2021 Georgia Code
Title 46 - Public Utilities and Public Transportation
Chapter 8 - Railroad Companies
Article 2 - Powers and Duties of Commission as to Railroad Companies Generally
§ 46-8-20. Exclusive Power of Commission to Determine Just and Reasonable Rates and Charges; Establishing Rates and Tariffs Generally; Locating of Depots and Construction of Freight and Passenger Buildings

Universal Citation: GA Code § 46-8-20 (2021)
  1. The power to determine what are just and reasonable rates and charges is vested exclusively in the commission.
  2. The commission:
    1. Shall make reasonable and just rates of freight and passenger tariffs, such rates to be observed by all railroad companies doing business in this state;
    2. Shall make reasonable and just rules and regulations as to charges at any and all points for the necessary handling and delivering of freights, such rules and regulations to be observed by all railroad companies doing business in this state;
    3. Shall make such just and reasonable rules and regulations as may be necessary for preventing unjust discrimination in the transportation of freight and passengers on the railroads in this state;
    4. Shall have the power to make, for all connecting railroads doing business in this state, just and reasonable joint rates as to all traffic or business passing from one of those railroads to another, provided that before applying joint rates to railroads that are not under the management and control of a single company, the commission shall give 30 days' notice to the railroads of the joint rate contemplated and of the manner in which it proposes to divide the rate between the railroads, and shall accord a hearing to any company desiring to object to the rates or the manner of their division;
    5. Shall make reasonable and just rates for the use of railroad cars, no matter by whom owned or carried, carrying any kind of freight and passengers on the railroads; and
    6. Shall make just and reasonable rules and regulations to prevent the giving or paying of any rebate or bonus, directly or indirectly, and to prevent the misleading or deceiving of the public in any manner as to the real rates charged for freight and passengers.
  3. The commission shall have full power, by rule and regulation, to designate and fix the difference in rates of freight and passenger transportation to be allowed for long and short distances on the same or different railroads and to ascertain what shall be the limits of long and short distances.
  4. The commission shall have the power to require the location of such depots and the construction of such freight and passenger buildings as the condition of the railroad, the safety of freight, and the public comfort and convenience may require, upon the giving to such railroad company to be affected thereby the same notice as is provided in paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1878-79, p. 125, § 5; Code 1882, § 719e; Ga. L. 1889, p. 131, § 1; Civil Code 1895, § 2189; Ga. L. 1907, p. 72, § 5; Civil Code 1910, § 2630; Code 1933, § 93-309.)

Cross references.

- Authority of General Assembly regarding regulation of public utility rates, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. V.

Prohibition against rebates, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. V.

Further provisions regarding establishment, revision, etc., of rates and charges for railroad transportation, § 46-9-20 et seq.

Law reviews.

- For comment on Georgia Power Co. v. Allied Chem. Corp., 233 Ga. 558, 212 S.E.2d 628 (1975), see 27 Mercer L. Rev. 341 (1975).



  • General Consideration
  • Rate-making


Federal preemption of railroads in interstate commerce.

- As to railroads which are in interstate commerce, commission is preempted from imposing any safety regulations concerning any subject over which federal government has an existing regulation. 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 80-36.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Utilities, § 166 et seq.


- 73B C.J.S., Public Utilities, §§ 15, 18-22, 34, 36-41, 45-49, 53-55, 57.


- Franchise provisions for free or reduced rates of public service corporations as within constitutional or statutory provision prohibiting discrimination, 10 A.L.R. 504; 15 A.L.R. 1200.

Right of electrical company to discriminate against a concern which desires service for resale, 12 A.L.R. 327; 112 A.L.R. 773.

Discrimination by public utility company in respect of extension of credit, 12 A.L.R. 964.

Franchise provision for free or reduced rates by public service corporation as within constitutional or statutory provision prohibiting discrimination, 15 A.L.R. 1200.

Right of public utility to discontinue one of several different kinds of service, 21 A.L.R. 578.

Power of state to require interstate carrier to make track connections with other roads, 22 A.L.R. 1078.

Power of Public Service Commission to increase franchise rates, 28 A.L.R. 587; 29 A.L.R. 356.

Service contract by public utility in consideration of conveyance of property by individual or private corporations as affected by public utility acts, 41 A.L.R. 257.

Right to fix new rate for public utility where court sets aside rate fixed by commission as confiscatory, 57 A.L.R. 146.

Right to make charge for telephone or other public utility service in excess of that fixed by public utility, 73 A.L.R. 1194.

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