The coalition of Virginia taxi and limousine companies that asked a court last week to shut down Uber and Lyft have now turned to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to make the same request. In a letter sent on Wednesday to his office, the group of seven companies ask Herring to enforce the cease and desist order sent out last month by the Department of Motor Vehicles. After a little over a month of citiations, the enforcement ended as efforts were turned to a legislative fix for letting Uber and Lyft operate legally in Virginia.
“We believe the OAG needs instead to hold them accountable for making a public mockery of Virginia law by ignoring the cease and desist letters,” the group states in the letter.
The letter cites comments made by Herring as troubling to them in terms of his likely enforcement and how he will ask the DMV to enforce the order.
“After those cease-and-desist letters went out, I knew there had to be a better way to resolve this issue…I’m glad we were able to get folks back to the table…” the letter quotes him as saying.
The group wrote that it is worried that Herring will pressure the DMV to grant the companies a Temporary Operating Authority that they say is meant only to be granted in emergencies. There has been some rumors to that effect but no such authority has yet been granted to Uber or Lyft.
The letter dovetails well with the civil complaint that the group defends as necessary to get Uber and Lyft to comply with the law. How certain either action is to getting Uber and Lyft to comply with the DMV order or how likely it is that Herring or the court will side with the taxi companies is hard to gauge, but Uber and Lyft certainly have not acted like they are at all concerned about the legal questions thrown at them in Virginia, or anywhere else. At the very least, it should get more attention paid to their efforts and their reasons for wanting to get Uber and Lyft shut down in Virginia until and unless it follows the law.
“We sincerely ask the OAG to defend state agencies and their decisions (like DMV’s June 6th letters) and enforce state consumer laws (like the prohibition on unlicensed common carriers),” the letter concludes.