I had my first disabled rider with a service dog yesterday

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(Christian Odom) #1

I have to say, it was a very pleasant, and eye-opening experience.
My concern: during our conversation, my rider informed me that she had had a few Uber drivers refuse the ride because she had her service dog. I suppose we do have the right to refuse a rider for any reason, but I would strongly encourage you all not to do that. If you have allergies, then yes I guess that’s different. But I have never seen a service dog that wasn’t extremely well behaved and clean. If you’re concerned about dog hair, most of us have vacuums anyway.
Transportation options for disabled folks are limited, so if we as a community can help solve that problem, it just improves our standing as a beneficial business in our communities.


(Brahim Decker) #2

Every new driver is made aware that federal regulations prohibits refusing service to people with a service animal. Some drivers just forget.


(Cody Parker) #3

Refusing a service animal could be costly. Just keep an oversized beach towel with you, let the animal sit on it, then launder it. If you can, vacuum the car to get as much animal as possible so that the next pax who is allergic won’t be affected.


(Marsha_Smith) #4

I was deactivated because a rider lied and said that I refused to pickup his disabled friend. In reality, it was midnight on July 4th and they took 15 minutes to wrap the party up so I left.


(Chris Stipe) #5

I also picked up a passenger with a service dog who said the exact same thing. I encouraged her to report each and every driver who tells her lies and cancels because she has a service animal.


(Rakesh Sharma) #6

It shouldnt, people have no right to refuse to a service animal. Not unless their so alergic they can die, and that is a very, VERY rare allergy to have. The only time i agree with canceling is if you are very allergic, but you need to stay with them, and help them order another ride, and make sure that driver takes them.


(Abdul Karim) #7

I think that a lot of ppl don’t understand the contract that ppl with service animals have to agree to, the animal HAS to be well maintained, and the organizations they get their service animal from basically reserves ownership of the animal which gives them the right to inspect vet records, cleanliness; of both the animal and environment, and care given, including diet… service animals are not pets, but provide an incredible service to those in need. In regard to the jerk who said that “most ppl around here claim it’s a service animal when it’s a poodle” you need to realize that service animals, just like crutches, wheel chairs and all other disability accommodations vary in breed, size and ability and are paired with their human based on the humans needs, including living environment size, you certainly wouldn’t give a disabled person who is mobile and lives in a tiny one room apt a huge German sheppard. Get some education people, OR get sued!! Ppl know their rights!! A taxi company was just ordered to pay $42,000.00 bc they wouldn’t accept a phone call from a person in need of a taxi who contacted them through a relay service, and on the third call, told the person (through the interpreter) to “please stop calling”. You can check federal requirements through ada.gov
If you’re operating a business, you are required by law to make reasonable accommodations. Don’t let the ride you turned down result in a letter from the DOJ. Trust me… you don’t want that. I work in disability advocacy, have a 100% success rate. You don’t want someone like me talking your passenger into suing you bc you were ignorant to the law. Not only will Uber be named in the lawsuit, but YOU will be named specifically bc you acted as their contractor.


(Snyder Reed) #8

You might want to carry puppy pads from the dollar store to put on your seat if the dog is going to sit there, that should take care of any loose dog hair. I have never refused a dog or cat, cats always seem to come in a carry box and dogs always seem to be lap dogs, even the larger ones.


(Hassan) #9

From my experienced it will set you back 1 hour of loss time. Cleaning and the smell but…
Not all dogs are created equal, so as Pax. I haven’t rejected any request with dog yet. And they call me in advance or text me. Believed me after three years driving for Uber, I know.


(Laura Lee) #10

Only one time I had an issue with a service animal was afterwards when I picked up another rider who was horribly allergic to dogs. By the end of the ride they were a mess. I found a way to handle it (wipe down of back seat plus a quick blast with an ozonator). Unfortunately the ozonator isn’t an option for most. I think both companies would do well to warn passengers with allergies to this potential.


