With an Uber partnership severed and a community boycott, owner says, "Everybody is welcome to my cabs."
The Portland Taxi Company that allegedly supported a driver’s decision to stop in front of a local LGBT bar last Tuesday and berate its patrons with homophobic fire and brimstone has been dismissed according to local news station KATU.
The driver, Svodboda, visited "Scandals" and took a bullhorn out of his trunk and told customers they were going to hell.
After people called the cab company to report the driver, the representative addressed complaints by saying their employee was well within his First Amendment Rights and if, “the gays don’t want to use our company then that’s good for us.”
But the company’s owner Ken Karkhu seemed surprised when he heard of the situation.
"I was in shock," he said. "I couldn't believe it that one of our drivers did this."
Conflicting reports as to when Svodboda was let go are coming from both parties.
"I haven't been fired to my knowledge," Svodboda told KATU News on Friday. "I have not been notified by the company that I've been fired."
However the owner and the cabbie were able to confirm Svodboda’s dismissal through text messages on Sunday.
The driver says that he has had previous complaints about his interactions with LGBT fares, but none of those grievances were ever reported to management.
When KATU called Portland Taxi on Friday to discuss the operator who said the company would be better off if gays didn’t use their service, Karkhu quickly said the contrary, "Everybody is welcome to my cabs.".
The company was also set to affiliate themselves with the popular ridesharing app Uber. But that company quickly severed ties with them upon hearing of the driver’s actions and that of the dispatcher.