California Taxi Drivers Upset Over Required English Test (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Taxi drivers in Sacramento, Calif., are upset over a new law that requires them to pass a two-part test on English and math.

However, city officials claim that the new ordinance, passed in May, was based on complaints by passengers.

“We received a number of complaints from passengers that they couldn’t communicate with the driver of where they need to go and what they needed,” city revenue manager Brad Wasson told CBS Sacramento (video below).

“I want to talk to people who’ve taken the test and get feedback from them on what was difficult, what didn’t make sense and then we can modify the test,” stated Wasson.

So far, 18 out of 28 tax drivers have failed part of the test. If a taxi driver fails three times, then he or she could lose their license.

“They used some words, like very hard English,” complained tax driver Mohammad Ahsan. “If you use like, a simple English, I think that’s not a big problem.”

Ahsan claims that some taxi drivers are so scared of the test, which is half written and half digital, that they may allow their taxi permits to expire.

"We agreed on the simple test, you know, then we start taking the test, it's totally different," Sacramento Taxi Cab Union president Kazman Zaidi told News10.

"If you are going to put somebody on a computer for an hour and a half, do you think he can pass that test?" said Zaidi.

Two of the sample questions were published by News10:

Smoking is prohibited in cars. Which word closely relates to the underlined word? Allowed, genius, banned, covert.

The fare is $23.00. You are given these bills (20.00 + 5.00). How much change should you give back? Three dollars, six dollars, two dollars, one dollar.

Sources: CBS Sacramento, News10