§271-22 Schedules of contract carriers by motor vehicle. (a) It shall be the duty of every contract carrier by motor vehicle to file and observe reasonable minimum rates and charges for any service rendered or to be rendered in the transportation of passengers or property in connection therewith, and to file and observe reasonable regulations and practices to be applied in connection with the reasonable minimum rates, fares, and charges. It shall be the duty of every contract carrier by motor vehicle to file with the public utilities commission, publish, and keep open for public inspection, in the form and manner prescribed by the commission, schedules containing the actual rates or charges of the carrier for the transportation of passengers or property, and any rule, regulation, or practice affecting the rates or charges and the value of the service thereunder; provided that any contract carrier serving but one shipper having rendered continuous service to the shipper for not less than one year may file reasonable minimum rates and charges unless the commission in any individual case, after hearing, finds it in the public interest to require the filing of actual rates and charges. No contract carrier, unless otherwise provided by this chapter, shall engage in the transportation of passengers or property unless the actual rates or charges for the transportation by the carrier have been published, filed, and posted in accordance with this chapter. Nothing herein provided shall be so construed as to require the carriers to maintain the same rates, rules and regulations for the same services for all shippers served. No reduction shall be made in any such charge either directly or by means of any change in any rule, regulation, or practice affecting the charge or the value of the service thereunder, nor shall any new charge be permitted, except after thirty days' notice of the proposed change or new charge is filed in the aforesaid form and manner; but the commission may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, allow the change upon less notice, or modify the requirements of this subsection with respect to posting and filing of schedules, either in particular instances, or by general order applicable to special or peculiar circumstances or conditions. The notice shall plainly state the change proposed to be made and the time when the change will take effect. No carriers shall demand, charge, or collect compensation for transportation different from the charges filed in accordance with this subsection, as affected by any rule, regulation, or practice so filed, or less than the minimum rate or charge as may be prescribed by the commission from time to time, and it shall be unlawful for any carrier, by the furnishing of special services, facilities, or privileges, or by any other device whatsoever, to charge, accept, or receive compensation different from the actual rates and charges so filed, or less than the minimum charges prescribed; provided that any carrier or carriers, or any class or group thereof, may apply to the commission for relief from this subsection, and the commission may, after hearing, grant such relief to such extent and for such time, and in such manner as in its judgment is consistent with the public interest and the transportation policy declared in this chapter.
(b) Whenever, after hearing, upon complaint or upon its own initiative, the commission finds that any minimum rate or charge of any contract carrier by motor vehicle, or any rule, regulation, or practice of any carrier affecting the minimum rate or charge, or the value of the service thereunder, for the transportation of passengers or property or in connection therewith, contravenes the transportation policy declared in this chapter, or is in contravention of any provision of this chapter, the commission may prescribe such just and reasonable minimum rate or charge, or such rule, regulations, or practice as in its judgment may be necessary or desirable in the public interest and to promote the policy and will not be in contravention of any provision of this chapter. The minimum rate or charge, or the rule, regulation, or practice, so prescribed by the commission, shall give no advantage or preference to any carrier in competition with any common carrier by motor vehicle subject to this chapter, which the commission may find to be undue or inconsistent with the public interest and the transportation policy declared in this chapter and the commission shall give due consideration to the cost of the services rendered by such carriers, and to the effect of the minimum rate or charge, or the rule, regulation, or practice, upon the movement of traffic by the carriers. All complaints shall state fully the facts complained of and the reasons for the complaint and shall be made under oath.
(c) Whenever there is filed with the commission by any contract carrier any schedule stating a charge for a new service or a reduced charge directly, or by means of any rule, regulation, or practice, for the transportation of passengers or property, the commission may upon complaint of interested persons or upon its own initiative at once and, if it so orders, without answer or other formal pleading by the interested party, but upon reasonable notice, enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness of the charge, or rule, regulation, or practice, and pending the hearing and the decision thereon, the commission, by filing with the schedules and delivering to the carrier affected thereby a statement in writing of its reasons for the suspension, may from time to time suspend the operation of the schedule and defer the use of the charge, or rule, regulation, or practice, but not for a longer period than five months beyond the time when it would otherwise go into effect; and after hearing, whether completed before or after the charge, or rule, regulation, or practice goes into effect, the commission may make such order with reference thereto as would be proper in a proceeding instituted after it had become effective. If the proceeding has not been concluded and an order made within the period of suspension, the proposed change in any charge or rule, regulation, or practice shall go into effect at the end of the period; provided that this subsection shall not apply to any initial schedule or schedules filed by any carrier in bona fide operation when this section takes effect. The rule as to burden of proof specified in section 271-20(e) shall apply to this subsection. [L 1961, c 121, pt of §2; Supp, §106C-20; HRS §271-22]