Brian Doherty:

As my post yesterday about how Lyft drivers were being cited and having cars impounded in Austin, Texas, made clear, in the uncertain, shifting, and highly varied legal and regulatory environment across the nation for “e-hailing” apps like Uber and Lyft, the companies have a tendency at times to operate first, and see what cities try to do to stop them later. (Which in many cases is to try to fine, ban, limit, or otherwise harass them.)

So far only California has been sensible enough to carve out a manageable, not terribly restrictive, statewide space for such services to operate legally, as I discussed in this October article.

Spiros Vathis / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDSpiros Vathis / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Today the state of Virginia loudly and firmly reiterated that this superhelpful, wonderful, makes-life-easier-for-nearly everyone, technical innovation in rides-for-hire is not permitted, and thus prohibited, in that state. There is nothing so helpful to the public that our public defenders won’t try to destroy it.