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Muslim cab drivers in DC refusing blind passengers with guide dogs

Reader comment on item: Muslim Taxi Drivers vs. Seeing-Eye Dogs

Submitted by Ed Leary (United States), Apr 1, 2011 at 14:48

When I read about this happening in Minneapolis, I just shook my head. Muslim Cab Drivers Refuse to Transport Alcohol, and Dogs But, today I personally saw it happen 4 times here in DC.

I attended a conference for the disabled community and since I'm sighted, I was trying to hail a cab for a member of the American Council for the Blind (ACB) who had a guide dog. Four different cabs in a row pulled to the curb and when they saw the dog, immediately pulled away. When I asked the ACB member about it, I was amazed when he told me that it happens here all of the time, that they have filed complaints with the DC Council, and even have video proof, but NO ONE has taken action.

To verify, I did an internet search; and while there were MANY hits relating to this issue in other cities around the country, NOTHING showed up for Washington, DC. Today's incident was on the 1800 block of Connecticut Ave. at about 4PM and involved different cab companies, otherwise I would name names. I should have had the presence of mind to get their tag numbers, but it was raining and I was really trying to get my associate and his guide dog a ride home and out of the bad weather.

These taxi drivers must be made to follow the rules for carrying disabled passengers with service animals, or have their taxi driver permits pulled and fine the companies they work for. I also sent this e-mail to Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Steny Hoyer, my Congressional Representative in Maryland. I also forwarded it to The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and The Examiner.

Edward M. Leary

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