Yesterday the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) issued a news release praising the Virginia DMV and Gov. Terry McAuliffe for reversing the ban imposed on Uber and Lyft last month:
We are encouraged by reports that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is taking steps to allow innovative transportation network providers Uber and Lyft to operate in the Commonwealth.
CEA’s news release comes ahead of an official announcement, but if confirmed the news would mark a victory for Uber and Lyft, both of which offer rideshare services via their apps. The DMV had issued both companies cease and desist letters, saying that they were violating Virginia law.
Towards the end of the news release CEA urges lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow ridesharing companies to operate in Virginia in the long term. Perhaps Virginian lawmakers will look to ridesharing legislation passed in Colorado earlier this year, which was praised by Uber and Lyft.
Although a repeal of the ban should be welcomed, it does not mean that Uber and Lyft do not still face problems in Virginia, as Eric Hal Schwartz explained in InTheCapital:
Uber and Lyft aren’t totally out of the woods yet. Talks are ongoing about finding a solution to the regulatory issues presented by how the companies operate, but it’s definitely a positive sign for those who are fans of the ride‐share app system.
As I noted shortly after the Virginia DMV sent cease and desist letters to Uber and Lyft, lawmakers should consider repealing regulations related to taxis:
Rather than hinder the growth of innovative livery companies that are taking advantage of new technology, lawmakers in Virginia and elsewhere across the country should consider repealing current taxi regulations that restrict innovation, strengthen established market players, and stifle competition.
Although the CEA news release is encouraging, it comes soon after Uber and Lyft were ordered to halt operations in Pittsburgh.
I spoke to Caleb Brown about the Virginia Uber and Lyft ban on the Cato Daily Podcast, which you can listen to below.