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.


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.


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



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MekongDelta69

    “Twenty percent of drivers may be out of a job.”

    And 40% of the population, who are illegal aliens should be deported from Mexifornia.

    • IstvanIN

      Probably a good 60% of California population should be removed.

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        It’s ironic how deporting all of California’s third world population would re-establish the state as the economic powerhouse of the nation, especially after all those stupid government promises about diversity making us prosperous and innovative.

        • IstvanIN

          And think of all the farm land that could be reclaimed and the water shortage would be over.

          • Ringo Lennon

            Exactly right. We’re losing our open spaces to these people. What about the horrendous traffic, crowded schools and hospitals? Plus our quality of life is getting crummy when we have to see these people everywere we go. It’s a psychological downer looking at these people. What a rathole we’ve turned into in 49 yrs.

        • ElComadreja

          Diversity is our most dangerous weakness.

      • SentryattheGate

        I understand that California got 80% of it’s Hispanics, most of them illegal, since 1980!! Why California? Probably because it had the most generous welfare benefits!

        • Ringo Lennon

          That’s what you call an all out assault. A Blitzkrieg. A full blown invasion. What a bunch of slimy politicians we have. They’re supposed to be looking out for us. Yeah, right!

  • Ted Cunterblast

    Perhaps aimless and unemployed White youths should take their place?

    • ElComadreja

      If I must put up with trash at least let it be my own.

  • The Final Solution

    Diversity necessitates the implementation of such rules. In a homogenous nation, this would not even be a problem. I can’t imagine how a person who doesn’t even know English could be a “good driver” in this country. We all know that foreign cab drivers are most definitely not “good drivers”. How could they even possibly get a driver’s license…oh wait nevermind. It’s California.

    • LHathaway

      Foreign cab drivers have hugely cut down on the number of cab drivers being murdered. It used to be the 2nd most dangerous occupation in the USA after airline pilot. The reduction of murders would make it hard argue these cab driver murders did not have a racial component – if anyone had forced them to defend these murders as not being racial in the first place.

  • If I chose to live in Mexico (for instance) I would make it a point to learn Spanish.
    It is not unreasonable to be proficient with a host language. Common sense is in the rear-view mirror.

    • me

      I wish that the dollar-wh#$ing, Fed ‘elitist’ scum would follow Sacramento’s lead and make it mandatory to learn English in this country, instead of catering to the corporate money machine that supports Mestizo wage slaves in all things. It’s strange that these taxi drivers could get a license in the state of California without being able to read or speak the dominant language of the USA. Must have bi-lingual road signs, drivers tests, and instructors? Are the car insurance policies printed in Mestizo Spanish as well? No wonder the freeways in California are like bumper car rides.

    • 1stworlder

      You should learn Mexican instead, a professor at Pitt University who lived in Spain for years was fired for failing Mexicans in her Spanish class

      • WR_the_realist

        So what do Mexicans speak? Mexbonics?

        • ElComadreja

          The Spanish equivalent of it and every one of these Caribbean, Central/South American Spanish speaking hellholes has their own version. European and Brazilian Portuguese is almost mutually unintelligible also.

        • 1stworlder

          Its the same as the people who say they speak “French” in Haiti.

  • Standup Broad

    …audio format for those unable to read. But they can read the all the safety / freeway / street signs just fine…how?

  • dd121

    Our leftist Supreme School Board probably won’t let this stand.

  • Look at the old Hollywood movies from the 30s and 40s with their white taxi drivers professional dressed in uniforms and the cabs spotless. Now, taxis are featured in cable shows about people having sex in the backseats of the dam things while grinning African drivers eeek and ooook from the driver’s seat. What a rathole the former USA has become. All because of dieversity.

    • IstvanIN

      Taxicabs used to be purpose built sedans, such as Checkers. DeSoto was major Taxi supplier in the 30s to early 50s. Then there was the Ford Commercial Sedan (long-wheel base Crown Victoria that went out of production in 2011). Now they are just junky old sedans.

      • Yes, I miss the old special purpose vehicles. I was weird enough in my youth to want to own a Checker because of its practicality. With the Crown Vickies gone, the cops are hurting too. They run around in Tahoe SUVs here.

        • borogirl54

          I used to like the British looking cabs. I do not remember if they were Checker cab or not.

          • MBlanc46

            I believe that they’re built by a number of companies.

