New Regulations Bring English-Only Requirement to Sacramento Taxicabs

Derek Shore, CBS Sacramento, May 28, 2014

New regulations passed by the Sacramento City Council will require taxi drivers in Sacramento to speak English.

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The City Council passed new rules requiring drivers have proof of basic English skills, as well as making sure cars are eight years old or newer and that drivers wear professional clothing. The last requirement is a change from the proposed ordinance that required them to be hygienically clean.

Kazman Zaidi is the president of the Sacramento Taxicab Union, which denounced the new regulations.

“Maybe they can’t read English, but they can understand, and they can answer the question and where the customer need to go,” he said.

He estimates more than 100 of the 500 or so drivers in the area may not be able to pass the test, but says they are still good drivers.

“If they don’t pass this English test, they have to lose their job, you know?” he said. “And they will be out of business.”

Not all of the taxicab associations objected to the regulations.

Sacramento City Revenue Manager Brad Wasson says the new requirements are in a response to complaints from customers.

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The test will be offered in audio format to those who may not be able to read.

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