Association Member News
John T. "Tom" Jones, Jr., President, Delta Transit Company, Delta, Colorado
Is Named TLPA 2003 Taxicab Small Fleet Operator of the Year
KENSINGTON, MD John T. "Tom" Jones, Jr., president of Delta Transit Company, Delta, Colorado, was named the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association's 2003 Taxicab Small Fleet Operator of the Year on Thursday, October 23, 2003. Mr. Jones was presented with this honor by TLPA President Gene Hauck and TLPA Vice President Brian McBride at TLPA's 85th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Reno, Nevada.
"To you this is an award, but to the town of Delta, Colorado, this is an event," Tom Jones said in his acceptance speech, noting that his entire town of 5,000 people knows of his winning the award.
Tom, who is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam, was nominated by his wife Chanda without his knowledge. The receipt of the letter announcing that he had been chosen for the award was the first time he knew anything about it. "I knew it was a goal of Tom's to become an entrepreneur in a smaller community where he could really make a difference in peoples' lives and have a positive influence in the community," Chanda Jones wrote in her nomination of her husband. "On a vacation to my hometown of Delta, Colorado, we were told there had been no taxi service in the community for a number of years. We returned to California and applied for the necessary permits to establish a taxi company in Delta. We began operation in September 1993. On the occasion of Delta Transit Company's 10th anniversary, our success in the small community of Delta and surrounding Delta County is a direct result of Tom's dedication and heartfelt commitment to the community."
Delta Transportation Company began with one taxicab and Tom as the driver. In ten years, the company has grown to operating five full-time taxis with ten drivers. "Tom will go out at any hour of the day or night to take people home from the hospital, whether they are able to pay the taxi fare or not," Chanda Jones says of her husband. "Tom's motto has always been, 'Take the passenger where and when they need to go in a safe and timely manner and figure out the rest later.' Many times we have had someone come in and pay a fare that may have occurred many months before, at a time when the person did not have the ability to pay the fare, but they remember Tom's kindness and make it a point to pay the debt when able."
Tom Jones was born in Patuxent River, Maryland into a military family. When his father retired, the family moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where Tom finished school. After graduating, he worked for Boeing on the Saturn Project. He served in Vietnam for the Army and then worked for several years in retail sales, eventually operating his own wholesale flooring business. For a change of pace, he moved to California and ended up driving a taxicab for Yellow Cab in Seaside, California. He drove for the company for 12 years before moving to Delta and starting Delta Transit Company.
"Being a small company in a very small community, we become involved in our customers' everyday lives, especially our seniors," Tom says. "We do favors for them when time allows, such as changing a light bulb. We check up on them if we have not seen them for a while. We have had many instances when a family member from out of the area will call and ask us to go and check up on their loved one."
Tom says that his goals for the company are simply to provide the best possible service in a timely manner. He says, "The size of the company isn't of great importance, but we want to grow as the community grows."
Tom's wife Chanda runs the office and takes care of the bookkeeping. They have two sons, ages nine years and 20 months, so Tom's spare time is spent with his family.
In honor of his dedication and commitment to his community, family and this association, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association is very proud to honor Tom Jones, Jr. as the TLPA 2003 Taxicab Small Fleet Operator of the Year.
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