWAIM and SCHNACKENBERG, Circuit Judges.


Twenty-one railroads,*fn1 herein sometimes referred to as Terminal Lines, and Railroad Transfer Service, Inc., sometimes herein referred to as Transfer, on October 24, 1955 brought an action in the district court against defendant City of Chicago, sometimes herein referred to as the city, and certain officials thereof.*fn2 Plaintiffs' complaint seeks a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against the enforcement against them of an ordinance known as chapter 28 of the municipal code of Chicago, as amended by an ordiance enacted July 26, 1955. Plaintiffs asked the district court to declare by its judgment, inter alia, that the ordinance, as amended in 1955, is void as applied to them.

Parmellee Transportation Company, sometimes herein referred to as Parmelee, on its petition was granted leave to intervene as a defendant.*fn3

On motion of defendants, other than Parmelee, pursuant to rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,*fn4 and on the pleadings, affidavits and exhibits submitted by all parties, the district court on January 12, 1956 granted a summary judgment against plaintiffs and dismissed their action.*fn5 136 F.Supp. 476. From said judgment this appeal was taken.*fn6

The undisputed facts we now set forth.

There are eight passenger terminals in downtown Chicago, each being used by from one to six railroads.No one railroad passes through Chicago, but about 3900 railroad passengers daily travel through Chicago on continuous journeys which begin and end at points outside Chicago. At Chicago, they transfer from an incoming, to an outgoing, railroad. The only practical method of transferring these passengers between the different terminal stations is by motor vehicle equipped to carry them and their hand baggage simultaneously. More than 99 per cent of the passengers so transferred between terminal stations are traveling on through tickets between points of origin and destination located in different states. They are carried over public ways of the city.

Transfer began its operations on October 1, 1955, but has not applied to the city for public passenger terminal vehicle licenses. These transfer operations are required by a tariff filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission.*fn7 They have been provided for by tariffs for more than the past forty years.

Pursuant to such tariffs a passenger traveling through Chicago purchases at his point of origin a railroad ticket composed of a series of coupons covering his complete transportation to his destination. If his through journey requires him to transfer from one railroad passenger terminal in Chicago to another, a part of his ticket consists of a coupon good for the transfer of himself and his hand baggage between such terminals.The expense of the required transfer service is absorbed by the railroads.

The tariffs provide that any such required transfer service shall be without additional charge where a one-way fare from Chicago to destination would be more than a specified minimum sum. Where such fare would be less than such minimum, a fixed charge which varies with the fare must be added to cover the required transfer service.

Prior to October 1, 1955, there had existed for many years arrangements between the Terminal Lines and Parmelee whereby it furnished this service for coupon-holding passengers. On June 13, 1955, the Terminal Lines ended their arrangement with Parmelee effective September 30, 1955. Under date of October 1, 1955, the Terminal Lines and Transfer executed a contract. In brief, this contract*fn8 provides that, upon delivery of a transfer coupon to Transfer by a through-passenger, it will carry him and his hand baggage from the incoming to the appropriate outgoing station without charge. Transfer is compensated by the outgoing terminal railroad. Transfer is given the exclusive right to perform this transfer service.Transfer devotes its vehicles exclusively to service under the contract.*fn9

On and prior to June 13, 1955, there was in effect an ordinance of the city, being said chapter 28 of the municipal code, consisting of sections 28-1 to 28-32,*fn10 for the regulation of "Public Passenger Vehicles." Section 28-1 contained the following definitions, inter alia:

"'Public passenger vehicle' means a motor vehicle, as defined in the Motor Vehicle Law of the State of Illinois, which is used for the transportation of passengers for hire, excepting those devoted exclusively for funeral use or in operation of a metropolitan transit authority or public utility under the laws of Illinois."

"'Terminal vehicle' means a public passenger vehicle which is operated under contracts with railroad and steamship companies, exclusively for the transfer of passengers from terminal stations."

Section 28-31 provided:

"28-31. No person shall be qualified for a terminal vehicle license unless he has a contract with one or more railroad or steamship companies for the transportation of their passengers from terminal stations.

"It is unlawful to operate a terminal vehicle for the transportation of passengers for hire except for their transfer from terminal stations to destinations in the area bounded on the north by E. and W. Ohio Street; on the west by N. and S. Desplaines Street; on the ...

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