[nagdu] Cab drivers in DC pass blind people with guide dogs

William ODonnell william.odonnell1 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 6 13:47:09 UTC 2010

The same thing goes on here in NYC.  If you need a cab, you can get a yellow cab in Manhattan; however, outside the city, it is a hit or miss issue with the car companies.  First, you need to call for the cab and go on explaining and waiting for approval of the supervisors, dispatchers, and drivers.  If you are trying to get a cab on the street, well, good luck.  The yellow cabs I mention above are the ones from the medallion Taxi and limousine commission (TLC).  They will usually pick you up; however, then you need to go on with the explanations that the dog is a service dog and will not harm anyone because very often you here the fear from the driver that the dog may harm them.  
--- On Sun, 9/5/10, Dan Weiner <dcwein at dcwein.cnc.net> wrote:

> From: Dan Weiner <dcwein at dcwein.cnc.net>
> Subject: Re: [nagdu] Cab drivers in DC pass blind people with guide dogs
> To: "'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users'" <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> Date: Sunday, September 5, 2010, 7:42 AM
> Granted, Sherri,  the wording is
> regrettable, but the fact is we're not
> going to win on some of these points and in the case of the
> article  we'd be
> missing the forest for the trees  pointing that out,,
> or however that goes.
> At lease when I lived in Maryland I can tell you that
> access was a problem
> when it came to cabs.
> And, those friends of mine who lived in DC would confirm
> the estimate of
> half the drivers passing by or not taking you.
> This is the height of absurdity and even shameful, that
> we've had eighty
> years of guide dog training here in the USA and it's still
> that way.
> And like it or not, nine times out of ten in my neck of the
> woods in
> Maryland it was people from the mid East, Africa and Asia,
> emigrants in
> other words, who did the worst offending in this regard.
> This is the first
> time in my life, sorry to say, that I started feeling a
> real hostility to
> emigrants, who, in my way of thinking, were dishing out to
> people from here
> worse treatment then they were getting. They had jobs and
> could find them
> quickly again, no skin off their nose to treat a blind
> person like dirt.
> And, guys, don't start with me the old chorus of how
> they're afraid of dogs,
> etc. I couldn't care less, it isn't a dog popularity
> contest we're in here.
> The reasons are immaterial to me, how to reverse this trend
> is what I'm
> interested in.
> Sad but true it was a lot of folks from other lands who did
> this.
> .
> Not  that there weren't any good old native American
> born, white and black
> guys, who had their chance to step up to the plate and be
> butt holes because
> there were.
> So, you were lucky if you got drivers who knew you, or I'd
> take numbers of
> cabbies I liked and give them some business on the side,
> but frankly, the
> fact that we have  to do that means there's something
> seriously wrong.
> I mention that because some blind friends there said
> rather  superciliously,
> "well, what I do is make sure I get the drivers who don't
> mind dogs".  I'm
> beating my head against a wall, here, guys, but the cabbies
> are supposed to
> take us, ain't up to us to get a little black book of
> people who decide it's
> convenient to follow the law.
> Now, here in Florida, I've only taken a few cabs recently
> as I'm trying to
> save money, so what can you tell me about access here, or
> Marian in Tampa,
> etc?
> There would be only two reasons that at some point I decide
> not to choose a
> guide dog as my main means of mobility:
> 1.  It's hard on me to see them get old and so on,
> very hard.
> 2. This access situation.
> When I call a cab, I should not have to have my heart in my
> mouth wondering
> whether they're going to see me and drive away.  One
> of the drivers who
> liked me told me that several of them who didn't like dogs
> would just not
> come if they knew it was a dog user and say they came and I
> wasn't there, or
> other little tricks.
> In Prince George's County, Maryland, the company had some
> GPs system whereby
> they could tell which driver was nearest to whatever
> location I was calling
> from and he would be assigned.  Now, that would mean I
> could very often and
> would get a person for whatever reason, decided to drive
> away or in some
> other way treat me like the scum of the Earth because I
> dare to want to be
> independent and use a guide dog.
> Of course they're computers, the cab company's may not be
> the most accurate,
> I called once from my cell phone when at Dunkin'' Doughnuts
> and every time I
> called from my cell  they'd say "Oh, we'll send
> someone to the Dunkin'
> Doughnuts, and I had to make sure they got it before they
> hung up.
> One day I got really frustrated and said, I don't care who
> you send but make
> it someone who understands English and make sure they're
> not an idiot."
> I swear, one of the cab drivers thought this was funny
> because whatever
> dispatcher had put that under my phone number on the
> computer, so it would
> come up as "has a guide dog, wants someone who understands
> English, doesn't
> want an idiot.".
> Still, all of those qualifications didn't help
> sometimes--smile
> Rant over
> Dan W.
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