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AMB drops in-car training for Toronto VFH drivers, moves to Zoom live online, videos, quizzes

Photo: AMB

AMB Driving School has eliminated the two hour in-car driving component of its Vehicle for Hire Training.

AMB owner Shafique Malik told Taxi News that it was the most expensive component of the training, and that it was impossible to compete with the fully online DRVRhub course, which was suspended the City of Toronto in early July following complaints that it was too easy to pass and potentially too easy to cheat.

AMB is now offering what Malik calls a “compromise” solution of instructor-led live class time or Zoom class time which incorporates videos and quizzes. Instructor-led Zoom classes comply with Toronto’s July 27th policy update letters to trainers, which stated that all trainer must be instructor-led in class or in real-time online.

“Toronto is very clear about what their mandate is, and it is the same thing they have always communicated with me,” Malik says. “I think City’s point of view is a little different than what we think of as a ‘course.’ I think in her interview with the Toronto Star, Fiona (Reid) was very clear on the City’s stand and it is basically to prepare the drivers to deal with the Toronto traffic situation more than actual the driving skills itself, but the course has a lot of coverage of driving skills, along with other safety aspects to picking up and dropping off the passengers. So, I think it’s a little different than what me as the educator thinks about the course. We have some compromise here.”

This reporter completed AMB’s instructor-led Zoom program on August 10th with 32 other students. The instructor was rigorous about requiring everyone in the online class to show their driver’s license at the start of both the morning and the afternoon sessions and insisted everyone’s video camera be kept on for the entire day; one student who refused to keep his video live was removed from the class before 10:30am. Another fellow dozed off and slept through at least half of the morning session; Taxi News cannot report on whether or not he passed the course.

Four quizzes based upon the instructor’s presentation and the custom-made video segments were delivered during the training, which ran from 9am to 3:30pm with a half-hour break for lunch. Quiz documents and other administrative information was then forwarded by email to the instructor at the completion of the program; attendees will be notified by email within 4-5 business days if they have passed.

Those who do not pass will receive a phone call with proposed next steps from AMB.

3754 Vehicle for Hire drivers paid $140 each to take the on-line DRVRhub course before the City suspended it. As of August 10th, Toronto has decided that those students who took longer than three hours to complete the DRVRhub program may be eligible to use their DRVRhub certificates as proof of training, while those who took less than three hours are deemed not to have “sufficiently engaged with the material.”