R Street applauds Virginia agreement on ridesharing services

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WASHINGTON (August 6, 2014) - The R Street Institute welcomed today’s news of an agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and transportation networking companies Uber and Lyft. This arrangement will help ensure the safety of passengers, provide transparency into company operations and promote a level playing field for transportation providers.

Under the agreement, Uber and Lyft will be granted transportation broker’s licenses and temporary operating authority, so long as they meet a set of regulations to promote passenger safety, have appropriate insurance and comply with Virginia law.

“Gov. Terry McAuliffe and State Attorney General Mark Herring should be commended for their work to legalize the operations of Uber and Lyft,” said Zach Graves, policy analyst for the R Street Institute. “Through this operating agreement, Virginia residents will reap the benefits of more consumer choice, and increased competition for transportation services.”

However, Graves warned that this is only a first step in government working with businesses in this emerging sector.

“Public interest advocates should be wary that this is only a temporary measure, and the battle over transportation services regulation in Virginia is certain to come up again in the 2015 legislative session. Ultimately, policymakers in Virginia and other states need to advance legislation that offers permanent legalization for all transportation network companies, without imposing additional anti-competitive regulations at the behest of the taxi industry,” he said.

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