Section 3. No person shall engage in the business of a common carrier by motor vehicle upon any way unless there is in effect with respect to such carrier a certificate issued by the department authorizing the operations to be performed by such person.
(a) A certificate shall be issued to any qualified applicant therefor, authorizing the whole or any part of the operation covered by the application, if it is found that the applicant is fit, willing and able properly to perform the services proposed, and to conform to this chapter and the lawful requirements, orders, rules and regulations of the department thereunder, and that the proposed service to the extent authorized by the certificate is or will be required by the present or future public convenience and necessity; otherwise, such application shall be denied. Each application for such a certificate shall be made in writing in such form as the department may prescribe, shall be verified by oath or written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, shall contain such information as the department may require, and shall be accompanied by a fee, the amount of which shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven for the filing thereof.
(b) Certificates shall be issued as provided in paragraph (a) of this section only after notice and a public hearing as hereinafter provided, and at the time of issuance, and from time to time thereafter, the exercise of the privileges granted by the certificate shall be subject to such reasonable terms, conditions and limitations as the public convenience and necessity may require, including such terms, conditions and limitations as to the extension of the route or routes of the carrier as are necessary to carry out, with respect to his operations, the general orders, rules and regulations adopted and established by the department under authority of this chapter; provided, that no such terms, conditions or limitations shall restrict the right of the carrier to add to his equipment and facilities over the routes, between the termini, or within the territory specified in the certificate, as the development of the business and the demands of the public shall require. A hearing under this paragraph shall be held twice a month in the city of Boston and once a month in each of the cities of Fall River, Lowell, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester and in each of the towns of Greenfield and Plymouth, at a time and place to be determined by the department. A written notice of such hearing shall be mailed by the department at least seven days before the date fixed therefor to the applicant, to the commissioner of highways, to every railroad and electric railway company serving any part of the route proposed to be served by the applicant, and to each person filing with the department a written request for such notice; and a copy of such notice, including a list of the applications to be heard, shall be posted, at least seven days before the date fixed for the hearing, in the office of the department, in the office of the transportation division, and in the building wherein such hearing is to be held. Under such general or special rules and regulations as the commissioners may prescribe, a common carrier by motor vehicle operating under any such certificate may occasionally deviate from the route over which, and the fixed termini between which, he is authorized to operate under the certificate.
(c) Any regular or irregular route common carrier who, during any period of not less than ninety consecutive days since the fifth day of June, nineteen hundred and forty-six, fails or has failed to render any part of the service authorized by his certificate except for the reason that the ways over which he must operate are impassable because of floods, condition of the highways or for other reasonable causes shall be deemed to have abandoned that part of the service authorized by his certificate, and if, after a hearing, the department finds that such carrier has so failed to render service in accordance with his certificate, and not for any reason set forth in the foregoing exceptions, his rights thereto to the extent of his failure to render service shall be forfeited and the department shall reissue his certificate subject to the resulting limitations.
(d) If it shall appear to the department, after a hearing, that any regular route or irregular route common carrier has failed to file, before the expiration of thirty days after the notice to so file, rates covering his operations to all points covered by his certificate, or at any time thereafter, has failed for a period of not less than thirty consecutive days to keep on file rates, covering all such operations, his rights thereto, to the extent of his failure to file or keep on file rates as herein set forth, shall be forfeited and the department shall reissue his certificate subject to the resulting limitations.