TLPA honors paratransit operator, driver of the year

Posted on October 20, 2009

The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) named Thomas P. Arrighi, President of A&A Metro Transportation in Bridgewater, Mass., as its 2009 Paratransit Operator of the Year, during the TLPA's annual convention held in Las Vegas earlier this month.

In a highly competitive field of applicants for the award this year, Arrighi and A&A Metro Transportation exemplified the award criteria for attention to safety, superior service and community involvement, according to the Association.

“This is a company and a leader that believe in the highest quality service, in rewarding the efforts of workers, and in being an active part in the community,” said Alfred LaGasse, CEO of the TLPA.

The company was started as Bill’s Taxi in 1952, operated by Arrighi’s parents, Bill and Dorothy. Arrighi bought the company from them in 1987, and expanded into paratransit services that first year after buying his first wheelchair van and winning a contract to transport school children. The company now has a fleet of more than 100 vehicles, 40 percent of which are ADA accessible, and provides 685,000 passenger trips each year.

Community involvement is a key belief with Arrighi. He is an elected member of the Town of Bridgewater’s Recreation Department, and for 20 years served on the YMCA’s Board of Governors in East Bridgewater. Along with his brothers and family, Arrighi has organized the annual St. Thomas Aquinas Charity Golf Tournament for the past 11 years, raising $150,000. He was named 2004 Citizen of the Year by the Bridgewater Rotary Club.

The award is an honor that Arrighi knows belongs as much to his staff, who he regularly rewards through company programs and incentives for exemplary service to clients. “We are only as strong as our front line employees,” says Arrighi. “Without them, we cannot succeed.”

In addition, the TLPA named Adepegba “Tony” Abiodun driver for Challenger Transportation of Gaithersburg, Md., the 2009 Paratransit Driver of the Year.

“He takes enormous pride in his job, in his service, and in positively affecting the quality of someone else's day,” said the TLPA's LaGasse.

Called “the epitome of a professional driver” by his supervisors, Abiodun has earned such a reputation for on-time reliable service that his clients will call the company just to double-check that he's on duty that day. One elderly woman who came to depend on him for regular hospital trips even requested that, when she moved into a new care facility in a different town, he be allowed to change his area of operations.

“It‟s a good feeling to know that you have a positive effect on another person,” Abiodun said. “I believe that if you take pride in your work, you will always push yourself to do your best and to take responsibility.”

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Abiodun came to the U.S. in 1986 “in search of a better life,” he said. He received a degree in electrical engineering from the University of the District of Columbia in 1994, and is now a U.S. citizen. He became aware of the needs of people with disabilities when he was assistant store manager at a pharmacy. It was also there that he began to see Challenger vehicles bringing people to the pharmacy. He submitted an application and became a vehicle operator in 2002.


View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Fed judge orders MARTA to court over paratransit service

Ordered to appear over allegations it's violating a court order, which, among other stipulations, requires MARTA to strive for an on-time performance rate of 100%.

MBTA urged to explore cost saving actions for paratransit

Possible changes presented by MASSDOT's deputy administrator included raising fares to the maximum allowed by ADA and reducing some of The Ride’s overhead costs by partnering with taxis or other transportation companies.

MARTA to privatize paratransit operations, maintenance

MV Transportation will operate and maintain the Mobility fleet. The contract requires the company to keep its on-time performance rate at 90% percent or higher, while at the same time reducing the number of customer complaints and trip requests that are denied

Texas paratransit agency lays off 59 as company loses state contract

The State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission canceled its three-year contract with TAPS Thursday morning, stating the transit company would no longer provide services for their Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation riders.

Mobility Ventures names new VP, Government & Commercial Fleet Sales

Bill Gibson brings to Mobility Ventures more than 40 years of sales and marketing experience with an extensive, proven background in automotive fleet management operations.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close