Originally from Senegal, Jean lives in Brooklyn and is an avid writer and reader. He likes driving an accessible taxi because it makes people’s lives easier.
“Back home I know someone in a wheelchair who really couldn’t go out unless someone carried them into the car,” he says. “This service is amazing. It helps people have a social life, receive medical treatment and just go out to a stroll.”
Jean enjoys meeting new people, and knows that sometimes just having someone to talk to can turn your day around.
“You have all kinds of people who enter your cab, quiet ones, talkative ones, argumentative ones, everything,” he remembers.
One passenger he picked up began yelling at him as soon as she entered the taxi. When she stopped, Jean asked her how her day was going, but it only set her off again.
“I just smiled and said okay,” Jean recalls. As they were driving they got caught in traffic, and the passenger started screaming at him to go around it, which wasn’t possible.
“I asked her if there is something bothering her,” Jean says. “It had nothing to do with me, I was just the driver.” The passenger stopped and thought about it, then apologized to him.
She had just had a meeting with higher management and been passed over for a raise, only to learn that she was going to have to do more work instead. At the same time, she had a newborn baby and a husband who had walked out on her.
“My heart broke for her,” Jean says. “I told her: be grateful you have a job, a child and a place to call home. She had a lot more than many people.” The two of them then began talking and before they knew it they had arrived at their destination with no further conflicts.
“Sometimes people just need to let things off their chest,” says Jean.