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ARTICLE - CRAIN'S NEW YORK BUSINESS. 9/10/25
By Erik Engquist

Queens jurist dismisses case that yellow-cab interests said was crucial to their survival, leaving them to battle rideshare companies on their own.

A state judge has slammed the door on a legal challenge by opponents of Uber, clearing the way for the rideshare giant to run traditional taxis off the road.

In a decision unveiled Wednesday, Queens Supreme Court Justice Allan Weiss ruled that for-hire vehicles could use electronic hails to compete with yellow cabs-something they have been doing well enough to threaten the existence of the iconic 80-year-old industry.

If that means yellow-cab medallions worth a collective $10 billion or so just two years ago become worthless, the judge suggested, so be it.

"Any expectation that the medallion would function as a shield against the rapid technological advances of the modern world would not have been reasonable," he wrote. "In this day and age, even with public utilities, investors must always be wary of new forms of competition arising from technological developments."

The plaintiffs, led by four Queens credit unions who lent heavily to medallion buyers, plan to appeal.

"In the meantime, however, a catastrophe is unfolding, as an entire industry continues to be illegally destroyed, while elected officials allow it to happen on their watch," their lawyer Todd Higgins said in a statement that apparently referred to defendants Mayor Bill de Blasio and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "It is a stunning abdication of leadership and responsibility that will haunt New York City for years to come."

The "catastrophe" he cited is the possible slew of loan defaults in the coming months if owners stop making payments on medallions that have plunged in value since peaking at more than $1 million and don't generate enough income for the borrowers to repay their debts. No medallions have been sold since February, when two went for $700,000 each. A wave of foreclosure auctions could reveal that the market now considers medallions to be worth substantially less, which could trigger more defaults and auctions-a so-called death spiral.

Judge Weiss made clear that that's not his concern. "It is not the court's function to adjust the competing political and economic interests disturbed by the introduction of Uber-type apps," he wrote.

Uber was not a defendant in the lawsuit, which sought to compel the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission and the attorney general to stop livery cars from scooping up passengers who hail them from the street using smartphones. But the de Blasio administration defended Uber's interests by arguing that e-hails are pre-arranged travel, which does not require a taxi medallion. The judge said it was regulators' right to make that determination, and that e-hails are not the same as street hails made by lifting one's arm or whistling.

Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairwoman Meera Joshi said, "This decision is a victory for the riding public, and leaves no question as to the appropriateness of our regulatory approach to app-dispatched services. Passengers will remain free to continue to enjoy the many transportation options available to them."
 

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Pre-arranged travel..."Uber" I love it. Every Taxi I was ever in smelled like crap, vomit or urine anyway...lol. I'm sure the lawsuits will continue, but in the long run Uber will prevail as "travel mode of the future"!!!!
 

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"a federal judge in Chicago ruled that taxis may be entitled to the same rules as other for-hire vehicles"

This judge realizes that he is oversimplifying the situation and that maybe the next thing for the cab companies to do would be to sue the state for not enforcing the permits that they are forced to pay money for!
 

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"a federal judge in Chicago ruled that taxis may be entitled to the same rules as other for-hire vehicles"

This judge realizes that he is oversimplifying the situation and that maybe the next thing for the cab companies to do would be to sue the state for not enforcing the permits that they are forced to pay money for!
He realized his oversimplification would result in his decision being overturned.

Any sane inetelligent person can see that Uber is a service that caarries passengers for hire. There should be no difference in regulations.
 
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