Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ridesharing app featured on South Park

South Park is a trendy show that integrates popular culture into their show material. Since ridesharing services are extremely popular, South Park episode "Handicar" covers this topic.

Taxi drivers are frustrated with the ridesharing industry. They have been vocal on ridesharing companies, sharing that these TNCs are taking their valuable business. Nevertheless, the taxi industry created this new ride service based on their poor service.

As you can see in the YouTube video above, the South Park episode gives us a glimpse as you why people dislike taxis. Taxi drivers challenge passengers, refuse to accept credit cards at times, won't take fares into further out regions, have smelly and dirty interior spaces, have conversations on Bluetooth headsets while driving, drive crazy, run red lights, honk crazily at motorists, make their own lanes, try to cause conflict with ridesharing drivers, curse at people, and much more. Ridesharing riders shard the truth about their taxi experiences.

One SideCar rider spent the majority of a 32-minute ride complaining about how much he hated the taxi industry and wanted them to fail. He got such bad service time-after-time again, that he couldn't forgive cabbies for their poor treatment. When ridesharing services surfaced, he was thankful for this refreshing change.

Taxi drivers and ridesharing drivers can coexist. There is more to meets the eye than taking business. It is the ease and usefulness of the ridesharing app. Moreover, this ridesharing change exposed the problems within the taxi industry. Perhaps, taxi drivers see how easy it is for random people to drive people. It is a frustrating time for cabbies all over the world.

Ridesharing services are viewed as the "Netflix" and "RedBox" of the DVD market. With new change, there comes failure. Blockbuster and Hollywood Video lost a ton of business from these DVD companies. Eventually, Hollywood Video went out of business. Blockbuster is on the verge of downsizing and may meet their end soon. Innovation improves a traditional, archaic business model. Unless this is the book industry, people will gravitate toward usability and efficiency.

As conflict among ridesharing drivers (Uber) thus surfaces, this sways business in favor of cabbies. There is a battle between these two industries vying to claim a piece of the transportation pie. City transportation services are also losing business, but then people use these services in conjunction with ridesharing app. They take BART, trains, and subway to a specific stop, and then request a ride via app to go home from there.

What we see is that taxis are not a dying breed. Many people still have no idea what a ridesharing app is and how this model works. These are actually people who work in the Bay Area. In the city of San Francisco, people have asked, "What is Uber?" "What is that Pink Mustache? Can I buy one of those?" were a few questions asked by an individual who lives near Berry Street. Ridesharing drivers spend time to educate random people on how the ridesharing industry operates. On one occasion, an older female rider requested a ride via UberX and was taken back to her retirement community.

Ridesharing services definitely improve transportation. If a passenger requests a ride and their phone dies, the driver can still pick them up based on their last GPS location. Most of the time, a ridesharing driver will have a charging station in their personal vehicle. Despite taxi drivers showing frustration, they rarely hold conversations with their passengers to build a valuable connection. For the most part, people want to socialize with people who are like them. Therefore, ridesharing apps accommodate people.

Enjoy the South Park episode "Handicar."