Comedy Central’s “South Park,” well-known for its provocative social and political commentary, took a swipe at the taxicab cartel during last night’s episode, titled “Handicar.”
Timmy, wheelchair-bound and raising money for summer camp, creates an app-based ride service, whereby he picks up customers in a red wagon hitched to his motorized wheelchair.
During an exchange between a cab driver and a passenger at the beginnig of the episode, South Park captures the essence of why so many people dislike traveling by taxi.
“Excuse me, I think someone puked back here,” the customer says.
The driver asks, “You don’t like puke?”
“Could you turn the radio down and the air conditioning up, please,” the customer replies.
“No air conditioning. Too expensive,” replies the driver as he slams on the brakes, causing the customer’s head to hit the protective barrier between the front and back seats.
“Not enough people taking cabs. I don’t know what’s wrong,” the driver exclaims at the end of the ride.
This is the mentality of the taxicab hegemony. There seems to be no recognition of the lack of good service and very little desire to improve that service. Additionally, in several cities in the U.S. and abroad, cab drivers are protesting the expansion of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft by snarling downtown traffic. How tone deaf.