B-60519, OCTOBER 10, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 253

B-60519: Oct 10, 1946

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PROVIDED SUCH RATES ARE NOT UNREASONABLE FOR THE DISTANCES TRAVELED. 1946: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED CONCERNING THE ITEMS OF TAXICAB FARE OF $2.50 ON AUGUST 24. OF THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS ATTACHED. WE LEARN THAT THE TAXICAB CHARGES FOR SUBZONES 4-H AND 4-J (THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT) ARE DELETED FROM THE RATE SCHEDULES PRESCRIBED BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION. TAXICAB RATES BETWEEN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE AIRPORT ARE NOW MADE BY THE TAXI COMPANIES OR INDEPENDENT CAB OWNERS. IT IS PRESUMED THAT RATES WILL VARY. THE TRIPS ORIGINATED AND ENDED AT EASTERN AVENUE ON THE DISTRICT LINE WHICH IS IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF HIS RESIDENCE.

B-60519, OCTOBER 10, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 253

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TAXICAB FARES - ABSENCE OF LEGAL RATES IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY LEGALLY ESTABLISHED TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN POINTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT- - THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, HAVING CANCELLED THE TAXICAB FARES PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED BETWEEN SUCH POINTS BECAUSE OF LACK OF JURISDICTION--- RATES CHARGED BY INDIVIDUAL TAXICAB OPERATORS FOR TRIPS TO THE AIRPORT MAY BE REGARDED AS THE "USUAL TAXICAB FARES" REIMBURSABLE TO OFFICIAL TRAVELERS UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDED SUCH RATES ARE NOT UNREASONABLE FOR THE DISTANCES TRAVELED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO HERBERT R. GLASER, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, OCTOBER 10, 1946:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ATTACHED VOUCHER FOR PER DIEM AND REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSE IN THE AMOUNT OF $132.13, PAYABLE TO MR. VICTOR HIRSHFIELD, HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED CONCERNING THE ITEMS OF TAXICAB FARE OF $2.50 ON AUGUST 24, 1946 FROM EASTERN AVENUE, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT, AND $2.50 ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1946 FROM THE AIRPORT TO EASTERN AVENUE.

A COPY OF ORDER NO. 3070, DATED AUGUST 2, 1946, OF THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS ATTACHED. FROM THIS ORDER, WE LEARN THAT THE TAXICAB CHARGES FOR SUBZONES 4-H AND 4-J (THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT) ARE DELETED FROM THE RATE SCHEDULES PRESCRIBED BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION. APPARENTLY, TAXICAB RATES BETWEEN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE AIRPORT ARE NOW MADE BY THE TAXI COMPANIES OR INDEPENDENT CAB OWNERS. IT IS PRESUMED THAT RATES WILL VARY, DEPENDING ON THE POINT OF ORIGIN OR DESTINATION OF THE TRIP. IN THE CASE OF THE CLAIM BY MR. HIRSHFIELD, THE TRIPS ORIGINATED AND ENDED AT EASTERN AVENUE ON THE DISTRICT LINE WHICH IS IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF HIS RESIDENCE.

IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT YOU INFORM ME IF IT IS PROPER TO CERTIFY REIMBURSEMENT TO MR. HIRSHFIELD OF THE AMOUNTS WHICH HE PAID, WHEN THERE ARE NO FORMAL ESTABLISHED RATES FOR THESE TRIPS, OR IF THE CLAIMANT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO THE PLACE WHERE HE COULD MEET THE AIRPORT LIMOUSINE SERVICE PLUS LIMOUSINE FARE TO THE AIRPORT, AND THE SAME RETURNING.

SECTION 8 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES FROM STATION, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL TO EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS AND FROM EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS TO STATION, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL WILL BE ALLOWED.

ORDINARILY,"THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES" REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE ABOVE SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS ARE THOSE ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. HOWEVER, IN THE PRESENT CASE, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT, UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CANCELED THE TAXICAB FARES IT PREVIOUSLY HAD ESTABLISHED BETWEEN POINTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT BECAUSE OF LACK OF JURISDICTION, AND THAT, AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED, THERE WERE NOT IN EFFECT ANY LEGALLY ESTABLISHED TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN SUCH POINTS. IN VIEW THEREOF, THE PRESENT RATES WHICH MAY BE CHARGED BY INDIVIDUAL TAXICAB OPERATORS FOR TRIPS TO THE AIRPORT MAY BE REGARDED AS THE "USUAL TAXICAB FARES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS AS USED IN THE ABOVE QUOTED SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS, PROVIDED THAT SUCH RATES ARE NOT UNREASONABLE FOR THE DISTANCE TRAVELED.

ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE TAXICAB FARE OF $2.50 PER TRIP CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN PAID BY MR. HIRSHFIELD BETWEEN THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT AND EASTERN AVENUE, WASHINGTON, D.C., DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE UNREASONABLE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.