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Lyft Files Case Against New York City Over New Cruising Following Uber

Lyft Files Case Against New York City Over New Cruising Following Uber
A case has been filed by the United States based ride hailing company Lyft Inc against the New York City in an attempt to seek to nullify a new rule that is aimed to reduce the period of time that the company’s drivers can spend cruising around Manhattan without any passengers on board, the ride hailing company said. A similar case had already been filed against the same rule by the NYC by Lyft’s rival Uber.
The new rule limiting cruising time for its drivers is arbitrary and has the potential of shifting business away from ride-hailing companies such as Lyft towards the taxis, argued the San Francisco-based ride-hail company in the lawsuit filed by it on Friday.
“This rule is not a serious attempt to address congestion, and would hurt riders and drivers in New York,” Lyft spokesman Campbell Matthews said in a statement to the media.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of New York has implemented this new “cruising cap” rule which limits the how much time drivers of app-based vehicles may drive without passengers in Manhattan south of 96th Street by 31 per cent. That would mean that the drivers would be required to have fare paying passengers on board for at least 69% of the driving time in the area.
“We will vigorously defend against this suit, and we will continue to fight for safer, less congested streets and for drivers’ rights,” TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said in a statement. He however mentioned that the legal suit had not yet been served to the agency as yet.
This new rule is one in a slew of similar rules that had been introduced last year which seek to reduce traffic related congestion in Manhattan where at least one third of peak time traffic is comprised of the vehicles plying for the ride-share companies, said data from the TLC.
A case was filed earlier in September this year by Uber against this new rule as well as another one that essentially banned issuing of new licenses till August of 2020 to for-hire vehicles.
However, the two companies Uber and Lyft had taken steps to comply with the new city regulations this year which included the companies disconnecting their drivers from their apps during periods when demand for shared vehicles were low. 
However the new regulation has been opposed by both the rivaling companies arguing that this rule will disallow drivers from making money as well as forbid those low earning New Yorkers of a chance to avail ride hailing services in remote areas where regular taxis generally do not want to or disagree to go. The arguments have however been dismissed by the city council.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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