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“I wanted to share my experience with reporting harassment to the DC Taxi Commission”

by Prince Of Petworth December 10, 2015 at 1:10 pm 53 Comments

taxi
Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to share my experience with reporting harassment to the DC Taxi Commission. I’m hoping it’ll encourage more people to report poor behavior to the commission, rather than write it off as commonplace, as I almost did.

A couple weeks ago, late on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, I caught a taxi home. Once we were parked in front of my house, the driver propositioned me and there was some inappropriate, unwanted sexual contact. I escaped the situation unharmed.

At first, I wasn’t going to report it because this sort of incident seems fairly common, plus I didn’t think the commission would do anything. But some friends encouraged me to file a complaint, so I did.

Two weeks later, someone from the commission reached out to me and let me know they would be handling my case. They called me and very patiently walked me through everything I would need to know. They answered all of my questions and addressed all of my concerns, as well as very transparently laying out all of my options. They said they take these things seriously, especially now with the competition from Uber and Lyft.

A week later, I received a letter informing me that disciplinary action was taken against the driver. Because the complaint was about sexual harassment, I was told he’d be fined the highest amount they can fine a driver. They gave me the option of trying for a harsher punishment, which I declined to pursue.

So basically, if you’re ever in an unfortunately similar situation, please report it. Especially since previous complaints against the driver are considered when determining disciplinary actions. Customers and the commission both want riders to feel safe in taxis, so this is one way of working towards that.”

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