By Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A judge in Puerto Rico has ruled that ride-booking company Uber cannot be regulated like taxi services in a move that will allow it to continue operating in the U.S. territory.

Judge Angel Pagan ruled late Friday that Uber can operate under rules drawn up by the Department of Transportation and Public Works that govern Transportation Network Companies and are similar to regulations in effect in 33 states and 70 cities. The company said in a court filing that applying the same rules required for taxis would create an insurmountable barrier for residents who wanted to become Uber drivers.

Uber began service in Puerto Rico last month. Thousands of people registered as drivers for the San-Francisco based company as the island struggles through a 10 year economic crisis.