On Thursday, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sent cease and desist letters to taxi app companies Lyft and Uber, ordering them to stop operating in the state.
Uber and Lyft are only the most widely known of the many start-up companies around the world that have created smartphone apps to connect passengers with drivers who often use their personal vehicles to earn extra income. This recent trend, however, is at odds with cabdriver unions and decades-old US regulations.
The DMV previously fined both companies in April for violation of state law, but now the agency is threatening drivers directly with civil penalties of up to US$1,000 each.
Despite these setbacks, Lyft has announced it will continue to operate in Virginia. “We’ve reviewed state transportation codes and believe we are following the applicable rules. We’ll continue normal operations as we work to make policy progress.”