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A D.C. Taxicab Commission undercover investigation found that D.C. cabs are selectively refusing to pick up passengers—-a practice that violates city regulations. In a 30-day period beginning Aug. 28, the commission’s Anonymous Rider Program observed 84 refusal to haul violations out of 308 rides.
The city’s cabs have long come under fire for alleged racial discrimination, with black residents saying available cabs often pass them on street corners. In a press release, DCTC said its sting operation used anonymous black, white, female, male, and disabled riders who all varied in age.
The only reason a cab driver can refuse to take a passenger is if that person is severely drunk or the driver fears physical harm. A fine for not picking up someone is $500.
DCTC spokesman Neville Waters did not have a full breakdown of who was refused a ride from cabs.
“From our standpoint, they are all refusal to hauls, period,” he says.
The Anonymous Rider program also found 28 broken credit-card readers out of 308—-a 91 percent reliability rate.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery