According to the neighborhood blog Congress Heights on the Rise, a white Southeast DC resident recently ordered a ride from Lyft, only to be promptly snubbed by the would-be driver via text.
“Hey cancel the ride,” the driver, identified only as Chinedu, wrote. “I don’t pick up from SE, sorry.”
The customer, whose name was not given, texted back to warn the driver of getting a poor review citing the refusal to pick up in Southeast. The driver did not appear to mind. “Go ahead,” Chinedu texted back.
According to Congress Heights on the Rise, the put-out Lyft customer plans to file a complaint with DC’s Office of Human Rights, which coordinates with the DC Taxi Commission on discrimination complaints. For normal taxis, snubbing a potential rider based on appearance or destination is deemed “failure to haul,” and carries a fine of $500. But such complaints—which require the aggrieved party to remember a cab’s four-digit registration number can be difficult to file. Companies like Lyft, which keep digital records of every ride—and allow riders and drivers to text-message each other—could make it easier to file gripes. [MORE]