Taxi driver suspended after 'refusing elderly passenger's short trip'

A Melbourne taxi driver has been suspended after a good Samaritan intervened when the cabbie appeared to refuse to take an elderly man on a short trip from the airport.

The passer-by told 7 News he watched as the driver refused the short fare from the Tullamarine Airport and filmed his confrontation with the driver.

The video shows a man confronting a taxi driver for what he says is the driver refusing to take an elderly man on a short trip.

Footage shows a Melbourne cabbie in an argument with a passer-by who watched him appearing to refuse an elderly man's short trip. Source: Simon Chamaa/Facebook

The man filming said he didn't know the elderly passenger, believed to be about 80-years-old and a stroke victim, but intervened because of what he felt was unfair treatment.

In the clip uploaded to Facebook Thursday night, the passer-by can be heard giving the cabbie a piece of his mind.

“I'll tell you right now, you are obligated to take him, even if it's 100 metres."

The taxi driver replied, telling him to mind his business.

"I'm just talking to [the elderly man]. I'm not talking to you," he can be heard saying.

“You're making an issue, man."

The onlooker intervened to defend the man, who he estimated to be in his 80s. Source: Simon Chamaa/Facebook

The good Samaritan responded, saying it was the driver who was making a fuss, and called him a "disgrace".

"You're a disgrace to taxi drivers. That's why the industry is f***ed, because of people like you, you idiot. This poor old guy."

The law in Victoria is clear - once a taxi is hailed by a passenger, the driver can't refuse a fare because it's short or inconvenient.

Last October a police operation at Melbourne airport, where undercover officers posed as passengers wanting short trips, led to dozens of drivers being fined $396 for refusing fares.

In this clash on Thursday night, the elderly man finally got into the cab, then the driver from 13CABS bizarrely walked off.

The cabbie has been stood down while 13CABS investigate the incident. Source: Simon Chamaa/Facebook

The driver’s employer 13CABS acted swiftly the morning after the footage surfaced on social media.

Shortly after being informed about it by 7 News, 13CABS confirmed the driver had been suspended pending an investigation.

"13CABS has immediately suspended this driver until further investigation," a spokesperson said and asked to thank the member of public who brought the issue to their attention.

The Taxi Services Commission is also looking into the matter and has appealed to the elderly passenger to come forward if he'd like to make a complaint.

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