Lyft's Service Animal policy

Hi, this is my first post here. I’m a Lyft driver only, working part time in the Los Angeles area, to supplement income.

I do not need Lyft, and I know they don’t need me, but I know a lot of other drivers do need Lyft and/or Uber.

I get regular emails advising me of the service animal policy, and quite frankly, it bugs me. I don’t hate animals (have too many to count!), have never refused to take anyone bringing animals - pets or otherwise, and have no religious issue with any animal.

I have no idea how drivers of Jewish or Islamic persuasion deal with passengers and their therapy pigs, but I imagine it isn’t an easy situation. Maybe I am wrong on this - I don’t really know that much about either religion’s laws on the matter.

To me though, the real issue is that of a driver who has a severe allergy to particular animals. I don’t (luckily) but maybe some do?

So in my frustration, I sent the following comment to Lyft…

Hi,

I am a little curious about the service animal ‘policy’.

First let me state that I have no problems with passengers bringing pets, I have allowed this and will continue to do so. Often the animals are more polite and cleaner than some of the passengers…

You state that a driver may not refuse to carry a service animal on the basis of religious objection, or allergies.

I would have thought that the religion aspect would be protected under the First Amendment, and quite frankly, the allergy based objection is downright dangerous.

I am appalled that it is the official policy of Lyft that a driver’s life is less important than the passenger’s convenience. Of course, having a driver suffer a severe allergic reaction while driving could also put the passenger’s life in danger, but that seems to have been overlooked.

I also find it frustrating that Lyft seems to bend over backwards for passengers, yet the drivers are treated like a very expendable resource. You write that if we have a concern about abuse of the service animal policy, we should finish the ride and THEN let you know? Really?

The airlines have a hard enough time policing service animals such as chickens, snakes, turkeys, ferrets, pigs, etc. How can you expect the average Lyft driver to be in a position to make a decision on such matters, when their career (for those who drive full time) is being threatened should the wrong decision be made?

I don’t expect my concerns to be addressed in a meaningful manner, but I felt I had to voice my concerns about this ‘policy’.

Sincerely, blah blah blah.

I am curious as to whether I’ll receive any response beyond a standard canned message.

-getting off my soap box now…

Hi Dave! Thank you for joining the forum.

When it comes to service animals (dogs or miniature horses) we have to let them in with the person, no exception. It is not under Lyft’s discretion to change this policy, it is actually Federal Law. The service animal is considered part of the person as the disabled person cannot function without them. Also, they are not considered pets or “therapy dog.” Chickens, snakes, turkeys, ferrets, pigs, etc. do not fall under service animal category either.

If someone brings in or claims that they have a therapy dog or an emotional support dog then you can ask them to provide the doctor’s note to verify it. You’re still not legally obliged to allow the therapy dog in your car. On the other hand, you cannot ask for verification/note/certificate if it’s a service animal. Check this link for more info.

So, if the passenger is bringing in a pet you can deny them a ride based on your personal preferences.

Here’s Lyft’s policy on Pets: Pet Policy (Non-Service Animals) – Lyft Help

Here’s Lyft’s policy on Service Animals: Service animal policy – Lyft Help

Here’s what you could ask for a service animal verification:

A driver may ask two questions to verify that a rider’s animal is a service animal:

Is the animal required because of a disability?
What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Hope this helps!