Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Safety Manual

Module 13 - Passenger Transportation Services


The Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has prepared this guide to assist and ensure that truck and bus companies (commercial vehicle operators) operate safely and are compliant with the regulations that govern highway use. Ontario, other provinces, the Government of Canada and the transportation industry developed the rules and regulations to help reduce the number and severity of collisions. Each jurisdiction has used the National Safety Code standards as guides in drafting their own transportation safety legislation. This approach promotes uniformity across Canada and helps to ensure that the transportation industry remains as viable and sustainable as possible.

This guide applies to Ontario operators of commercial motor vehicles that are:

  • Trucks, tractors, mobile equipment vehicles or trailers and/or any combination of these vehicles that have a registered gross weight or actual weight of more than 4,500 kilograms
  • Tow trucks, regardless of registered gross weight or actual weight
  • Buses with a manufactured seating capacity of 10 persons or more, excluding the driver
  • Accessible vehicles and school purposes vehicles, depending upon use

The guide contains several modules, each dealing with a specific topic. To get a complete picture of compliance requirements, you should obtain the complete guide. If you intend to use certain parts of this guide only (for example, Module 1, "Getting Started”) it is recommended that you also obtain the modules "Introduction” and "Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration.”

This is a guide only and is not meant to be a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations. This guide highlights some important legal provisions but is not an exhaustive description of all the laws that apply.

Operating Authority

The role of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation

The Ministry of Transportation promotes and monitors the safe operation of all people operating vehicles, including those who provide transportation services using commercial motor vehicles. This ensures that all vehicles are licensed and operate in accordance with provincial legislation. It is essential for this important sector of Ontario's economy to continue to achieve the highest safety standards.

Passenger transportation services

People providing a passenger transportation service in a commercial motor vehicle may require a public-vehicles licence.

A licence is not required by a passenger transportation service that is operated within one municipality.

A public-vehicle licence can be obtained from the Ontario Highway Transport Board (OHTB). This licence authorizes a person to operate a commercial vehicle for hire, to transport passengers. The services requiring a public-vehicles licence may include:

  • Charter (site-seeing and tours)
  • Scheduled services (services provided between two locations on a scheduled basis)
  • Industrial (providing a transportation service under a contract for more than 30 days)

Information on the OHTB can be found at:

Ontario Highway Transport Board
151 Bloor Street West, 10th Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 2T5

Telephone: (416) 326-6732
Fax: (416) 326-6738

The Public Vehicles Act can be found on the E-Laws website.

Back to Top