uber driver toronto

Toronto could soon force Uber and Lyft drivers to complete special training

Serving as a driver for Uber or Lyft has proven to be quite the successful side hustle or even full-time job for many in Toronto, especially during pandemic lockdown when unemployment numbers rose.

But, the gig will soon be harder to pick up, as the city is once again planning to introduce mandatory in-person road training for rideshare app drivers before they can acquire or renew their vehicle-for-hire licenses.

It's been something council has been considering for years and has actually already passed a bylaw for, but full implementation was deferred due to the health crisis.

Currently, the city's website states that taxi and limo drivers need a vehicle-for-hire driver's licence, and must show proof of the completion of a third-party training program as of Oct. 1 (for new drivers) or Jan. 1, 2022 (for license renewals).

And, a new motion going to council next week will request a halt on issuing all new licenses for vehicle-for-hire and private transportation company drivers until a proper training program is finally in place, a move that comes after Uber and the city were sued for the death of a 28-year-old last year when his Uber driver pulled over to remount his GPS.

Both Uber and Lyft said in statements to CTV News that they fully support mandatory road training in the city in the interest of public safety.

In other Canadian locales, such as B.C., taxi and rideshare drivers are required to have a Class 4 license, for which they must take both a knowledge and road test.

And many Toronto taxi companies, such as Beck Taxi, have for years required new hires to either complete training through the city or through a college program, such as Centennial's Taxi 100 course.

Meanwhile, more than 40,000 vehicle-for-hire licenses have been issued in Toronto without the proper training since the new bylaw was passed — something the city has said was an interim solution for drivers to stay licensed throughout COVID-19.

Lead photo by

Paul Hanaoka

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