City Desk

Taxi Sting Reveals Cabbies Ignoring Nearly Half of Disabled Passengers

Local TV sting-meister Russ Ptacek returned to the taxi discrimination beat yesterday, and he still doesn't like what he sees.

This time, instead of testing how many drivers passed up black passengers, Ptacek saw how they reacted to people with disabilities. The results were ugly—48 percent of the cabs Ptacek and his crew tested wouldn't pick up would-be passengers in wheelchairs or with service dogs.

But, as with all Ptacek stings, the meat here is in the execution. When Ptacek confronts one driver, he speeds away with the door still open. Another ditches a blind tester at the wrong destination, causing Ptacek and his producer to briefly lose her.

Several of the cabbies appeared to have sight issues of their own, claiming that they didn't see the passengers. At one point, Ptacek confronts a driver stuck in traffic right after he ignores a blind man hailing a ride. The driver claims that, now that he's seen the man, he'll go pick him up—and then doesn't move to pick him up at all.

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  • IAmNotALiberalDemocrat

    This is terrible. Sometimes I ride the S2 or S4 Metro bus on 16th Street, NW and I see the disabled getting on the bus in wheelchairs. I admire their courage by continuing to live their lives.

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