From The New York Times: Know English? For New York Cabdrivers, That’s No Longer Required.
In New York City, cab drivers are no longer required to know English.
Katherine LaGrave at Conde Nast Traveler writes, “Hail a cab on the streets of New York City (or wait in one of those interminable taxi lines at the airport) and it’s statistically likely that your driver will be from another country: According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, just four percent of taxi drivers were born in the U.S., a figure that has been dropping steadily over the years.”
Because the vast majority of cab drivers are from other countries, new rules have been adopted that eliminate the requirement for an English proficiency exam. The test for a taxi license can now be taken in several languages.
Although many New Yorkers said the rule change didn’t bother them, others have criticized the decision. One respondent told The New York Times, “You have to communicate with the customer. … You’re not working in a kitchen. You’re driving a cab; you’re dealing with the public.”