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Judge Dismisses New York City's Cruising Cap Rule For Uber, Lyft

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A New York state judge has dismissed a New York City rule that would have limited how much time drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft can spend cruising without passengers in the busiest parts of the city, according to reports. The rule was expected to take effect next year.

In his decision, Judge Lyle Frank of the Supreme Court of State of New York reportedly called the city's cruising cap rule "arbitrary and capricious."

The judge said that the city's calculation of the cruising rate should not include the traveling time spent by a driver to pick up a passenger who has requested a ride. The judge's decision marks a win for Uber and Lyft.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in August that a rule would be instituted restricting drivers of ride-hailing companies from spending only 31 percent of their time cruising in Manhattan's core areas without passengers, compared to the 41 percent cruising rate in 2018.

Under the new rule, the cruising cap for ride-hailing services would have fallen to 36 percent during the peak hours in February 2020 and further to 31 percent in August 2020.

The new rule, aimed at reducing congestion in Manhattan, was approved by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

However, Uber and Lyft filed separate lawsuits against the city's rule in September. Uber has welcomed the judge's decision.

Uber reportedly said it was "committed to fighting for driver flexibility in the face of politically-motivated regulations and to stand up for policies that actually combat congestion."

Following the judge's decision, New York City is said to be reviewing its legal options, including an appeal.

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