One of the downsides in sharing a car ride is the mental health of other passengers. While buses are an accepted means of public transport, where everyone knows the stops are regulated. Lyft operates its Lyft Line service that collects two or three passengers for a shared ride, where the cost of the ride is shared between the passengers. The issues that arise from this is the agreed route and passengers state of mind. Not only do drivers have to be wary, but other passengers must be aware of this issue.
Jose Gonzales of North Miami Beach learned this lesson the hard way when he shared a ride with another passenger, a woman that the driver had picked up previously sat in the back of the car, as Gonzales got into the front seat after being picked up outside Twist, a local gay bar. The driver told the passengers that she would drop Gonzales off first, and that made the female passenger in the back irate. The passenger started to shout obscenities such as "F-ing gays," then using her high heels shoe started to punch and kick Gonzales in the face.
According to Gonzales, the driver forced the female passenger out of the car and then brought him home, all bloody and hurt.
Miami Beach Police are investigating the incident, and their spokesperson stated that it has all the signs of a hate crime. Gonzales was still in shock hours after the incident and couldn't understand why such a thing can happen in Miami.
According to Lyft spokesperson, "What has been described here is incredibly disturbing and completely against our values as a company. There is no place in the Lyft community for discrimination or violence of any kind. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we immediately deactivated the individual accused of this behavior. We also reached out to the victim to offer our support and assistance. We stand ready to assist law enforcement in any investigation. Lyft has a strict anti-discrimination policy, which can be seen here. Violation of this policy can and does lead to a permanent ban on Lyft's service."