I operate a private taxicab and I don't want animals in my taxi; they smell, shed hair and sometimes have "accidents." Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with a service animal?

Yes, this is a violation of the ADA. Taxicab companies may not refuse to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Private taxicab companies are also prohibited from charging higher fares or fees for transporting individuals with disabilities and their service animals than they charge to other persons for the same service.  The owner must have the service animal under control and the animal must be housebroken.

A person traveling with a service animal:

  • cannot be denied access to transportation, even if there is a “no pets” policy
  • cannot be forced to sit in a particular spot
  • does not have to provide advance notice that he or she will be traveling with a service animal 

These laws apply to both public and private transportation providers and include subways, fixed route buses, paratransit, rail and light rail, taxicabs, shuttles and limousine services.