Meet Your Driver: John Rivard

It can be hard for many seniors to find reliable transportation. It’s a bonus when the drivers go the extra mile and genuinely care about the people who ride. SRC has many outstanding drivers who go the extra mile to ensure their riders not only get where they are going, but are treated well and have a good experience. One of those drivers is John Rivard.

John is truly one of a kind. In addition to providing the door-through-door service SRC is known for, he also takes the time to fix riders’ walkers. It started spontaneously with one rider. “Her brakes on her walker weren’t working correctly.” While it was a simple fix for him, it was a big deal for her, something she couldn’t do on her own. “The safety of my riders is important to me.” He fixed a couple more, and started building a reputation. He remembers another rider. “As I was travelling with this rider, we were talking and she asked me what my name was. I told her my name was John.” Eventually she told him about a problem with her walker, and he was able to fix it. While he didn’t start out knowing exactly how to fix walkers, he has been learning more over time. He’s even starting studying how to repair wheelchairs.

Working with his hands is part of John’s background. He likes working with wood. He also has played the guitar for 50 years, and plays at church. While John is really good at working with his hands, he’s even better working with his ears. He always gives a listening ear to his riders. He really enjoys getting to know them and learning from them. A lot of times he will listen to the riders as they guide him to their destination. The GPS doesn’t always know the best way and many of the riders go to the same destinations often. They know the best way to get there, and he listens and takes their advice. “When you let someone participate in the ride, they are no longer just a rider, but part of the experience, and it makes them feel more important.”

John often tells his riders “I only let V.I.P’s ride on my bus.” He further says, “I think all my riders are V.I.P.s They’re good folks, they need to be treated like V.I.P.s.” He wants his riders to always feel important. He doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon, and wants to keep working as a driver at SRC as long as possible. “It’s a commitment to helping people. I’m in it for the long haul.”