Court win for Uber as Judge puts a stop to New York City's attempts to cap empty cruising time 

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

Uber Technologies Inc and their biggest US rival in the ride-sharing market, Lyft, were left celebrating on Monday after a New York state judge ruled in favour of both companies in a lawsuit against New York City.

New York City attempted to implement a new rule limiting how much time drivers for ride-hailing services can spend cruising streets in Manhattan whilst empty and waiting for the next job to be allocated to them.

But Judge Lyle Frank of the Supreme Court of State of New York called the cap "arbitrary and capricious", Reuters first reported.

The cruising cap was introduced in August by New York City - an attempt to reduce the ever increasing congestion caused by ride-sharing vehicles - which make up a third of peak-time traffic.

Uber filed a lawsuit against the implementation of the cruising cap in September and have welcomed the judge's decision to squash the rule which was set to come into place in February 2020.

The city’s mayor’s office said it was reviewing its legal options, including an appeal.

According to Reuters, the cruising cap set a limit on how much time drivers of app-based vehicles may drive or wait without passengers in Manhattan south of 96th Street. New York’s cruising rate was 41% in 2018. Under the new rule, the maximum would have fallen to 36% in February 2020 and 31% six months later.

Image credit: PXfuel

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