Reporting Taxicab Discrimination
Taxicabs are an essential part of the transportation system in the District of Columbia. Although most taxi drivers have a desire to serve all passengers regardless of their personal characteristics, often times people of color, people with disabilities, and those who live in certain parts of the District are denied equal access to taxi services. But denying such service solely because of an individual's race, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or other protected characteristics is illegal, and should be reported to the DC Office of Human Rights when it occurs. If you believe you were discriminated against by a vehicle-for-hire driver or company that is not a traditional taxi, you can file a public accommodations complaint.
Examples of Discrimination
Examples of discrimination include refusal of service to:
- An individual with a service animal;
- An individual with a collapsible wheelchair that fits into a car trunk;
- A passenger because of the requested destination within the District;
- Potential passengers because of their race or national origin; and
- Potential passengers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Additionally, on-duty taxicab drivers without a current fare must stop for a potential passenger in a wheelchair who is hailing a taxicab and ask if the individual wants a ride. If the taxicab is not accessible and the wheelchair not able to fit into the taxicab, the driver must offer to call dispatch to send an accessible taxicab, if the driver works for a company that has accessible taxicabs.
File a Complaint
If you believe you were discriminated against by a taxi driver or company while in the District of Columbia, you can file a complaint with both the DC Taxicab Commission and the DC Office of Human Rights by completing the Taxicab Discrimination Complaint form. We will contact you within two to four weeks to setup a time to interview you.
If you believe you were discriminated against by a vehicle-for-hire driver or company that is not a traditional taxi, you can file a public accommodations complaint. Learn more about our complaint process.
When submitting a complaint of discrimination against a taxicab driver, try to capture as much of the following as possible to assist with our investigation:
- Taxicab company
- Taxicab number (usually on the side of the vehicle)
- License number of driver (usually on the inside of the vehicle)
- Date, time and location of incident
- Names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident
- Any video evidence of the incident
Requesting an Accessible Taxicab
Two taxicab companies in the District -- Royal Cab and Yellow Cab -- have wheelchair accessible taxicabs as part of its fleet. Learn more about how to request an accessible taxicab, or to read frequently asked questions about the accessible taxicabs.
For questions about submitting a public accommodations complaint based on an alleged discriminatory incident with a taxicab, contact us at (202) 727-4559.