        • MBlanc46

          Checkers were great. All that leg room in the back seat. They could even have had room for those damned barriers that they have to put in these days (in Chicago, at any rate). And great for the wonderful All-American town of Kalamazoo, Michigan. What a tragedy that they went under.

          • r j p

            I hate the barriers.

          • MBlanc46

            I can barely squeeze my legs into the back of a cab.

          • SFLBIB

            Ah, the Checker. The car with the motto, “Built like a battleship.” A cabbie once told me that they were tough because everything on them was heavy-duty on a GM chassis.

    • Andy

      My great-grandfather was a chauffeur. We have a picture of him next to his boss’s car in a suit and tie. I wish I could have lived in a world that looked like that (although I’m very fond of flush toilets).

    • Jesse James

      I used to love those old movies Big, the style, the all white crowds, the fast paced witty dialogue between real men and women. Now I rarely watch them anymore because they make me morose.

    • me

      Ernie, the cab driver in Capra’s film, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.
      Bert and Ernie, the cop and the cabbie in this film, were used as the basis of naming the muppets Bert and Ernie on ‘Sesame Street’. Now the ‘gheys’ are claiming that the Bert and Ernie muppets are a ‘ghey’ couple, even though they have no genitalia. WTF?!

    • SFLBIB

      I wouldn’t use movies as a guide to what life was like. I recall one that showed a man in a white shirt and tie, mowing his lawn! The original Father of the Bride showed lawyer Spencer Tracy wearing a suit while eating dinner in his own home.

      • Wholly Unconvinced

        i have performed both of those activities while still wearing a shirt and tie, or a suit. Albeit the tie was loosened as i mowed the lawn. Some individuals perform a task for one reason or another, without taking the time to change into a different outfit beforehand. (maybe daylight is waning when i get home, but the lawn really needs mowing? Maybe dinner was prepared and ready for the husband when he arrived home from work, because his wife knows exactly when to have it ready? And he decided to sit down and eat before changing.)

        We shouldnt use movies as a history book of course, but we can certainly get a general impression from them. I’d say they were certainly a bit idealistic, but whats wrong with that? I think i’d like to believe once upon a time there were white men with pride who did wear a suit and tie everywhere for every damn thing. And that one day they might exist in abundance again.

        • SFLBIB

          Nothing wrong with that.

  • Luca

    The question begs: How did they pass their drivers license test?

    Wait a minute…do they even require a driver’s license? After all, requiring a driver’s license could be construed as racist in California.

    • borogirl54

      They probably took their driving test in their native language. California offers its driving test in many different languages.

      • WR_the_realist

        Yes, we all know the street signs are made with a dozen different languages.

  • WR_the_realist

    Note the bias in the headline — “English Only”. The law merely requires competence in the English language. If you can understand Spanish, Urdu, and Tagalog, that’s fine, but you must also be able to understand English. That’s hardly what I would call “English Only”.

    • IstvanIN

      The press always lies and misleads.

  • I wonder if and how the whole Uber/Lyft thing plays into this.

    • borogirl54

      I think the cabs are going to lose out if the courts find against this because with Uber/Lyft. People are driving their own cars. Arrangements are made online and the fare is paid online so no hassles like there are with cabs.

  • Tarczan

    I bet this is overturned in some court. We can’t have an all English language country, it’s racist.

  • borogirl54

    Most of the cabbies are from Somalia, Sudan and other Muslim countries. I do not blame the customers if the drivers cannot communicate with them. I think that the cabbies are going to lose out to services such as Lyft and Uber, which allows ordinary people to drive their own cars to pick people up and the arrangements are made online and the is already paid so all the passenger needs to do is to wait for their ride. Less hassles that dealing with a cab driver who does not speak English.

    • willbest

      Don’t worry the cab companies are working hard to kill Uber

      • r j p

        Of course they are …. lease on a cab in Chicago is $575 a week for the crappy cars, for one of the two 12 hour shifts (4am-4pm, 4pm-4am). Cabbie pays for gas (very few cab stands in Chicago so must keep driving), own automobile insurance, repairs (including flat tires), tolls, towing fees, parking meters (if want to stop to get food/drink, use restroom) etc. Cab medallions are mostly owned by investors anymore and cost upwards of $250K.

        • borogirl54

          If they do not have a fare, they are going to be driving around burning gas until they have a paying fare.

  • r j p

    Eight year old cabs?
    Are the cab associations named Hooptee Cab Company and Jalopy Cab Company?

  • mobilebay

    How quaint and unusual…regulations to speak English in an English-speaking country. What will they think of next?