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Uber Wins One at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport

DALLAS (CN) - Cabdrivers cannot keep Uber and Lyft away from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport because they failed to state a claim in their lawsuit, a Texas judge ruled.

The Association of Taxicab Operators USA sued both companies and the airport board in August, challenging a new policy that allowed any vehicle allowed to operate in Dallas or Fort Worth to operate at the airport.

The old policy required operators to get airport-issued permits that were limited in number. The cabbies claimed in Dallas County Court that the new policy put them at a competitive disadvantage because the city requires them to charge a $45 flat fee for airport rides while Uber and Lyft can charge half as much, creating a " feeding frenzy ."

State District Judge Bonnie Goldstein granted Lyft's challenge to jurisdiction Friday and closed the case , according to court records.

Lyft filed a Plea to the Jurisdiction on Dec. 7 and Uber joined it the next day, claiming the cabdrivers' lawsuit "contains nothing more than a vague suggestion of injury without any particular case or controversy."

"The petition does not assert that Lyft violated any law or duty owed to ATO or its members," the 10-page filing states. "Rather, it seeks a declaratory judgment 'to construe the scope and effect' of DFW's changes to its ground transportation rules and a determination of its members' property rights in taxicab permits previously issued by Neither of these declarations forms a justiciable controversy against Lyft - or any other party for that matter."

Lyft said the cabbies' lawsuit is simply challenging "increased competition among taxicabs."

"The petition alleges that DFW's new ground transportation rules, among other things, eliminate previous restrictions on the number of taxicab permits issued, and claims the consequence of that change is that ATO's members have experienced increased wait times in the taxicab queue to pick up airport passengers," the filing states. "ATO notably alleges further that DFW has created a distinct waiting area for drivers using transportation networking services, like Lyft, that is 'separate from the taxicab queue.' Thus, ATO's pleadings not only fail to allege that Lyft is somehow causing damage to ATO's members through increased competition with Lyft; they also affirmatively negate any such contention."

In requesting an injunction blocking the new policy, the cabbies are "seeking a remedy without an underlying wrong" since they are not claiming the new policy breaks any laws or was enacted without proper authority, Uber and Lyft say.

In a Nov. 30 answer to the lawsuit, Uber said the cabbies' claims fail because they do not "have any vested property interest right" in the airport permits.

"The taxicab permitting rules issued by the airport board do not create property rights," Uber said in the answer. "Some or all of plaintiff's claims fail because plaintiff lacks authority to challenge the airport board's changes to its ground transportation rules. Moreover, plaintiff has not asserted that the airport board's actions in amending the rules were arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable. Nor has plaintiff alleged that the new rules violate any state or local law."

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