May 3, 2012 (CHICAGO)—To help meet Chicago’s immediate need for hundreds
ofnew taxi drivers, the City Colleges of Chicago and the Department of Business
Affairs & Consumer Protection today announced that the public chauffeur
licensing program will move from Harold Washington College to Olive-Harvey
College. The move allows for the enactment of comprehensive taxi safety and
training reforms announced by Mayor Emanuel in December 2011, which
incorporated input from taxi companies, drivers, independent owner-operators
With driving simulation technology, a road course and expanded
class room space, the revised program will offer enhanced behind-the-wheel training,
customer service skills, and will leverage Olive-Harvey College’s educational
resources in the areas of transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) as
part of the College to Careers initiative.
“As a result of these program improvements, Chicago taxi drivers
will be better prepared to build thriving independent businesses and Chicago
motorists, passengers and pedestrians will find themselves navigating safer
city streets,” said Paula Wolff, chair, City Colleges Board of Trustees.
“Olive-Harvey’s unique assets will help ensure that Chicago’s taxi
drivers hit the road safely with strong customer service skills, geographical
knowledge and increased small business experience,” says Cheryl Hyman,
chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago. “This is part of City Colleges’ mission:
to offer relevant education and skills training that drives Chicago’s economic
Timed to the start of a new two-week program session in early
June, the move will allow the program to better meet the city’s need for new
taxi drivers, with the goal of increasing the number of certified drivers by
50%. Currently, Harold Washington College produces up to 1,000 certified
drivers each year.
No current students will be affected by the move, and current
program instructors will move from Harold Washington College to Olive-Harvey
College. City Colleges plans to add instructors to meet growing student demand.
City Colleges also will launch a
shuttle service between the Olive-Harvey campus and the 95th Street
Chicago Transit Authority bus and train hub to provide all students quick and
easy access to the school from public transportation.Former City Colleges
students who successfully completed the Commercial Driver Training program at
Olive-Harvey will be considered for employment as shuttle drivers.
In March, Chancellor Hyman, Mayor Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn
announced the construction of a new transportation, distribution and logistics
center at Olive-Harvey College as part of City Colleges’ College to Careers
initiative. The facility will be the first comprehensive TDL education center
in the state, preparing students for an estimated 110,000 jobs over the next 10
years in the growing ground, air and rail transport, multi-modal distribution
and logistics fields.