Lyft driver denies ride to blind SC woman because of her service dog

Updated: May. 1, 2019 at 8:10 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A Lyft driver denied a car ride to a Summerville woman who is blind on Monday because the driver did not want the service dog in his car.

Brianna Murray has been blind since birth and has a service dog that she said went through more than a year of training in New York.

“I’ve had Hops, this particular service dog, for the last four years,” Murray said.

Murray said she called one Lyft on Monday to get from one medical appointment to another, when the driver told her he would not drive her because of her service dog.

“When the driver showed up, he refused to take me because of my service dog,” Murray said.

According to Lyft’s website, a driver who refuses a ride to someone with a service animal “could face immediate and permanent deactivation if an investigation into the alleged denial verifies a wrongful denial.”

However, a Lyft driver sent a message to Murray saying the driver had been educated on Lyft's service animal policy.

"If the driver in question violates Lyft's Service Animal Policy again, they will be permanently deactivated," the Lyft employee said in the message.

Murray said this is not the first time she has been denied a ride from a ride-hailing driver because of her service animal.

“I see Facebook posts and Twitter comments every day from my peers this is happening to,” Murray said. “And the companies don’t care, they don’t do anything about it.”

Lyft did provide Murray with a $5 credit.

“We take any allegation of this nature very seriously," Lyft spokesperson Campbell Matthews said. "We have been in touch with the passenger to offer our support, and spoken with the driver to ensure they understand our strict Service Animal Policy.”

But Murray said she wants rideshare companies to take these situations more seriously because instances like this have a big impact on people with disabilities.

“The problem isn’t fixing itself and I think that’s a huge problem that drivers are still only getting warnings, nothing is really happening, and I’m still dealing with this on a daily basis.”

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