Our Fellow Lyft Drivers in Hampton Roads, Virginia are Under Attack

Virginia officials have ordered Lyft and Uber to stop operating in the state.

I’m very familiar with TNC adoption politics in Greater Boston. Major industries include finance, high technology, medicine, education and tourism. Yet the current TNC passenger market is dominated by our 280,000 students. Drivers are more demographically diverse.

The eighteen owners of the majority of taxi medallions in the City of Boston are very powerful. Although the largest taxi owner is under federal investigation for his exploitation of drivers. Taxis are regulated in the City by the extremely powerful Boston Police Department.

Our Alpha Influencer is our new Mayor Marty Walsh.

I’ve just started a blog. You can find it by Googling “boston lyft diaries”. My opinions of TNC adoption politics in Boston are detailed in the two part post titled:

If Lyft and Uber were Banned in Boston Who Benefits?

I’m very ignorant about TNC adoption politics in the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), yet I definitely know they’re really very different than Greater Boston.

However subject to the feedback from local experts, I’m throwing this out there!

With a 2010 population of 1,600,000, the Hampton Roads MSA has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. Please note: I’m ignorant about the percentage of the sprawling MSA currently covered by TNCs.

Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s active-duty military personnel are stationed in Hampton Roads and 45% of the region’s $81 billion gross regional output is defense-related. All five military services’ operating forces are there. 80% of the economy of the Hampton Roads MSA is derived from federal sources. This includes the large military presence, but also NASA and facilities of the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Commerce and Veterans Affairs.

Virginia regulators and taxi owners can be countered with the much more powerful economic rainmakers in the House. Note that I’m completely ignorant of the power of leaders of the many municipal jurisdictions within the Hampton Roads MSA. I have absolutely no idea where they should fit in the TNC adoption strategy.

Strategy could include focus on:

  • Recruiting drivers from the community of Post 9/11 veterans and their spouses. Headline: Lyft Provides Jobs to Vets
  • Recruiting passengers from the 22 to 34 year old demographic working at the top 100 federal employers. Each of the 100 employers would be defined as physical locations that can easily be targeted.

If this is the marketing strategy, then the Key Influencers for us in the Hampton Roads MSA would be the three House Representatives covering the MSA. Specific targets would be Constituent Services staff with the mission to provide jobs for local vets.

Key Influencers include, but are not limited to:

Rep. Edward “Scott” Rigell
Congressional District 2
VA-2 Map
Moderate Republican
House Committee on Armed Services
House Committee on the Budget

Rep. Robert Wittman
Congressional District 1
VA-1 Map
Rank and File Republican
House Committee on Armed Services

Rep. Randy Forbes
Congressional District 4
VA-4 Map
Far Right Republican
House Committee on Armed Services

Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott
Congressional District 3
VA-3 Map
Far Left Democrat
House Committee on Education and the Workforce



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