Hours extended at Kitchener's DriveTest office

Waterloo region's only DriveTest office will add 16 hours each week and will be open 12 hours each weekday.

Waterloo region's only office to add 16 hours each week, will be open 12 hours a day

Kitchener-Conestoga MPP and PC transportation critic Michael Harris, right, talks to people waiting outside the Drive Test office in Kitchener in October. At least 30 people were lined up before the office opened. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The only DriveTest office in Waterloo region will see its hours extended to keep up with increased demand for services.

The office on Ottawa Street in Kitchener will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Dec. 18. Currently, the office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The change adds 16 hours a week, Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile said in announcing the extended hours.

This shouldn't be happening in Ontario - Michael Harris, Conservative MPP, Kichener-Conestoga

"My office heard from constituents who wanted better service — and we agreed. That's why we're adding staff and extending hours," Vernile said in a release.

In October, Kitchener-Conestoga Conservative MPP Michael Harris said he regularly hears from constituents about lengthy wait times at DriveTest offices, with people lined up outside the Kitchener office before it opened.

He called on the Ontario government to do more to help people.

Now that it has, Harris said he's glad to see the extended hours, in particular because it means people won't have to take time off work to get their licence. Yet he isn't convinced the solution gets at the root cause. 

New app will help G1 prep

"This shouldn't be happening in Ontario and frankly the government failed to provide proper oversight of this particular contract," Harris told CBC News on Thursday. 

"Now we'll be rolling out 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. service — which we think is great — however, at what cost will that be to taxpayers, in addition to the contract that they negotiated but failed to properly enforce."

He said he's also not pleased with how long it took for changes to be made.

The province is launching an Ontario Drive app to help new drivers prepare for their G1 written test.

As well, the province said there will be "ongoing analysis" to look at how to reduce wait times and serve customers better.

The office will also add a no-wait dropbox for people dropping off medical paperwork.

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