What to Know
- A yellow taxi driver in NYC allegedly told a rider 'I don't drive gays'
- A spokesperson for the TLC said 'his driver's behavior, as described, was totally egregious and unacceptable'
- It's the second time in a week that a cab rider in New York City has reported being insulted or kicked out of a cab by a homophobic driver
A yellow taxi cab passenger says his driver told him during a trip, "I don't drive gays," the second time in a week that a cab rider in New York City has reported being insulted or kicked out of a cab by a homophobic driver.
Ryan Smith said he and a friend hailed a cab from East 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in midtown to head to Brooklyn, and while they were still en route in Manhattan, the driver turned around.
He "interrupted our conversation and was like, 'Are you gay?'" recalled Smith.
"We were like, 'Uh?' But before we could ask again, he was like, 'Are you a gay man?'" said Smith.
"'Yes, I am,'" Smith replied. "He was like, 'I don't drive gays. So I was shocked."
After that, Smith and his friend asked the driver to pull over on the Lower East Side, and the two got out. They were able to take a quick photo of the medallion number, though "my head was spinning at this point, I just wanted to get us out of the back seat of this bigot's cab," said Smith.
A spokesperson for the Taxi and Limousine Commission said in a statement to News 4, " This driver's behavior, as described, was totally egregious and unacceptable, and we encourage you to report it to the TLC via 311 or NYC.GOVOnline so that we may hold him fully accountable for his actions. This is not alright.... not here in NYC, and not anywhere."
Meanwhile, the TLC has already suspended the license of an Uber driver who booted two women after they kissed in his car.
It comes after Alex Iovine and Emma Pichl -- both in their 20s -- said they were kicked out of the car after exchanging a "peck" on the lips during a trip from Gowanus, Brooklyn, to Manhattan's East Village.
The driver says in the confrontation captured on video, “You can’t do this in the car. You aren’t allowed to do this.” He goes on to say, “It’s disrespectful.”
TLC says it's now looking to revoke that driver's license.