Anonymous test reveals D.C. cabs have 27 percent refusal to haul rate
If you’ve ever had the stinging feeling of rejection when a cab driver shakes his head and drives away when requesting to go to Georgetown University, you are not alone.
An anonymous test conducted by the D.C. Taxi Cab Commission found that 27 percent of taxi drivers refused to haul passengers, a violation of city regulations.
In a 30-day period starting on Aug. 28, D.C. cab drivers refused to haul 84 out of the 308 riders who participated in the study.The study also showed that 28 out of the 300 taxis did not have functioning credit card readers, which is also against the law.
The passengers were dispersed throughout the city as part of the Anonymous Riders Program. These passengers represented a wide range of demographics including African Americans, whites, men, women, and disabled individuals, all of a variety of ages.
While the commission is not providing the specifics on which demographics were refused rides (you know, the most important data in the entire study), D.C. cabs have a history of allegedly refusing to haul passengers on the basis of race or disability.
Taxi drivers are required to pick up all individuals unless the driver fears physical harm or if the person appears to be very drunk. According to DCTC spokesperson Neville Waters, drivers were fined $500 for refusal to haul and $1000 for lacking a functioning credit card reader.
The next time you’re in downtown D.C. in a rush to get back to campus with the closest Uber at least 15 minutes away, may the odds of catching a cab be ever in your favor. Just remember: don’t tell a cabbie where you’re going until you get in the cab, and, if the cab doesn’t have a working credit card reader, you don’t have to give the driver a penny.
Photo: Dkmelo via Flickr