Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Training mandatory for new cabbies: Toronto Taxi Alliance
After city council approved a new bylaw in May for vehicles for hire, city-mandated training was no longer required by taxi driver licence applicants.
The Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) announced the training requirement on Wednesday, along with a new central email address for anyone who has a complaint about a cab driver.
Here’s what was announced:
TRAINING REQUIRED: Major brokerages in Toronto, like Beck Taxi, will require any cab drivers licensed since May 4 to complete an 18-hour training program through Centennial College. Details are still being hammered out, but TTA spokesman Rita Smith expects the course will cost around $600 to $700, with four three-hour in-class components, and a six-hour defensive driving session. Training will cover an English language assessment, local road knowledge, customer service, and cultural and gender sensitivity training.
ONGOING ISSUES: The TTA warned of inexperienced drivers signing up for taxi licences at municipal licensing and standards. Smith said she has heard of at least one applicant showing up to apply a day after getting his driver’s licence.
“On May 4, licensing and standards began handing out taxi driver licences to anyone who showed up with a $20 police background check and a driver’s licence,” she said. “That resulted in a stampede of drivers, untrained, untested, in many instances supremely unqualified, obtaining taxi driver licences and showing up at brokerages to lease a taxi.”
City spokesman Bruce Hawkins says they have seen an increase in people applying for a taxi/vehicle-for-hire license, with around 3.500 new applications since May 4. “The bylaw states that individuals ‘must be able to communicate in English,’” he said. “This is determined through the interactions the applicant has with city staff during the licensing process.”
POINT AND CLICK: Turned down by a cab for a short fare? Told you can’t pay with anything but cash? People who have complaints about taxi drivers are instructed by the Toronto Taxi Alliance to snap a photo of the number on the car door and email it to TOtaxifeedback@gmail.com. Complaints will be forwarded to the appropriate brokerage.
Please share this