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Blind reject free rides

The Star Tribune said that to counteract the misunderstanding that Muslim cab drivers turn away blind riders who have guide dogs because of their Islamic faith, the Minnesota chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations announced last week that 300 Muslim taxi drivers will offer free rides to blind passengers with guide dogs on April 21 when the Minnesota Guide Dog Users Inc. holds its semiannual convention in Minneapolis. The president of the Minnesota Guide Dog Users Inc. said her group hopes the drivers are trying to make reparations for past refusals rather than offering free rides just because they feel sorry for them.

On April 16, the Metropolitan Airports Commission will announce its ruling on whether to institute stiffer penalties for fare refusals based on drivers’ Islamic faith.

The Pioneer Press said the president of the Minnesota branch of the National Federation of the Blind, the group that is organizing the upcoming convention, is uncomfortable with the idea of free rides and would rather the Muslim taxi drivers just do their jobs.