Saturday, January 16, 2016

Liberalism reaching for the lowest level of competence.

Bill would allow new cabbies to skip written English test

Yellow-cab rides could soon be driving New Yorkers completely crazy if the City Council passes a new bill that would eliminate written English tests for aspiring hacks.
The proposal would allow drivers to get their hack licenses with just a cursory oral exam and without offering any proof they can read or write the language, including traffic signs.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), chair of the council Transportation Committee, introduced the bill amid an exodus of yellow-cab drivers to app-based car services like Uber and Lyft.
He insisted cab riders wouldn’t notice a difference.
“Effective communication between rider and driver is key for any ride and this is not in jeopardy with this bill,” Rodriguez said.
Cab riders were skeptical on Friday Nicholas Grimaldi, a development specialist from Chelsea, said hacks need to be more than just barely conversational in English.
“I hope they’ll be able to read the signs. I think they’ll need retraining in English. 
I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said.
Sabina, a stay-at-home mom from Union Square, predicted that cabbies who can’t read English would likely get lost.
“If you can’t do a written exam, how would you be able to drive to navigate?” she said.
Joshua Harville, 34, a graphic designer, agreed, saying a written test was a smart idea.
“If you can’t read a sign, you don’t know where you’re going. It should be written. You need to be able to read,” said Harville, who is from Murray Hill but now lives in Tennessee.
Rodriguez said he is pushing the measure to create one set of rules for yellow-cab drivers and those who work for Uber or Lyft.
Currently, cabbies have to take a written test, while Uber drivers aren’t tested and don’t have to even speak English, a council source said.
“We’ll be putting new measures in place to ensure passengers and their drivers understand one another that will be required for all drivers, not just those in one sector. This will create an equal level of service between sectors,” Rodriguez said.
The proposal is one of eight bills the council will take up to regulate all for-hire vehicles, from yellow and green cabs to black livery cars and app-aided cars.
Another measure would bring stiffer penalties for illegal street hails.
Also, the Taxi and Limousine Commission would be required to provide health-care services to drivers and boost transparency in the black-car industry by requiring accurate pretrip fare estimates.
Another cab rider, Don Simmons noted the lax English testing could prove costly for cabbies.
“They’re not going to get good tips if they can’t read,” said Simmons, CEO of Power Packaging in Midtown. “As a New Yorker, I know where I’m going. If I were a tourist, that’d be a problem.”

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