In a war that has been escalating nationally and locally between ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber that are entering and disrupting local taxi markets, The Commonwealth of Virginia has taken the next big step and formally issuing a letter ordering the services to cease and desist operations until such time as they are properly permitted.
Penned by Richard D. Holcomb, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, this is the latest in a series of steps taken by Virginia authorities to curb the rise of ride sharing within the state’s borders. The two services have tallied $35,000 in civil violation penalties for ignoring local permitting requirements for taxi services, reports the Washington Post.
Both companies have made their intentions to continue to operate without regard to the order clear.
A spokesperson for Lyft, Chelsea Wilson, told The Post that the company would undertake a formal review of all state rules and procedures.
“Virginia residents have enthusiastically embraced Lyft as an affordable and reliable transportation alternative that increases safety by going above and beyond what is required by existing transportation services. As many of the current regulations surrounding taxis and limos were created before anything like Lyft’s peer-to-peer model was ever imagined, we’re committed to continuing to work with state officials to craft new rules for this new industry. We truly believe that if we approach situations like this positively and collaboratively, we can work together with local leaders to greatly improve transportation access, safety and affordability.”
Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett shared a similar sentiment in response emailed to The Post.
“Uber has been providing Virginians with safe, affordable and reliable transportation options for months and has continued to work in good faith with the DMV to create a regulatory framework for ride-sharing. We look forward to continuing to work with the Virginia DMV to find a permanent home for ride-sharing in the Commonwealth.”
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