Matt Adler was kicked out of a Lyft taxi after the driver released a tirade of homophobic abuse onto him, and now he is too stressed to sleep.
Adler frequently uses Lyft, an app-based taxi company similar to Uber and was using it on his was to a lunch meeting and was casually chatting to the driver when he began to comment on Adler’s religious and sexual identity.
Adler said: “He told me I should not be riding in a car on Saturday because it makes me a bad Jew.” The driver noticed a rainbow flag stitched to his yarmulke. The driver went on: “Good Jews don’t have sex on Shabbat, the Bible forbids gay sex.” along with a slew of homophobic slurs.
Adler asked the driver to stop talking, but he carried on insulting his passenger for nearly 10 minutes before pulling over and kicking him out half a mile away from his final destination.
He reported the experience to the company, but his account was deactivated after the driver complained about him.
Lyft deny’s that Adler’s account was ever deleted but acknowledged that accounts are temporarily suspended when complaints are made by either drivers or passengers.
“I was already hurt by this guy’s bigotry and they forced me out of the app,” Adler said. “The reporting systems are failing the passengers they are supposed to protect. I was victimised and here I am having to pressure the company to take care of their customers.”
“Cabs have their own issues, even discrimination, but they require more training and they’re employees, which makes the company more liable and protects customers better.”
“I feel scared to take a Lyft right now. I’ve been stressed out, not sleeping. I’ve been afraid to talk to other drivers, I feel like Lyft hasn’t lived up to their own standards.”
Adler has considered legal action against the company but hopes his on-going correspondence will eventually resolve the issue and draw attention to
A spokesperson for Lyft, Alexandra La Manna, said: “Lyft doesn’t tolerate any form of discrimination and is committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community. The driver’s behaviour was unacceptable and a clear violation of our anti-discrimination policy. We have permanently removed the driver’s access to Lyft.”