January 20, 2021

Blind Man Denied Uber Ride Because of His Dog



A Wisconsin man is claiming discrimination after he said he was denied an Uber ride because of his service dog.

Dave Tolmie, who is legally blind, has had his service dog Divit for more than five years.

“He keeps me safe everyday and we’re a great team,” said Tolmie, who called his dog a blessing.

When Divit needed to visit the dog groomer, Tolmie ordered an Uber. He said their website clearly stated that service dogs are allowed in all vehicles. However, when his Uber drove up, Tolmie said the driver told him he had a “problem” with the dog getting in the car.

“I said, oh it’s OK, he’s used to riding in the car. He said, no, I don’t want the dog in the car,” said Tolmie. Despite telling the driver that Divit was a service dog and he is allowed to have him with him under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the driver was not moved.

Tolmie said the driver got back in the car and left after canceling his ride and charging him one dollar as a cancellation fee.

An Uber spokesperson said, “Driver partners are instructed in ADA regulations and while they are permitted under the law to not take a service animal for issues like allergies, safety or religious beliefs, drivers with those concerns are directed to wait with the rider until another Uber arrives.”

Tolmie has since filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission and the city of Madison, Wisconsin.


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