11:00 PM, WUSA9: Uber Dismisses Drivers And District Assigns Undercover Taxi Agents To Shadow WUSA9 Investigative Team

7:04 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Sedan drivers claiming to represent Uber are caught on camera in a WUSA9 investigation airing Monday, Feb. 18 at 11:00 p.m. passing black passengers but stopping to offer transport to a white passenger or offering street-side service in violation of taxi laws.

Update:  See complete story here:  http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/244109/158/DC-Taxi-System-Out-OF-Control--From-Destination-Discrimination-To-Illegal-Cabs---Including-Uber---Caught-On-Camera

For the latest on our taxi investigations, follow @russptacek on Twitter or Facebook.

Prior to the airing of tonight's investigation, Uber said it had dismissed two of the four drivers who claimed Uber affiliation and city officials assigned undercover inspectors to follow our crews.

Click here to see our earlier investigation showing black passengers being stranded by DC taxis in favor of whites: http://www.wusa9.com/dontmiss/241642/379/Undercover-Taxi-Probe-Finds-25-Of-Blacks-Left-Stranded

Tonight's story shows a DC taxi system out of control with unlicensed vehicles acting as taxis and whites and blacks being refused travel in the District and Virginia.

Uber dispatches drivers via an iPhone app and is not allowed to pick up passengers without the prearranged dispatch.

"Uber will not partner with a driver engaging in illegal or discriminatory behavior," said Washington D.C. Uber General Manager Rachel Holt. "We are proud that our technology platform is helping to create a color-blind, destination-blind transportation option that is reliable in every ward in the District."

This issue creates double-trouble because city regulations not only prohibit discrimination, but also forbid sedans from picking up street-side passengers unless they've been previously hired (by phone, e-mail, Uber app).

Sedans that pick up passengers without prior arrangments could face up to a $1,000 fine and impounding of the sedan.

"We have identified two of the drivers from your video, and permanently deactivated their accounts with Uber," Holt said.

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