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Toronto Vehicle for Hire training now “a complete sham”

According to Industry Canada and Google Maps, the head office of DRVRhub in Canada appears to be a bungalow on Brimley, in Scarborough. Photo: Google 

Students can finish, print certificate in minutes with no proof of identification

Vehicle for Hire (VFH) driver training in Toronto now appears to be a complete sham, say training industry observers.

The latest approved training supplier is offering a completely-online course which asks only for a driver’s license number, email address and name; there is no requirement for the human being who is taking the online training to prove that they are who they say they are. DRVRhub, as listed on Toronto’s VFH website, promotes the program on its own website by noting “take the online course from anywhere, and at anytime.”

“My question is, ‘How do they know who is taking the test?’” says Shafique Malik of Advanced Motoring Bureau (AMB), the first training provider licensed under Toronto’s new VHF driver training program. “This is very disappointing.”

“It will happen,” Malik says. “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.”

“This will certainly make us re-think whether DriveWise can operate its VFH program,” says Lesley DeRepentigny, president of DriveWise. The DriveWise VFH program is 8 hours long incorporating in-class instructors and customized simulator training.

“This type of online program is not proper training and will do nothing to improve safety in Toronto. Myself and other operators spent thousands and thousands of dollars developing effective course curriculum; in fact, as part of the tender, you had to submit the qualifications of your instructors. Your instructors had to be certified trainers. An online program HAS no instructors; how were they approved?” DeRepentigny asks.  

AMB offers a 7-hour program, 5 hours in-class and 2 hours in-car with an instructor. Malik estimates he invested more than $150,000 preparing course materials for Toronto’s VFH training program.

By clicking the “Continue” button at the bottom of each page of DRVRhub’s online program, enrollees can advance quickly through the five training units to the quiz at the end, and have unlimited opportunities to take the quiz no matter how many times they provide incorrect answers.

Theoretically, and industry members fear in practice, one human being who knows the correct answers to the quizzes will be 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,” Malik says. “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.”

One Taxi News reporter was able to complete the online training and test in 37 minutes and had their Certificate of Completion within the hour.

Taxi News provided Toronto’s Media Office with a list of questions and concerns raised by industry members; Media staff have indicated that they are working to obtain answers. Taxi News will provide an update when it becomes available. The voicemail box at DRVRhub indicates that it is full.

The lack of opportunity for course instructors to confirm that the student writing the test is the same person that Toronto is licensing to drive Vehicles for Hire was thought to be one of the reasons Centennial College dropped out of the bidding process last spring.

“It just doesn’t align with our approach to driver training and other areas, and would have been something brand new for us to move into. We’ve really got to prioritize where we put our time and energy moving forward,” Alan McLelland, Centennial’s Dean of the School of Transportation told Taxi News on April 8th.