July – Driver of the Month

Mobility is so important to Broward’s residents and visitors, including those with physical challenges. Recognizing the need for accessible on-demand transportation, in 1967, Yellow Cab of Broward was the first taxicab company in the United States to introduce accessible vehicles in a taxicab fleet. This tradition has continued for over 50 years and Yellow Cab operates Broward’s largest fleet of on-demand accessible vehicles operating 20 late model Toyota Sienna’s modified to accommodate wide chairs. In addition, every Yellow Cab driver receives training in compliance with ADA standards before operating  a Yellow Cab, and then on an annual basis. Drivers are trained to assist passengers as needed, including the elderly, passengers with mobility challenges and vision impairment. Every Yellow Cab operated in Broward is equipped with a backseat solution that announces the cab’s number, and the fare as the trip progresses, as well as payment options.

Yellow Cab’s Driver of the Month, Lucien Dufresne, exemplifies the best tradition of providing excellent service to individuals with special needs. Recently Gladys, a Broward TOPS client was offered the TOPS Choice Card which allows users to take TOPS subsidized trips in taxicabs. TOPS clients are required to book transportation a day in advance, and then ride in a routed vehicle with other TOPS clients. The Choice program is new and offers same day, point to point individual travel at a substantial savings to the County.

Gladys was nervous about taking a taxicab instead of the TOPS bus. When she called to schedule her ride she told Yellow Cab’s customer service representative that she needed assistance and this information was included in her order. Cab 138 driven by Lucien was assigned the trip, and true to his training and character, this 23 year Yellow Cab driver put Gladys’ fears at ease. Gladys called Yellow Cab to extol Lucien’s service. She reported Lucien arrived at her home and knocked on her door to let her know he was there.   When she answered she was greeted with Lucien’s smile and an offer to assist. Gladys uses a walker, and Lucien walked at her pace from the front door to the cab and according to Gladys chatting all the way. Gladys asked to sit in the front.  Lucien assisted her, and made sure her seatbelt was buckled. He put Gladys’ walker in the trunk and when he arrived at the grocery store he brought her inside to make sure a store employee would assist her. Gladys tells us that she now has confidence and the TOPS Choice Card is allowing her a freedom she would not otherwise have. Of course, when she uses it she asks for Lucien.

Lucien says as a father of 5, he had to learn patience. Lucien and his wife have made a point of having instilled in their children a sense of community and the need to give back. He proudly tells you that 3 of his children attend college, and the two still in High School will too.