Shuttle Corp. v. Washington Transit Comm'n,
393 U.S. 186 (1968)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Shuttle Corp. v. Washington Transit Comm'n, 393 U.S. 186 (1968)

Universal Interpretive Shuttle Corp. v.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission


Argued October 21-22, 1968

Decided November 25, 1968

393 U.S. 186


Respondent Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission (WMATC) sued to enjoin petitioner, a concessionaire under contract with the Secretary of the Interior, from operating "minibus" guided tours of the Mall, a park area in the center of Washington, D.C. without obtaining from WMATC a certificate of convenience and necessity. The WMATC concedes the Secretary's substantial powers over the Mall under specific authority dating from 1898 and as part of the national park lands over which he has broad statutory jurisdiction. WMATC contends, however, that the interstate compact under which it was established to centralize responsibility over mass transit service in the Washington metropolitan area implicitly limits the Secretary's power to contract for provision of tour services by a concessionaire uncertified by WMATC. WMATC-certified carriers furnishing mass transit and sightseeing services in Washington, including D.C. Transit System, Inc., which contends that its franchise also limits the Secretary's power, intervened as plaintiffs. The District Court dismissed the suit, and the Court of Appeals reversed.


1. When Congress established the WMATC, it did not intend to create dual regulatory jurisdiction by divesting the Secretary of the Interior of his longstanding "exclusive charge and control" over the Mall, and the WMATC is without authority to require that petitioner obtain from it a certificate of convenience and necessity. Pp. 393 U. S. 189-194.

2. D.C. Transit's franchise, which protects it from competition by an uncertified bus line transporting passengers over a given route on a fixed schedule in areas under WMATC jurisdiction, does not protect it against competition from petitioner's leisurely sightseeing service on the Mall outside WMATC jurisdiction. Pp. 393 U. S. 194-196.

Reversed and remanded.

Page 393 U. S. 187

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