Between the recent assaults, fallout from the taxi scandal, and the tendency for their meetings to devolve into a series of kooky death threats, no one would blame you for not wanting to listen to more cabbies griping. But that's why we have WNYC!
Last Monday afternoon, WNYC hosted a public forum for taxi drivers at their Jerome L. Greene Performance Space called "Out From Behind the Wheel," with the purpose of trying to "bridge the gap between the cliche of the do-gooder who returns the priceless violin and the cabbie who has taken someone for a ride, so to speak", in the words of reporter and co-host Kathleen Horan. And the New Yorker reports that what they learned is that "cabbies mostly wanted to talk about the various ways in which they are getting screwed." (Subscription is required for full article.)
Also, they gave a helpful tip: you probably should not ask your cabbie where they're from. "It's like an echo. Just like the monitors, the same commercial over and over again," one taxi driver said. Instead of a "sociological exchange," the hundred or so drivers who attended the event took it as an opportunity to let new Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky in on their many beefs: the fifty-cent MTA tax, the lack of updated cab technology, malfunctioning credit card machines, rivalries with black cabs, the snowballing of the taxi scandal, racism, and those infernal touchscreens ("Liz Cho and Cat Greenleaf never-endingly blaring from the back-seat"). It seems as though the drivers had almost as many complaints as their passengers do.