Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Invalid Response

At the height of the last great Dublin city taxi driver convulsion a few years ago, I recall that the city streets were awash with those great big taxi vans. You know the type, the big, heavy sliding door and the cavernous interior in which you could loose a small pony (if you had a small pony). Flying around Dublin’s city streets, you were liable to get thrown violently from side to side unless you had a strong young man by your side. (If you had a strong young man!) The distance between you and the taxi driver was not inconsiderable, so you could pretend to be deaf and not hear his/her inane polemics, and you could take a short journey before his/her body odour became too unbearable.

The reason I ask was that over the past two days, I’ve encountered various wheel chair bound travelers attempt to get into taxis at several taxi ranks. Every car on offer seems to be a small Nissan. Now, blankpaige has nothing against Nissan cars – big or small – but I distinctly remember being told by the driver of the big van type taxis that they were specifically designed to take wheelchair users. He bemoaned, of course, at how he got no allowance for providing such a service. Mind you, I also remember the driver of a small Nissan taxi once tell me that those “big monstrous yokes” were an environmental disaster and completely unwarranted. Sure his/her wee Nissan could take any invalid passenger and sure the chair folds up and could easily fit into the boot, was the very definite pitch.

I’m sure that no matter how many wheelchair friendly taxis there are in our city, there are probably not enough. But I just wonder what happened to encourage taxi drivers to abandon these big vehicles? Was it a loss of tax concession? The increased insurance claims for injuries to recently separated young females consistent with being tossed around like a rag doll? Loss of a particularly valuable small pony?

And then, there is the whole question of what has happened to them? Did they get exported to a country with a high demand for the movement of small ponies? Surely the Shetland Islands don’t need that many new taxis. Have they been acquired by Musgraves for the rapid distribution of foodstuffs to Centra and Supervalu shops in anticipation of the opening of the Port Tunnel? Have the Gardai set up a special branch operation that involves lots of surveillance from the back of these vehicles fitted with tinted windows?

The public need to know. I feel a tribunal of inquiry coming on!


Blogger KnackeredKaz said...

I dunno, I think they're still out there. Everytime I try to hail a cab in the street a big van screeches to a halt. I'm the clumsiest woman ever to live in the world and I usually end up tripping trying to scramble in! I'd LOVE a wee Nissan!

6:04 p.m., August 22, 2006  
Blogger parnellpr said...

Broken down for arms in Iraq? Pippa

10:59 p.m., August 23, 2006  

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