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3,754 DRVRhub certificates were printed before City suspended the program; no decision yet on whether they will be accepted by VFH program

Customers who signed up for the DRVRhub fully on-line training program complained that no instructor ever answered their emails. Image: DRVRhub

The number of students who printed a certificate from DRVRhub online training has increased to 3,754 from 3,602, Taxi News has learned. Toronto Licensing and Standards division has not yet decided on whether these certificates will be accepted in the Vehicle for Hire (VFH) program in which training is now mandatory.

The original number of customers and potential Vehicle for Hire drivers who had paid for and completed the DRVRhub course was 3,602. However, an email from Toronto Licensing staff on July 28 notes that the number has been increased to 3,754.

“The City is reviewing information on the 3,754 drivers who had already completed the DRVR Hub training program before it was suspended on July 8.

“The increase in the number of drivers is because some drivers had completed the training but did not receive their certificate before the suspension. The review is examining training information of all these drivers to check whether the integrity of the training program was upheld.

“Once the review is completed, the City will then contact these drivers to inform them of any next steps that need to be taken. Information will also be provided via the City’s webpage.”

Whether the “integrity of the training program” was upheld appears to be the key question, as reporters from Taxi News and the Toronto Star both took the DRVRhub program, and finished in 37 minutes and 1.5 hours respectively. There is no limit to the number of times a student can choose the wrong answer before correcting; and the program provides no opportunity for a human being to confirm the person writing the test is who they say they are.

Theoretically, and industry members fear in practice, one human being who knows the correct answers to the quizzes would have been able to simply and continuously enter drivers’ license numbers, take and pass the quizzes, and obtain Certificates of Completion for hundreds or thousands of drivers.

“It will happen,” Shafique Malik of AMB Driving School predicted on June 21st. “It’s not a ‘maybe.’ It will happen. One guy in front of a computer is going to make a lot of money taking the test for others.”

“It doesn’t matter how many got a certificate – it’s whether or not they received licenses as a result of those certificates,” says Kristine Hubbard, Operations Manager at Beck Taxi. “If they did, will they keep them.” Beck Taxi and Co-op Cabs, the two largest dispatch brokerages in Toronto, have both announced that they will not allow drivers with only DRVRhub certificates to drive for them.

DRVRhub was suspended by City staff on July 8th, and on July 27th Licensing’s Fiona Reid sent a letter to approved trainers indicating that “all accredited driver training courses must include live attendance or online interaction with an instructor in real time:

“This is to advise that the city is exercising its discretion under the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 546-13A and B to amend the driver training accreditation program to add an additional mandatory component in the posted criteria for driver training courses. The additional mandatory component is that all accredited driver training courses must include live attendance or online interaction with instructors/evaluators in real time,” Reid wrote.

Toronto’s two currently approved training providers, AMB Driving School and DriveWise, both already meet this requirement.