HOUSE BILL 1819
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Representatives Zellinsky, R. Fisher, Wilson, Schmidt, Haugen and Betrozoff; by request of Legislative Transportation Committee.
Read first time February 11, 1991. Referred to Committee on Transportation.
AN ACT Relating to regulation of steamboat operators; amending RCW 47.60.120, 81.84.010, 81.84.020, and 81.84.030; and adding new sections to chapter 81.84 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 47.60.120 and 1984 c 7 s 307 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) If (a) the department acquires or constructs, maintains, and operates, or (b) the commission adopts a written resolution declaring its intention to operate within two years, any ferry crossings upon or toll bridges over Puget Sound or any of its tributary or connecting waters, there shall not be constructed, operated, or maintained (i) any other ferry crossing upon or bridge over any such waters within ten miles of any such crossing or bridge operated or maintained by the department or the subject of a commission resolution of intent to maintain, or (ii) any other ferry crossing upon or bridge over any such waters that is determined by the Washington utilities and transportation commission to cause a reduction in passenger or vehicle traffic of more than ten percent on any such crossing or bridge operated or maintained by the department or the subject of a transportation commission resolution of intent to maintain, excepting such bridges or ferry crossings in existence, and being operated and maintained under a lawfully issued franchise at the time of the location of the ferry crossing or construction of the toll bridge by the department.
(2) The ten-mile distance in subsection (1) of this section means ten statute miles measured by airline distance. The ten-mile restriction shall be applied by comparing the end points or termini of a state ferry crossing to those of a private ferry crossing.
(3) The Washington utilities and transportation commission shall consider evidence presented by the bond covenant traffic engineering firm appointed under RCW 47.60.450 in making its determination of traffic reduction.
(4) The department shall not maintain and operate any ferry crossing or toll bridge over Puget Sound or any of its tributary or connecting waters that would infringe upon any franchise lawfully issued by the state and in existence and being exercised on a regular basis for a period of at least one hundred twenty consecutive days, unless otherwise restricted by the franchise certificate or tariffs, at the time of the location of the ferry crossing or toll bridge by the department, without first acquiring the rights granted to such franchise holder under the franchise. The Washington utilities and transportation commission has sole authority to determine under its powers granted by chapter 81.84 RCW whether the franchise has been exercised on a regular basis for the one hundred twenty day period.
(5) While any revenue bonds issued by the department under the provisions of this chapter are outstanding no additional bonds may be issued for the purposes of acquiring, constructing, operating, or maintaining any ferries or toll bridges within the aforesaid ten mile distance by the department unless the revenues of any such additional ferries or toll bridges are pledged to the bonds then outstanding to the extent provided by the resolution authorizing the issue of the outstanding bonds. The provisions of this section are binding upon the state, and all of its departments, agencies, and instrumentalities, as well as any and all private, political, municipal, and public corporations and subdivisions, including cities, towns, counties, and other political subdivisions, and the prohibitions of this section shall restrict and limit the powers of the legislature of the state in respect to the matters herein mentioned so long as any of such bonds are outstanding and unpaid and shall be deemed to constitute a contract to that effect for the benefit of the holders of all such bonds.
Sec. 2. RCW 81.84.010 and 1961 c 14 s 81.84.010 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) No steamboat company shall hereafter operate any vessel or ferry for the public use for hire between fixed termini or over a regular route upon the waters within this state, including the rivers and lakes and Puget Sound, without first applying for and obtaining from the commission a certificate declaring that public convenience and necessity require such operation. Certificates issued before or after the effective date of this act to a steamboat operator shall be exercised by the operator to the fullest possible extent so as to render reasonable service to the public: PROVIDED, That no certificate shall be required for a vessel primarily engaged in transporting freight other than vehicles, whose gross earnings from the transportation of passengers and/or vehicles, are not more than ten percent of the total gross earnings of such vessel: PROVIDED, That nothing herein shall be construed to affect the right of any county within this state to construct, condemn, purchase, operate or maintain, itself or by contract, agreement or lease, with any person, firm or corporation, ferries or boats across or wharfs at or upon the waters within this state, including rivers and lakes and Puget Sound, provided such operation is not over the same route or between the same districts, being served by a certificate carrier, nor shall this chapter be construed to affect, amend or invalidate any contract entered into prior to January 15, 1927, for the operation of ferries or boats upon the waters within this state, which was entered into in good faith by any county with any person, firm, or corporation, except that in case of the operation or maintenance by any county, city, town, port district, or other political subdivision by contract, agreement, or lease with any person, firm, or corporation, of ferries or boats across or wharfs at or upon the waters within this state, including rivers and lakes and Puget Sound, the commission shall have power and authority to regulate rates and services of such operation or maintenance of ferries, boats, or wharfs, to make, fix, alter or amend said rates, and to regulate service and safety of operations thereof, in the manner and to the same extent as it is empowered to regulate a steamboat company, notwithstanding the provisions of any act or parts of acts inconsistent herewith.
(2) The holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity granted under this chapter must initiate service within one year of obtaining the certificate.
