First Centennial taxi training course rolls out today

TORONTO, Oct.17, 2016 /CNW/ - Centennial College rolled out its taxi driver training program today – workshops that give new drivers valuable lessons in customer service, cultural sensitivity, disabilities awareness and mapping, as well as a day of defensive driving training in a vehicle.

Beck Taxi is the only Toronto brokerage to make this training mandatory for any driver licensed since May 4, 2016, when the City of Toronto cancelled its own training.

"At Beck, we know that Torontonians depend on us for safe, convenient rides – we were never comfortable with the idea of no training for drivers," said Kristine Hubbard, Operations Manager at Beck. "We aren't experts in training itself, but we know what's important when it comes to customer service, and driver and customer safety. Our experience and Centennial's ability to translate that into an efficient and effective training course is the perfect marriage."

For the first time, new taxi drivers will be required to take a six-hour training session in a vehicle as part of their course. Delivered by Canadian Pro Drivers, a Centennial College training partner, drivers will receive defensive driving instruction and tips to keep their passengers and vehicle safe. The training course is already viewed favourably by some insurance providers.

"We're excited to be getting this program off the ground," said Barry O'Brien, Dean of the Business School at Centennial College. "New drivers can come to Centennial for quick, effective training to prepare them for the realities and responsibilities of providing a vital transportation service to Torontonians and tourists. We believe our program will continue to support professionalism and best practices in the taxi industry."

As of today, Centennial will be offering the 25-hour course on a weekly basis and will continue to do so as demand requires.

"I commend Centennial College and Beck for taking the initiative and creating a hands-on driver training course," said Toronto City Councillor Glenn De Baeremaker. "Our city, our residents and our visitors rely on taxi drivers every day – especially during tough weather conditions, or during transit disruptions. With a course like this one, we can feel assured that drivers will have access to training that will keep them and their riders safe."

For more information about Centennial's new taxi driver training program, call 416-289-5000, ext. 7086 or 7105.

About Beck:

Beck is a family-run business that has operated in Toronto for 49 years. Beck dispatches to the largest fleet of taxis in North America with over 2,000 available cars operated by professionally trained, licensed and commercially insured drivers. For the past 20 years, the organization has been the proud recipient of the Toronto Sun Reader's Choice Award for Favourite Taxi Company in Toronto.

About Centennial College:

Established in 1966, Centennial is Ontario's first public college, serving the Greater Toronto Area with four distinct campuses. Its record is one of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building. Centennial operates Canada's largest transportation school at its Ashtonbee Campus.

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information: For media enquiries: Centennial College, Mark Toljagic, 416.605.6012; Beck Taxi, Patricia Favre, 647.290.6320


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