Last updated: 07:52 PM ET, Sat August 20 2016

English Not a Requirement for New York City Taxi Drivers

Impacting Travel | Amy Coyne Bredeson | August 20, 2016

English Not a Requirement for New York City Taxi Drivers

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For decades, the majority of New York City taxi drivers have been immigrants, and thanks to a new law, they are no longer required to speak English to get the job, the Associated Press reported. 

The city Council approved the change in April, and Mayor Bill de Blasio signed it into law, according to AP.

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The law, which went into effect Friday, gets rid of the English proficiency test that taxi drivers and for-hire vehicle drivers in the city were required to pass, Reuters reported. 

According to Reuters, the New York City Council said in a statement in January that the English language requirement was "a significant barrier to entry to driving a taxi."

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More than 90 percent of New York’s almost 144,000 drivers of medallion cabs, livery cars and for-hire vehicles were born outside of the U.S., Reuters reported.

The legislative package that eliminated the language requirement also included a bill requiring a health care services program run directly by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Reuters said.

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