Sec. 3. RCW 81.84.020 and 1961 c 14 s 81.84.020 are each amended to read as follows:
Upon the filing of an application the commission shall give reasonable notice
to the department, affected cities and counties, and any common carrier
which might be adversely affected, of the time and place for hearing on such
application. The commission shall have power after hearing, to issue the
certificate as prayed for, or to refuse to issue it, or to issue it for the
partial exercise only of the privilege sought, and may attach to the exercise
of the rights granted by said certificate such terms and conditions as in its
judgment the public convenience and necessity may require; but the commission
shall not have power to grant a certificate to operate between districts and/or
into any territory prohibited by RCW 47.60.120 or already served by an existing
certificate holder, unless such existing certificate holder ((
shall fail and
refuse)) has failed or refused to furnish reasonable and adequate
service or has failed to provide the type and frequency of service described
in its certificate or tariffs: PROVIDED, A certificate shall be granted
when it shall appear to the satisfaction of the commission that such steamboat
company was actually operating in good faith over the route for which such
certificate shall be sought, on January 15, 1927: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That in
case two or more steamboat companies shall upon said date have been operating
vessels upon the same route, or between the same districts the commission shall
determine after public hearing whether one or more certificates shall issue, and
in determining to whom a certificate or certificates shall be issued, the
commission shall consider all material facts and circumstances including the
prior operation, schedules and services rendered by either of said companies,
and in case more than one certificate shall issue, the commission shall fix and
determine the schedules and services of the companies to whom such certificates
are issued to the end that duplication of service be eliminated and public
convenience be furthered.
(2) Before issuing a certificate, the commission shall determine that the applicant has the financial resources to operate the proposed service for at least twelve months, regardless of revenue generated. Issuance of a certificate shall be determined upon, but not limited to, the following factors: Ridership and revenue forecasts indicating that the service will be self-supporting after the initial twelve-month period; the cost of service for the proposed operation; an estimate of the cost of the assets to be used in providing the service, sworn to before a notary public; a statement of the total assets on hand of the applicant that will be expended on the proposed operation, sworn to before a notary public; and a statement of prior experience, if any, in such field by the applicant, sworn to before a notary public.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. A new section is added to chapter 81.84 RCW to read as follows:
The commission, in granting a certificate to operate as a steamboat company, shall require the operator to first obtain liability and property damage insurance from a company licenced to write liability insurance in the state or a surety bond of a company licensed to write surety bonds in the state, on each vessel or ferry to be used, in the amount of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars for any recovery for personal injury by one person, and not less than ten thousand dollars and in such additional amount as the commission shall determine, for all persons receiving personal injury by reason of one act of negligence, and not less than ten thousand dollars for damage to property of any person other than the insured, and to maintain such liability and property damage insurance or surety bond in force on each vessel or ferry while so used. Each policy for liability or property damage insurance or surety bond required by this section must be filed with the commission and kept in full force and effect, and failure to do so is cause for revocation of the operator's certificate.
Sec. 5. RCW 81.84.030 and 1961 c 14 s 81.84.030 are each amended to read as follows:
certificate or any right or privilege thereunder held, owned, or obtained
under the provisions of this chapter shall be sold, assigned, leased, mortgaged,
or in any manner transferred, either by the act of the parties or by operation
of law, except upon authorization by the commission first obtained. ((
commission may at any time by its order duly entered after hearing had upon
notice to the holder of any certificate hereunder and an opportunity to such
holder to be heard, suspend, revoke, alter, or amend any certificate issued
under the provisions of this chapter, if the holder thereof wilfully violates
or fails to observe the provisions or conditions of the certificate, or the
orders, rules or regulations of the commission, or the provisions of this
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. A new section is added to chapter 81.84 RCW to read as follows:
The commission, upon complaint by an interested party, or upon its own motion after notice and opportunity for hearing, may cancel, revoke, suspend, alter, or amend a certificate issued under this chapter on any of the following grounds:
(1) Failure of the certificate holder to initiate service by the end of the first twelve-month period after the certificate has been granted;
(2) Failure of the certificate holder to file an annual report as required under section 7 of this act;
(3) The filing by a certificate holder of an annual report that shows no revenue in the previous twelve-month period;
(4) The violation of any provision of this chapter;
(5) The violation or failure to observe the provisions or conditions of the certificate or tariffs;
(6) The violation of an order, decision, rule, regulation, or requirement established by the commission under this chapter;
(7) Failure of a certificate holder to maintain the required insurance coverage in full force and effect; or
(8) Failure of the certificate holder to operate to the fullest extent possible so as to render reasonable service to the public.
The commission shall take action within thirty days upon a complaint by an interested party or of its own finding that a provision of this section has been violated.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. A new section is added to chapter 81.84 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Every steamboat operator shall at the close of each year file with the commission, a report covering the operations during the preceding calendar year. The report must include a statement of gross operating revenue for the vessel and route covered by the certificate of public convenience and necessity and must contain the data and information required by and be prepared on forms for that purpose obtained from the commission. The annual report must be filed with the commission as soon after the close of each calendar year as possible, but in no event later than April 1st of the following year.
(2) Every steamboat operator shall on or before the first day of April of each year file with the commission a statement showing the gross operating revenue of such company for the preceding calendar year. The annual report required by subsection (1) of this section must contain the statement of gross operating revenue and other information required by subsection (1) of this section.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. A new section is added to chapter 81.84 RCW to read as follows:
The commission may, with or without a hearing, issue temporary certificates to operate under this chapter, but only after it finds that the issuance of the temporary certificate is necessary due to an immediate and urgent need and is otherwise consistent with the public interest. The certificate may be issued for a period of up to one hundred eighty days. The commission may prescribe such special rules and impose special terms and conditions on the granting of the certificate as in its judgment are reasonable and necessary in carrying out this chapter. The commission shall collect a filing fee, not to exceed two hundred dollars, for each application for a temporary certificate.