The Answers Issue: Can cab drivers refuse to take fares based on destination?

Can cab drivers refuse to take fares based on destination?

The short answer: No. The longer answer: No, and if they do, theoretically they’re subject to fines ranging from $50 to $500. Neville Waters, a spokesman for the D.C. Taxicab Commission, says drivers aren’t allowed to ask for your destination until after you’ve gotten in the cab. Once you tell them where you’re going, drivers are required to take you there. Inquiring about your destination before you get in is a violation known as “Asking Destination in Advance,” which carries a $50 fine; nixing your destination once they hear it is “Refusal to Haul,” a $500 violation.

That’s assuming, though, that the driver is found liable for breaking the rules. Reporting a driver is easy—call 1-855-484-4966 or go to Note the driver’s cab number, cab company name, license plate number, and taxi ID number—the more information, the better. In 2012, 977 complaints were filed, according to the commission’s records. The good news? About 70 percent of those drivers were found liable for violations.

Our Readers Say

That's great...unless the cab driver refuses to unlock the door until you tell him your destination. This makes it difficult to record their name, number, and other information.
I was going to say the same thing. I guess the solution is to lie and say you are going to a 'nice' neighborhood that isn't too far away if it's a late night locked doors situation? Cabs suck.
That is indeed the solution. I do it since it's often the only way I can get a taxi to take me to my house.
Here's another solution to this problem that worked a few times for me (some sort of fake ID may be needed) - tell them you work for INS, have already noted the taxi ID number and will see to it that their immigration status will be reviewed if they refuse to take you to your destination. Is that racist, bigoted or mean-spirited? Maybe, but if you operate a taxi you should take people where they want to go and as the regulations require (i.e., I get it that they can legally refuse to go to the suburbs) and a passenger shouldn't have to argue with you about it. If you don't like it there are other jobs out there.
Some cabbies are foreigners and don't' know their head from their asses about getting around the city.
As a cab driver some places you shouldn't go to. I understand the "Whats right and the blah blahs about human love happiness and equality etc etc..." Cab drivers are sometimes killed. They might be genuinely scared to go to some places....

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