If you are hailing a cab on the streets of New York City, it is highly probable that your driver will be from another country. According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), a mere 4% of taxi drivers were born in the United States. The city’s taxi drivers have been overwhelmingly foreign-born for decades.
Due in large part to this, New York City Counsel and Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law that New York City taxi drivers will no longer have to pass an English test under new rules. This would make it easier for immigrants to get behind the wheel of a taxi and be able to make a living as a driver.
The test for a taxi license will be available in several languages and drivers must still pass a test on such details as driving rules and where they can pick up passengers.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez commented that the decision is about leveling the playing field with companies like Uber and Lyft. “They don’t have any language requirement, and no one has complained that they can’t communicate with them,” said Rodriguez.
The end of the English test is also a result of how technology has changed the business. As many drivers now rely on navigation systems rather than taking verbal directions, the requirement for English speaking drivers has diminished.
YellowCabNYCTaxi.com Staff Writer