An Uber driver using his vehicle on the streets of Richmond, Va.
RICHMOND, Va. -- Taxi-like services that use smartphone apps to connect passengers and drivers will be legal under bills signed Tuesday by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Uber and Lyft, already operating in Virginia, will be required to be licensed and to screen drivers, including conducting background checks. Drivers will be insured, and the companies will pay fees to the state to cover the costs of regulation.
Paul Walsh, owner of Superior Executive Transportation in Virginia Beach and president of the Virginia Limousine Association, said the law will hurt taxi companies. "I'm disappointed. I think that for small companies in Virginia that operate traditional livery companies it's going to be very hurtful," he said. "We were a pretty small voice compared to the hired guns of Uber and Lyft."
Walsh responded further on the legislation to LCT Magazine on Feb. 18: “The passing of the TNC legislation in Virginia illustrates the difficulty in working with legislators when big business is heavily involved either directly or through heavy handed lobbyist as employed by the TNCs. Two of the points we asked for after it was obvious that the legislation was going to be pushed through was to be grandfathered to avoid the $70,000 to $100,000 fee for registering as a TNC for new businesses wanting to join the TNC world. Also, we had asked the legislators to grant us the same standards as far as part-time insurance and not having to pay business personal property taxes on our vehicles. Both requests were not even considered.”
Virginian Pilot article here