(Abel) #11

As far as legally a driver cannot refuse a service dog. If the rider decided to they could sue and they would win. Personally I don’t know who would be that mean to not want to have the dog anyway. Lol


(Chris Stipe) #12

I had a service dog that was disgustingly smelly, shed horrible, and when she left, my back seat and floor was full of little white specks, probably some kind of dog lice. Had to go offline and sterilize my car for like an hour because it stunk so bad. Nice lady though.


(Marsha_Smith) #13

it probably was not a service animal you had. ALL service animals are trained to sit by the owner’s feet. They don’t smell, don’t bark, The rider probably told you it was. If a animal leaves a mess you can request a cleaning fee from Uber


(Cody Parker) #14

Service dogs are no big deal, I will gladly accomodate anybody with a disability. However people try to pass up ESA (emotional support animals as service dogs) so basically some self entitled people put on little vest you can easily get online for a few bucks so they can take their dogs into grocery stores, restaurants etc… there is a pretty interesting article and documentary on this, I will post it if I find it


(Brahim Decker) #15

You are not legally obligated to accept therapy dogs. I would because it just doesn’t bother me but FYI.My dog is white and I have a black vehicle interior - I fully understand the struggle and why people wouldn’t want to deal with it. It’s a daily battle haha. Fortunately the car wash next to my work has free vacuums. (Shameless excuse to show off my adorable pup)


(Garrent George) #16

You may not refuse a service animal, EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES. It’s a requirement of the job, like any other requirement for any other job. In this case, however, there is no “reasonable accommodation” that may be made, per the EEOC and your state anti-discrimination agency regulations.


(Lisa Markee) #17

I’m an animal lover so I would never decline a rider for having a service dog or even just a dog but I will say - that just because someone deems their dog a “service dog” doesn’t make it legally so. You have all these internet companies that promise to give you “certification” that your animal is a service dog and it’s all a load of phooey. Unfortunately, you can’t deny them a ride and you can’t request proof that they are a service dog. My (soon-to-be former thank goodness) roommate has a “service dog” and ain’t shit wrong with the guy. He has no disability. He works on his parents sheep farm herding, sheering, and slaughtering sheep. Hardly sounds disabled. I realize there are invisible “disabilities” but generally if you are physically disabled you are not going to be capable of that level of hard labor. Anyway - so I am leery in general of people who claim that but regardless, you absolutely CANNOT question them - and you CAN be sued if you refuse the ride. DO NOT REFUSE THEM.


(Jack Dolen) #18

I’ve given a ride to one service dog ever but my allergies were so bad I literally had to call it a night after that ride cuz I couldn’t stop sneezing after about 2 minutes into the 20 min ride. I won’t ever again do it. Literally had to go home and take my allergy medicine. My eyes were so puffy by the time I got home, looked like a balloon. I absolutely will not compromise again. This was during the spring with the windows down. Still didn’t help. My husband had to go get my car cleaned after that ride.


(Kelly Hector) #19

I would like to remind everyone. Please understand you can be fined a huge amount by refusing an assist animal. Emotional support animal are not included in this. Please research the ADA regulations and make sure you know what you excepted when you decided to contract you and your car to work for uber or lyft. Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean that’s your way out. Motor coach operators like myself go through this situation on a daily basis. We are required to take assist animals on the buses to there destination. It doesn’t matter even if other passengers have allergies, you can not refuse to take them. Again if you do you might as well go ahead and get your check book out and pen ready.


(Bector Ernest) #20

I find it sad anyone would consider not taking a service animal. I realize I’m a biased person in that I love animals and all joking aside I love ANY animal I meet and I cannot say that about people. Lol. I understand that me taking pets and such is extreme. But I’d rather enjoy a ride with a cute dog :dog: then spend a buck or so and lose a few minutes of driving having to vacuum my car :red_car: out. I actually carry organic dog treats in my car on the chance I’ll get to have a furry passenger lol. Conversely I do NOT have candy :lollipop: for my human pax lol. But yeah, if you have a pax with a service dog and you deny them a ride because you don’t want to be put out a little shame on you.