Originally from Kwakwani, Guyana, a town famous for its wood, Lo came to the United States for college. Now he lives in Queens. Prior to becoming a taxi driver, Lo worked was a supervisor for a telemarketing company that re-sold timeshares.
“It was a good job, but once the travel industry crashed so did the timeshare industry,” he explains. “I had to have a Plan B. I have a family to support.”
It was during that uncertain time, while Lo was working part time as a clothing vendor, that he met someone who opened up an unexpected door.
“One day a customer who was a driver stopped and bought some gloves,” Lo recalls. The two of them got to talking and Lo asked the driver about his job. “He said [it was] great… [and] gave me more information regarding driving a cab. About a couple of months later I started and I like it.”
When Lo started out driving an accessible cab, one particular customer made quite an impression on him. He was dispatched to pick up a military veteran who used a wheelchair, his daughter, and his grandson. Along the way, Lo and the veteran started talking about the war in which he served.
“He asked me if I was in the military and I said no but my brother is. He said he lost his leg during the war but nothing stopped him from everyday life until he had heart surgery. Now he has to slow down,” Lo says. “He stated it’s hard since he has a grandson, and he wants to go and play with the child. It reminds me of when my father used to play racquetball with us. So I thanked him for his service and he said, ‘No, thank you for driving this vehicle and being so pleasant.’ He then told me [that for a long time] he was unable to travel because there weren’t any wheelchair-accessible vehicles and he is forever grateful for our service.”
The memory is clearly a fond one for Lo, who enjoys having the chance to help people.
“Imagine,” he says, “a vehicle can make a huge difference for some people.”