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Taxi driver training program coming this fall

Picture of yellow cabs lined up on the street in Toronto

Centennial College has partnered with the Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) to deliver a driver training program this fall to all new taxi drivers in the City of Toronto. The collaboration is part of a service improvement initiative by Toronto's taxi companies.

The taxi industry has asked Centennial College to develop a mandatory driver training program that will include an English assessment and lessons in customer service, cultural sensitivity, GTA road knowledge and defensive driving. The program replaces the City of Toronto's own driver training program, which ended on May 3.

"We're delighted to be a part of this new service initiative by the Toronto Taxi Alliance," says Barry O'Brien, Dean of Centennial's School of Business. "We will be delivering 18 hours of vital taxi driver training in a quick and intensive format, giving every new driver a wealth of information that will allow them to serve Toronto residents and tourists courteously and professionally from day one."

The curriculum and scheduling for the new program is in development, with training expected to begin early this fall at Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough. The program includes six hours of in-car driver training that will be provided by Centennial's contractor, Canadian Pro Drivers. The program fee is expected to be approximately $600, comparable to what the city had charged.

Toronto's major taxi companies will require that every cab driver licensed since May 4 complete this training. Drivers licensed prior to May 4 who receive customer complaints may also be required to take this training. Other drivers may be interested in enrolling in the program, as well. News of Centennial's involvement in the taxi driver training initiative was warmly received by the insurance industry.

"We welcome this new training initiative with Centennial College and look forward seeing more of the details in the weeks ahead," says Philomena Comerford, CEO of Baird, MacGregor Hargrave Insurance. "We expect this program will support professionalism and best practices in the taxi industry."

Classes are tentatively scheduled to begin in October. For more information about Centennial's new Taxi Driver Training program, call 416-289-5000, ext. 7086 or 7105.