A Lyft driver has been booted from the ride-sharing app after kicking a blind man and his guide dog out of his car.
Although Lyft has an explicit policy that prohibits drivers from refusing service to riders because they have a service animal with them, with absolutely no exceptions, one Los Angeles area driver refused to drive a blind passenger and his service dog and called police when the passenger refused to exit the vehicle.
When Charles Massey entered the Lyft vehicle with his service dog, an 8-year-old yellow lab named Jedi, the driver immediately refused to drive the pair, demanding they exit the vehicle.
When he asked why, Massey said the driver told him he didn’t want Jedi to damage his leather seats. So, Massey placed Jedi on the floor of the vehicle, but the driver still refused to budge – and so did Massey.
That’s when the driver called 911 and requested an officer come to settle the dispute.
A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy responded and gave Massey and Jedi a ride home. Massey contacted Lyft to file a complaint and the Lyft driver was immediately booted from the ride-share program.
Lyft issued the following statement regarding the incident: “Any form of discrimination on our platform is simply unacceptable. Lyft has a strict Service Animal policy that requires all drivers to accommodate passengers traveling with service animals, and we take any allegation of this nature very seriously. We have been in touch with the passenger to offer our support and permanently deactivated the driver.”
Still, Massey says this is an ongoing problem for disabled passengers with service animals, that simply removing a single driver won’t change anything moving forward.