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Newspaper Page Text
ANOTHER CITY TO RUN ITS OWN STREET CARS
Another American city is going into the street railway business the
City of Akron, O., Tvhich is famqus as the center of the rubber industry.
Akron plans to build lines into new territory and for the next ten years
compete with the local, privately-owned street railway company', the North
ern Ohio Traction & Light Company. JVith the expiration then of the'
Northern Ohio's franchise, it is Akron's intention to take over the N. 0. T.'s
entire system and operate It as a municipal plant.
"The proposed municipal line is'to be a corporation not for profit, but
for service," Councilman James Shaw said when he introduced a, $225,000
bond ordinance for building the first three lines in outlying districts to be
connected across town, east and west and north and south.
"It is a fight to regain possession of and control of our own streets,"
City Solicitor Taylor told the council.
The bond ordinance was passed on its first reading by the council's
unanimous vote, with every "member present. Only one voice was raised
against it, and that was the voice of the mayor, Frank W. Rockwell, who
thinks it better for the people to w'ait until the street railway company's
franchise expires rather than "take a chance now" on municipal owner
The city's decision to build its own street railway lines came after 18
months' fruitless effort to get the traction company to build extensions, to
provide decent cars, air brakes and to relieve crowded car conditions.
In ten years Akron has doubled its population. But the traction com
pany has not extended its lines one foot. And it refuses to do so unless
given a franchise extension, a club the city refuses to submit to.
The city then brought in Traction Expert A. B. DuPont of Cleveland, a
friend of Tom L. Johnson and veteran of numerous traction fights. Du
Pont, on behalf of the city, guaranteed the traction company six per cent
return on its investment if it would build extensions.
"No franchise extension, no car line extension," was the company's
reply. As the traction company's franchise does not expire until ten years
hence, the city refused to "consider it.
Then the Eyerett-Moore syndicate, which controls the Northern Ohio
company, as well as other public utilities, offered to extend its lines if given
one year's franchise extension for each mile of track extension.
That was rejected. The effect of it would have been to give the traction
company practically a perpetual franchise. For five miles of extension are
needed now. And ten more on top of that will be needed within two years.
The selling of bonds may be a temporary stumbling block in. the city's
path toward municipal ownership. Bond brokers, by reason of their profit
able connection with privately-owned utilities, have in other cities shown.
an unwillingness to buy cijies' bonds for municipal ownership purposes.
To get around this opposition, if there is any, the council has made
the bonds of,$100 denomination and is ready to sell them over the counter
at popular' sale in department stores to citizens.
. o o
"You are getting very Laid, sir,"
said a barber, with an eye to busi
ness. "You, yourself," retorted the
customer, "are not free from a num
ber of defects that I could mention
if I caredto become personal!''
Otter skins have lately been ex
tensively dyed in imitation of the
fashionable fur seal. They are
cheaper than the latter, and when
carefully and newly prepared can be
1 distinguished dhly by experts. 0
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