[§271G-16] Rates, fares and charges of common carriers by water. (a) It shall be the duty of every water carrier of passengers to provide safe and adequate service, equipment, and facilities for the transportation of passengers and to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable rates, fares, and charges, and just and reasonable regulations and practices relating thereto, and to the issuance, form, and substance of tickets, the carrying of personal, sample, and excess baggage, the facilities for transportation, and all other matters relating to or connected with the transportation of passengers.
(b) It shall be the duty of every water carrier of property to provide safe and adequate service, equipment, and facilities for the transportation of property and to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable rates, charges, and classifications, and just and reasonable regulations and practices relating thereto, and to the manner and method of presenting, marking, packing, and delivering property for transportation, the facilities for transportation, and all other matters relating to or connected with the transportation of property.
(c) All charges made for any service rendered by any water carrier in the transportation of passengers or property or in connection therewith shall be just and reasonable, and every unjust and unreasonable charge for such service or any part thereof, is prohibited and declared to be unlawful. It shall be unlawful for any water carrier to make, give, or cause any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, locality, region, district, island, or description of traffic, in any respect whatsoever; or to subject any particular person, locality, region, district, island, or description of traffic to any unjust discrimination or undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever; provided that this subsection shall not be construed to apply to discrimination, prejudice, or disadvantage to the traffic of any other carrier of whatever description.
(d) Any person or body politic may make complaint in writing to the commission that any such rate, fare, charge, rule, regulation, or practice, in effect or proposed to be put into effect, is or will be in violation of this section. Whenever, after hearing, upon complaint or in an investigation on its own initiative, the commission shall be of the opinion that any individual rate, fare, or charge, demand, charged, or collected by any common carrier or carriers by water for transportation, or any rule, regulation, or practice whatsoever of the carrier or carriers affecting such rate, fare, or charge or the value of the service thereunder, is or will be unjust or unreasonable, or unjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential or unduly prejudicial, it shall determine and prescribe the lawful rate, fare, or charge or the maximum or minimum or maximum and minimum rate, fare, or charge thereafter to be observed, or the lawful rule, regulation, or practice thereafter to be made effective.
(e) In the exercise of its power to prescribe just and reasonable rates, fares, and charges for the transportation of passengers or property by water carriers, and to prescribe classifications, regulations, and practices relating thereto, the commission shall give due consideration, among other factors, to the effect of rates upon the movement of traffic by the carrier or carriers for which the rates are prescribed; to the need, in the public interest, of adequate and efficient transportation service by the carriers at the lowest cost consistent with the furnishing of the service; and to the need of revenues sufficient to enable the carriers, under honest, economical, and efficient management, to provide the service.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be held to extinguish any remedy or right of action not inconsistent herewith. [L 1974, c 94, pt of §1]