Stop, Look and Listen: Railroad Transportation in the United States

By David Hinshaw; W. Espey Albig | Go to book overview

Chapter VIII
LONG AND SHORT HAUL

AS A result of competitive rate making by the railroads there had grown up prior to the organization of the Interstate Commerce Commission the pernicious practice of charging higher rates for shorter than for longer hauls.

That part of the Interstate Commerce Act covering this practice in railroad transportation is specific in general statement:

It shall be unlawful . . . to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers or like kind of property for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line or route in the same direction, the shorter being included within the longer distance.

After the general principle is thus stated, the act provides that the Interstate Commerce Commission may in special cases grant permission to carriers "to charge less for longer than for shorter distances." The permission thus granted a railroad is called fourth section relief (the long-and-short haul clause being contained in the fourth section of the act). The relief is secured by the railroads when regulatory bodies permit them to charge the lesser amount for

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