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Users petition to keep Va. ride-sharing services running

- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2014

Consumers of two popular ride-share services in Virginia fought back Friday against the state's attempt to quash the companies with a petition to the governor to keep both on the road.

Less than a day after the motor vehicles department ordered Uber and Lyft to shut down, a petition to Gov. Terry McAuliffe for both to stay in business was launched on change.org, garnering over 1,700 signatures by Friday afternoon, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Upset consumers have already begun writing letters and contacting lawmakers to reinstate the popular ride services, which allow users to request a ride on their mobile device from part-time drivers using their personal vehicles.

The cease and desist order issued by the state Thursday requires them to stop operations or face hefty fines because the services don't meet normal taxi service requirements.

The state order is considered by some as a saving grace for taxi monopolies, but others decry it as a blow to consumers and free-market innovation.

The Pilot reported that Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, which oversees Uber, personally left a voice mail for Mr. McAuliffe saying that the order hurts Virginia's reputation as an innovative state that embraces new technology.

"This is an emotional experience for people. You're taking away their car keys in a sense," Mr. Shapiro told the newspaper.

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