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Taxi Drivers Demand Apology From Mayor Gray’s Office Over “Third-World” Remark

Comments made by Gray’s spokesman to Washingtonian spark anger from cabbies and Teamsters.

The Teamsters union, which now represents about 1,000 cabbies, is demanding an apology from Mayor Vince Gray for comments his spokesman made Wednesday to Washingtonian after they filed a lawsuit against the city seeking to stop enforcement of regulations requiring credit card readers and new rooftop lamps.

For the past few years the drivers have been their own worst enemy,” Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said. “We barely have a third-world taxicab system in this city.”

In a press release, the Teamsters say Ribeiro “insulted every driver in the city with his remark.” “The statement is offensive and it demeans the more than 6,000 taxicab drivers in the District, many of whom are from developing countries in Africa and the Middle East,” the statement reads.

  • K.Eagen

    The taxi drivers are mad because the truth hurts. They NEVER apologize to ME when they refuse to take me to Virginia, smoke in the cab, talk loudly on the phone, nearly hit me when I'm crossing the street, and yell at me when I try to dispute them when they don't run the meter.

    DC cabs suck and something drastic needs to be done. Get it together.

  • SE Frenchman

    When I drove a cab for RED TOP in VA I always bathed me and the cab while charging what the meter calculated. Thirty years later I still love a great shower everyday and hate smelly third-world cab cheaters bucking the first world here in the DMV.

  • Adelaide

    I hate sitting in the back of a '94 Crown Vic with shoddy brakes, cracked leather, and loud creaking noises. It's even worse on the weekends after midnight when many taxis refuse to take riders to Virginia. This is a huge safety issue. Thank goodness for services like Uber that appreciate customers and give them proper service. I totally agree with Ribeiro's statement - we have a Third World taxi fleet running around the streets of DC. We deserve better taxis in our Nation's Capital.


    The only thing offensive about the comment is that it is true. DC should stop settling for an antiquated third World Taxi system that allows drivers to cheat and abuse visitors to our city. This gang of 700 thugs needs to grow up and comply with the law like the 4,000 plus other professional taxi drivers have. Yes, this is the nation’s capitol and the laws apply to all. This is not some third world ghetto, where you can do as you please, and flaunt authority. Native Washingtonian will remember when DC Taxi Regulations had to be amended to state that shirts had to be worn and drivers are required to bathe. Residents and visitors deserve a first class taxi system.

  • C_29

    Has Mayor Grey been to a third world country? The ones I've been to had much better cabs than DC. The only country that was comparable was Greece, where the cab itself was old and having problems, but at least the cab driver was nice and didn't look down on me for being a woman.

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