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The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sent cease-and-desist letters to the ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft ordering them to stop operating or face thousands of dollars in fine.
The DMV’s actions today are shocking and unexpected. 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 ridesharing. The DMV decision today hurts thousands of small business entrepreneurs who rely on the Uber platform to make a living, create new jobs and contribute to the economy - and it hurts the countless residents who rely on Uber to connect them with affordable, safe and reliable transportation alternatives. We look forward to continuing to work with the Virginia DMV to find a permanent home for ridesharing in the Commonwealth.
For those unfamiliar with Uber, their slogan is “everyone’s private driver.” Using their iPhone app, you can request one of their drivers to pick you up. It’s incredible technology that tells you where the closest driver is to you, allows you to request a driver, tells you the estimated arrival time, enables you to track the driver’s car en-route to you, informs you when the driver has arrived, and gives you an opportunity to review the driver after you reach your destination. You’ll receive a text with the receipt for the ride—no need to carry cash or pull out your credit card. Your information is already stored in their system.
As a regular user of Uber, I’ve always found their service to be reliable, convenient, affordable, and safe. I’ve never had a bad experience with Uber (I can’t say that with all taxis). Their drivers have always been polite to me and careful on the road.
Uber has ensured that customers enjoy a safe ride:
Uber has set the standard for consumer safety in the Commonwealth. All uberX rides in Virginia are insured up to $1,000,000, nearly 300% more than the $350,000 required of for-hire drivers by the Virginia DMV. While the Virginia DMV does not require that all for-hire drivers pass background checks, all drivers on the Uber platform pass rigorous background checks at the county, state and federal level before they are ever allowed access to the technology. Our commitment to safety far exceeds the requirements set by the Virginia DMV - making their actions puzzling.
Not everyone is such a fan of Uber, though.
All over the country, Uber has faced hurdles from local and state governments wanting to drive them out of business. Government officials may cite “protecting families” as the reason for banning ride sharing companies. However, it’s clear that the real reason is because government-approved transportation companies don’t want competition from other service providers. Like so many things, it comes down to $$$.
Taxi industry lobbyists are running to government officials and asking them to protect them by hurting their competitors. Rather than, you know, competing fairly in the marketplace and earning their profits the right way.
If you’re disappointed with the VA DMV’s decision to ban Uber, please send a message to the “powers that be” at the link below!
Tell these government officials to stop limiting the transportation choices for Virginia residents.
We must make our voices heard.