New York State Judge Rules In Favour Of Uber, Lyft Over Rule For Cruising Without Passenger
In a major boost to taxi giants Lyft and Uber, a New York court has ruled in their favor in a lawsuit against New York City. The judge ruled that the law to limit the time drivers of ride-hailing services can spend cruising without passengers in busy streets is ‘arbitrary and capricious’. The decision by a New York State Supreme Court judge marks a win for Lyft and Uber in their largest US market. Last summer, the city Taxi and Limousine Commission passed a rule to reduce traffic congestion in Manhattan. The rule required drivers to reduce deadheading or the amount of time spent cruising without passengers in their car. The rule asked them to reduce the time from 41 percent to 31 percent below 96th Street.
The city, while passing the order, said that the move is aimed at reducing traffic congestion that has risen since ride-hailing took off. Uber has opposed the order and challenged in the court saying it threatened driver pay and flexibility. In his ruling, Judge Lyle E Frank said that there was no rational behind calculating the time drivers of these ride-hailing apps spend on streets in search of news passengers. Frank said that there was the very little rationale in fixing the target for deadheading to 31 percent. The rule was supposed to be implemented from February next year.
Uber has welcomed the order saying it remains committed to fighting for driver flexibility. Terming the move a politically motivated regulation, Uber said that it would stand up for policies that actually combat congestion. Lyft, which also filed a separate lawsuit, also welcomed the decision saying the ruling reaffirmed that the policy created the bad policy. “We are committed to working with the state and city to address traffic congestion problems in New York,” Lyft said in a statement. Meanwhile, the city is reviewing its all legal options and said that these vehicles create significant environmental problems. It stated that congestion creates a problem for New Yorkers to reach their destinations in a timely fashion.